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Baked Tilapia with Herbs

Posted Dec 23 2008 9:15pm

We at the GFCF Experience are going through some lifestyle changes in an effort to get ourselves healthier as we approach the magic "43" this weekend. One thing that will change is that we plan on introducing more fish into our diet. I know I don't have to preach to you experienced foodies about the benefits of eating fish - Omega 3's, low cal, good protein, etc. But sometimes fish can get expensive, especially compared to other types of meat.

But sometimes the benefits outweigh the costs.

One fish I have always enjoyed eating is tilapia. It is, relatively speaking, inexpensive, and is not as oily as some other fish. Granted, this means that it does not have the Omega-3 content of, say, salmon, but nonetheless, it still contains some Omega-3 benefit. Plus, it is considered a "clean" fish, meaning that it is low in contaminants.

Tilapia is not without controversy, though. Dr. Kelly Weaver etal. at Wake Forest University (as mentioned here in the Seafood Source News) are suggesting that tilapia should not be eaten because the levels of Omega-3 are too low, but the fish contains high levels of Omega-6, a fatty acid thought to potentially increase the risk of blood clots, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancers. In a July 8 press release, the researchers state: "All other nutritional content aside, the inflammatory potential of hamburger and pork bacon is lower than the average serving of farmed tilapia." The article appears in the July 2008 edition of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

The July 2008 edition of the ADA Journal also includes a rebuttal by Dr. William Harris of the University of South Dakota, in which he, among other things, cites low fish samples and flawed USDA data to bring into question some of the results. And the Mayo Clinic's Nutrition-wise blog is suggesting that people should not alter their fish consumption (recommended: two servings of fish per week of different varieties) because of this study.

I tend to agree. I like tilapia, and will continue to use it as part of my family's diet.

The recipe I used to make my tilapia last night is not my own, but is this recipe from the Everyday Foods people at I have had the good fortune to become Twitter friends with two of the Everyday Foods editors, Deb Puchalla and Sandy Gluck, and they are posting new recipes and tips every day on their blog, Dinner Tonight. Please go visit them and say hello!

I made two different herb varieties, one with dill and one with tarragon. I also added a little more flavor by sprinkling each fillet with onion powder and garlic powder, then spritzing each fillet with lemon juice after baking. I served it on a bed of white rice with a side of freshly brewed iced tea. Totally awesome, totally GFCF!

The most important thing in our household, of course, is the kid factor. And the kids loved it! Definite 5 out of 4 (the finicky two year old counts as 2).

Happy fish eating!

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