New Year, New You, New Plate

“Get healthy” is the top-searched New Year’s resolution on Google, according to a recent article from NBC News. It was searched for nearly 63 million times.

Ideally, a new year presents a perfect time to make a resolution to get fit or lose weight. But are you ready for a lifestyle change? Individuals who break down their resolutions into smaller, more manageable steps have a higher rate of accomplishing those resolutions. If you are searching for a healthier lifestyle, I suggest you start with the Healthy Heart Pledge.

The Healthy Heart Pledge is a commitment to yourself that includes the following components:

  • I pledge to eat two servings of seafood each week.
  • I recognize seafood is a healthy choice for me and my family. It is one of the leanest proteins with a variety of nutrients beneficial to heart and brain health.
  • I know I will help myself and my family improve our health by committing to eat at least two servings of seafood each week as recommended by the USDA HHS Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and supplement with omega-3s.

The Seafood Nutrition Partnership aims to reduce the risks of heart disease, improve baby brain wellness and increase memory for seniors by educating Americans about the health benefits of sustainable seafood and building awareness of seafood’s essential nutritional value.

See more at this link: http://www.seafoodnutrition.org/healthy-heart-pledge.html

Seafood is such a great source of lean protein—that’s just one reason why I suggest you start here for your “get healthy” resolutions. The American Heart Association also recommends eating fatty fish at least twice each week because of the health benefits to the heart including decreased risk of arrhythmias (which can lead to sudden death), decreased triglyceride levels and perhaps a slightly lower blood pressure. There are also many studies looking at the benefits of omega-3 fats for brain and joint health.

With all these health benefits it is imperative to figure out how to fit this selection into your weekly meal plan. Fatty fish incudes fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and trout.

Get creative with the ways you incorporate seafood into your diet so it doesn’t get cumbersome. Let’s start with my favorite fatty fish—salmon! Salmon is very versatile. If you’re tired of eating a simple salmon filet over and over again, this fish is one that can be switched up! Try salmon the following ways:

  • Salmon pizza. It may sound odd to some, but it tastes delicious! For a healthy swap use a whole-wheat pizza crust and, instead of alfredo sauce, use fat-free cream cheese. Try the recipe here.
  • Salmon Cakes
  • Salmon club with avocado: 2 slices of whole-wheat toast with grilled salmon and smashed avocado.
  • Pistachio encrusted salmon—see the recipe below.

Pistachio Crusted Salmon

Serves 4

All you need:

  • ½ cup pistachios
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 (5 oz.) Responsible Choice salmon

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Crush pistachios. Combine pistachios, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Dredge salmon in pistachio mixture, pressing gently to coat.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until flaky.

“I’m On a Seafood Diet. I See Food, and I Eat It”

Deciding to lose weight over the holidays sometimes seems like a losing game, so it’s important when entertaining guests to offer options to help keep your family and friends’ health goals afloat. Whether it’s you or your guests choosing a healthy lifestyle, you can offer options supporting healthy food choices, even through the holidays. Every decision – from creating a menu to choosing a location for socializing – can have an impact on the success of you and your loved ones. Here are some helpful dietitian hints to assist you through the holiday season without adding inches to your guests’ waistline:

  1. It seems like everyone has the munchies during the holidays. To lighten up your appetizer menu, try offering raw veggies and Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice shrimp cocktail instead of hot (often fried or cream cheese-filled) hors d’oeuvres. Veggie platters are always a big hit. To keep them low-fat, make a dip with fat-free sour cream or plain Greek yogurt instead of using mayonnaise and cream cheese. Include a bean dip with a whole-wheat cracker and fruit kabobs to incorporate some fiber-rich foods.
  2. Incorporating a salad to start your meal is a great way to let your guests fill up on some nutrient-dense foods that will help them with portion control later in the meal. Serve a large green leafy lettuce salad topped with fresh cranberries, orange wedges and raw walnuts to add some flair to your old-school boring salad. Serve your dressing options on the side so your guests can decide how much they would like to have.
  3. ‘Tis the season for seafood when it comes to your main course! The USDA’s MyPlate nutrition guidelines educate consumers to incorporate seafood as a protein a few times a week. Anything from Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice options – salmon, lobster and our famous Alaskan crab legs – can be a great way to impress your guests with a healthy alternative and a twist on the traditional holiday dinner.
  4. Cut your dessert options into half-size or even bite-size portions. This allows your company to feel like they can indulge in a dessert option but not in a large piece. Offer healthier dessert options like baked apples or poached pears. Both are a delicious choice without all the added sugar.
  5. Instead of having only high-calorie beverage options such as wine, eggnog, sodas and juices, include options such as sugar-free hot apple cider, hot herbal tea and fruit-infused waters. These contain fewer calories and sugar and are still refreshing.
  6. Allow your guests to serve themselves. This puts them in control of their portions and allows them to make decisions about what and how much they will eat.
  7. Don’t force your guests to socialize around the food the whole time. Instead offer small appetizer plates near the food and bring the fun to another room in your home. Put some distance between the food and your company to help decrease the temptation to overeat.

It’s human nature that the more choices we offer, the more our company will eat, so instead of overdoing it at your holiday party, plan your menu accordingly. By simply making a few substitutions and lightening up your favorite dishes, you can allow your loved ones to indulge in all of their favorite scrumptious goodies without sabotaging their waist line.

Keep Calm and Eat Fish Tacos

There’s something wonderful about traveling and experiencing different foods and flavors. Two weeks ago, my family and I spent time in Florida, and one item that I noticed as a staple on every menu is fish tacos.

Mahi Mahi Tacos seem to be one of the most popular fish tacos in Florida. Not only are they delicious, but very nutritious. Mahi mahi is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs for survival; it is also a source of heme iron, which is a type of iron that is more readily available for absorption in the body.

When making fish tacos at home, you can choose from a variety of fresh and Responsible Choice fish from your local Hy-Vee seafood counter. Some of my favorites are halibut, tilapia, shrimp and, of course, mahi mahi!

Blackened seasoning adds a lot of flavor to fish tacos. For a basic blackened seasoning, try mixing 1 teaspoon each of:

  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • chili powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • paprika
  • white pepper

Just stir the spices together and store in an air-tight container until ready to use. Pat or sprinkle the seasoning on the fresh fish of your choice, prior to baking, pan-frying or grilling.

One way to add delicious nutrition to your tacos is to add a fresh topping. Two of my favorites include mango salsa and avocado cream sauce.

Just one cup of mangoes provides you with 12 percent of your daily fiber needs which helps you feel full faster and may help support weight management. Mangoes also contain more than 20 different vitamins and minerals.

Avocados are an excellent source of potassium, vitamins C and A, and folic acid.

I’ve included my favorite fresh fish taco topping recipes below. Perhaps you and your family and friends can try a new spin on tacos.


Mango Salsa

Serves 8.

All you need:

  • 2 firm but ripe mangos, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 firm but ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 tbsp seeded and minced Serrano pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

All you do:

  1. Combine mangos, avocados, Serrano pepper, red onion, red bell pepper and cilantro. Whisk together lime zest and juice, chili powder and olive oil. Stir into mango mixture.
  2. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Avocado Cream Sauce

All you need:

  • ½ cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

All you do:

  1. Pulse yogurt, avocado, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until smooth.

Don’t Be A Chicken About Seafood!

There’s no need to be afraid when it comes to cooking and eating seafood. If you select the right seafood, and choose simple cooking methods, you can rest assured your dish will not only please your family’s taste buds, but also put them on the path to a healthy future.

Why is seafood the superhero of the kitchen? Eating seafood two to three times per week may reduce your risk of heart disease and can help maintain brain health. Seafood contains several healthy nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamins like A, E, D and C, and it doesn’t have all the saturated fat as the same serving of other protein choices.

Here’s even more good news— anyone can cook seafood! The key to whipping up a spectacular fish-based dish that satisfies the entire family is to make the right selections: the right type of fish, the right cooking methods and the right recipes.

If you think you don’t like fish, remember that the flavor of these foods is considered to be the most variable among our basic foods. Different types of fish have completely different flavors and textures —“fishy” does not describe the majority of fish. Explore the sea and you’ll soon see the deliciousness it has to offer.

Fish cook differently than meat; they are more delicate and cook at a faster rate. The best tool that any chef or home cook has in cooking fish is an instant-read thermometer, because fish can quickly go from being undone to overdone in a matter of minutes. Periodically check the temperature with a thermometer so you know when the final cooking point is nearing. Fish should be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, or until flesh is opaque and flakes with a fork.

If you are dealing with picky eaters, try incorporating fish into recipes that are familiar—such as tacos or burgers. The familiarity of those foods may make it easier for fish “newbies” to try (and hopefully enjoy) eating fish. Also, be sure to choose fresh, Responsible Choice fish from your Hy-Vee Seafood department. Fresh fish should never smell “fishy;” instead they should smell like saltwater and the sea coast or have a very faint (not strong) fish odor.

Your local Hy-Vee seafood department is here for all your seafood needs. Our commitment to protect the ocean resources through our Responsible Choice program is an integral part of our sustainability mission to do business in a manner that promotes the well-being of our customers, employees, communities and the global environment. It’s just one reason why I’m so proud to be a part of the Hy-Vee team! Look for Responsible Choice seafood at your Hy-Vee today.

Adding Responsible Choice Seafood to Your Traditional Christmas Dinner

Responsible Choice seafood is a delicious and easy way to improve your health year-round, and it is a great way to bring a lighter dish to your holiday table.

The American Heart Association recommends consuming fish two times per week with servings of 3.5 ounces or about 3/4 cup of flaked fish. Seafood is naturally high in essential vitamins like A, E, D and C and minerals like zinc, iron, calcium and selenium. Seafood is also low in calories, and cholesterol in shellfish is equal to the amount of cholesterol in lean beef.

Yet traditional holiday dinners often include other main courses such as turkey, ham, roasts or prime rib. For a flavorful and nutritious dinner option, consider adding Responsible Choice seafood to your spread using fatty fish such as wild Alaska salmon, Hy-Vee Select canned pole and troll albacore tuna or U.S.-farmed rainbow trout. Fatty fish tend to be higher in omega-3 fatty acids which have several health benefits that may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce inflammation and assist with brain function. Most seafood has no saturated fat content, which will provide a great option for your guests watching their fat intake.

Don’t know how to add Responsible Choice seafood to your Christmas dinner? Here are a variety of delicious, healthy ideas:

  • Marinate and grill in aluminum foil
  • Use in casseroles instead of beef or chicken
  • Use in sandwiches and salads for a lean protein
  • Pan-fry in a small amount of olive oil with your favorite herbs and seasonings
  • Use in a stir-fry with your favorite vegetables
  • Incorporate into a light pasta dish
  • Use in your favorite soup and stew recipes

Hy-Vee makes it easy for you to make these healthy choices for the holidays. Hy-Vee Responsible Choice seafood comes from the best, top-quality suppliers in the industry. Hy-Vee employs a full-time, in-house U.S. Department of Commerce federal inspector, and the seafood program is U.S. Federal Drug Administration and Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point-approved. Our warehouse has fresh seafood arriving daily by plane or truck and it’s lot-inspected for quality and wholesomeness.

Look for Responsible Choice seafood at your local Hy-Vee today.

Grilling Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Seafood: Let the Grill Do the Work

Grilling is one of the best ways to prepare Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice fish and seafood in the summertime, but it also can be intimidating. Fish is so delicate that a few wrong steps can cause the fish to fall apart

Two of the top tips are to touch the fish no more than necessary – let the direct heat of the grill do the work for you – and to start with a clean surface lightly sprayed with Hy-Vee non-stick cooking spray.

Wild salmon, which is coming into our stores fresh from Alaska for the next couple of months, is great on the grill. So are halibut steaks, swordfish and tuna. Other fish can work well with some extra precaution, and I’ll get to that later.

Plank it:

A popular way to prepare wild salmon is to cook it on cedar planks, which adds nice smokiness and a cedar flavor to the fish. To plank salmon, just soak the plank in water overnight.

Or, if you want to infuse some other flavors, try soaking the planks in smoked porter beer or an oaked chardonnay.

Pouch it:

If you don’t want to take a chance of the fish sticking, cook it en papillote, which literally means cooking “in paper.” If you’re using parchment paper, as the French recommend, use medium-high indirect heat. Add a little white wine, some fresh herbs and vegetables or citrus fruits, like lemon, orange or grapefruit, and you’ve got a meal in a bag.

A foil pouch also works. Just make sure you poke a few holes in the foil to allow the smoke flavor to infuse.

Marinate it in alcohol:

An alcohol marinade can release a new flavor sensation, but be sure not to overdo it. Alcohol is great for tenderizing meat, so don’t overdo it – 30 minutes tops, just long enough to infuse the flavor. If the fish is in the marinade too long, especially if it’s an acidic marinade, the proteins can begin to coagulate and the cooking process can begin.

Some combinations to think about include tequila-lime scallops, bourbon and brown sugar-glazed wild salmon, whiskey and brown sugar-glazed wild salmon, and vodka and wild salmon.

Skin on or off:

This is a matter of preference. If you’re going to remove the skin, start with the presentation side down on the grill, and flip it only one time, after about 4 minutes.

If you’re going to leave the skin on, that’s the presentation side and there’s no need to flip it. Just make sure the skin is crispy and not mushy.

Again, you don’t want to mess with it too much. It will release itself from the grill when it is cooked. Moving it around on the grill tears up the flesh.

Other fish:

Catfish, tilapia and some of the more delicate white fishes generally don’t hold up well during grilling, but you can still enjoy them. Hy-Vee sells stainless steel fish baskets that will hold them together.

Whole rainbow trout also works well. Score the skin on both sides and slip citrus and herbs under the skin to add more flavor. Some of the herbs that work well include thyme, tarragon, fennel, dill, rosemary and oregano.

Don’t ever do this:

One thing you never want to do is re-cook shrimp. You can reheat it briefly – 30 seconds tops –  but any more than that will make it a rubbery mess.

A good way to grill raw, deveined shrimp is to skewer, add some lemon and pepper and grill a couple of minutes on each side. Be sure you use some of the larger shrimp available in our seafood cases. Shrimp is not a Responsible Choice at Hy-Vee yet, but we’re working on it and will have shrimp that meets our environmental standards by the end of 2015.

Don’t overcook it:

One of the common mistakes in grilling fish is to overcook it. Here’s a guide:

Fillets (tilapia and catfish): 1/2- to 3/4-inch thickness, medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes

Firm steaks (halibut, wild salmon, tuna, swordfish): 1-inch thickness, medium to medium-high heat, 10 minutes

Lobster tails: 8- to 10-ounce, medium heat, 8 to 10 minutes

Raw shrimp (not a Responsible Choice): 21- to 25-count per pound, medium heat, 4 to 5 minutes; under 10-count per pound, 6 to 8 minutes, medium heat

Farmed scallops, clams, mussels: under 12 per pound, medium heat, 4 to 5 minutes

Recipe highlight: Sockeye salmon is in season, fresh and a responsible choice option

Sockeye salmon is in season now and is arriving fresh daily at Hy-Vee.

Because it’s from Alaska, where sustainability of the seafood industry, the state’s largest employer, is so important it’s written into the state Constitution, Hy-Vee’s customers have the satisfaction of knowing that the salmon comes from the best managed fisheries in the world.

The question isn’t so much whether you want to serve it to your family – of course you do, because it’s one of the healthiest species of seafood in our cases– but how to prepare it in a variety of ways.

I like this recipe because it offers a different take on preparing salmon. Salmon is a great grilling fish, but if you don’t have access to a grill or just prefer to cook inside, consider this recipe. It’s baked in the oven.

People don’t often think about using cheese when they prepare seafood, but the result with this recipe is a very creamy and very approachable taste, especially for new seafood eaters.

This recipe is very filling and meets several MyPlate requirements, offering protein, vegetables and dairy. It’s a perfect recipe for a crowd and is guaranteed to please.


Spinach and Artichoke Salmon

All you need:

  • 1 pound sockeye salmon fillet
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup Hy-Vee garlic aioli
  • 1/4 cup canned artichokes, then pureed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place salmon fillet on the baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Layer the spinach on top of the salmon in a very thin layer, so it covers the surface of the fish completely.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the aioli and artichoke puree; spread it evenly on top of spinach. Top with shredded Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
  4. Bake in the oven for 14 to 16 minutes, then broil for 2 to 4 minutes, until cheese is golden brown.

Recipe Spotlight: Create a Healthy Meal Plan with Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Seafood and MyPlate

Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you have to stock your refrigerator and pantry with bland, boring foods and give up everything that tastes good.

In fact, the opposite is true. The proof is in the taste. Try this meal of Triple Berry Wild Salmon with Quinoa Pilaf and Mixed Salad Greens.

This menu plan uses fresh Alaskan salmon, a Responsible Choice option that will be available in Hy-Vee seafood cases through fall. When customers see the Responsible Choice label, they can feel confident the fish they’re purchasing was caught using catch or farming methods that protect the oceans and sea life for future generations.

It also follows MyPlate recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that divides foods into five groups: protein, fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy. This menu plan contains four of the five food groups, and you can always meet the dairy requirement with a glass of milk or low-fat frozen yogurt or similar healthy dairy-based dessert.


Triple Berry Wild Salmon

Serves 2

All you need:

  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped onions
  • 8 oz fresh Responsible Choice Alaska salmon
  • 5 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 tbsp orange juice, optional

All you do:

  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and brown slightly.
  2. Add salmon and asparagus; cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add berries. They will release juices, but if the pan looks dry, stir in the orange juice.
  4. Cook until the salmon is cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Source: recipes.sparkpeople.com


Quinoa Pilaf

Serves 6

All you need:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed thoroughly in a fine sieve
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

All you do:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet, on medium-high heat. Add onion; cook until soft, 3 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, carrots and red pepper, cooking until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add quinoa and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  5. Stir in peas, salt and black pepper to taste.

Source: Suite 101.com


Mixed Greens
Use a combination of any of the following bitter and mild greens. Serve Triple Berry Salmon on top of greens or as desired.
Torn peppery and/or bitter greens: frisee, watercress, radicchio or arugula.
Mild greens: lettuce, baby spinach or baby romaine.

Follow MyPlate! Guidelines So You Don’t Blow the Benefits of a Heart-Healthy Responsible Choice Seafood Diet

myPlate

If you’re adding fish to your diet to maintain heart health – and you should – it’s easy to cancel out those benefits by filling the rest of your plate with unhealthy choices.

The best way to avoid this trap is to follow the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s MyPlate! guidelines. A quarter of the plate is protein, in this case, heart-healthy fish; half of the plate is fruits and vegetables; and the final quarter is grains.

For grains, choose a brown rice or whole-grain pasta. A trendy option is high-protein, gluten-free quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), which is often used as a replacement for oatmeal or brown rice. You can make it savory by adding soy sauce and herbs and spices, or use it in a cold salad with peppers, onions and black beans, tossed in an oil and vinegar dressing.

Many people don’t get enough vegetables, so be sure to include a nice, large serving. There are no unhealthy vegetables. If it comes from the ground and is made in the dirt and not in the factory, it’s going to be good for us and have health benefits. But we can do some unbeneficial things to vegetables by putting too much oil or salt in it during processing.

There are two categories of vegetables – starchy and non-starchy. The starchy vegetables are potatoes, peas, corn and legumes. They’re still very nutritious, but they have higher calories. For those who are adding more fish to their diets for heart health, or weight and diabetes control, limiting quantities is important.

One vegetable in this group that gets a bad rap because it contains carbohydrates is the white potato, but potatoes also contain beneficial nutrients, antioxidants and fiber. Again, portion control is the key. Choose portions the size of a fist, not a shoe. Some salt, pepper and butter are OK, but if you add sour cream, cheese and bacon bits, or process the potatoes into chips, you’re losing the benefits.

The non-starchy vegetables include everything else – tomatoes, green beans, cauliflower, eggplant, onions and so forth. You can eat these in unlimited quantities, but again, watch what you’re topping the with, like heavy cheese sauces.

Finally, make sure that you’re getting enough fruit, which also contains antioxidants and fiber. Because fruits can cause a rise in blood sugar, watch your intake and the amount you eating, especially if you’re diabetic. A good rule of thumb is a one-half cup portion, which has about 15 grams of carbohydrates. That’s an apple the size of a tennis ball.

If you can get three or four of these food groups in a meal, you’re doing a good job. Think about food as preventive medicine. I’m a big believer that the solution needs to be food, not a pill.

Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Seafood Soothes Your Conscience While Contributing to Heart and Brain Health

Hy-Vee’s new Responsible Choice seafood initiative is taking away some of the worry for people who want the health benefits of seafood, but don’t want to contribute to over-fishing and other practices that threaten the supply of seafood and damage the environment.

Dieticians recommended that people eat two to three servings – each in the 3- to 4-ounce range – of fish per week. We know there are health benefits, such as lowering the risk for strokes or heart attacks and increasing brain health, but research also suggests that eating more fish lowers the risk for certain kinds of cancer.

Salmon Filets with Cutting BoardThe top reason for that? Fish are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids.

Of the three essential Omega-3s – Eicosapentaenoic (EPA), docosahexaenoic (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – only EPA and DHA are found exclusively in seafood and marine algae.

ALA is also found in plants, such as flax, walnuts, chia and pumpkin seeds, and although it’s true that ALA can be converted by the body to EPA and DHA, the conversion rate is very low. Only a fraction of a percent is actually converted to EPA and DHA.

If you’re looking to improve your heart and brain health, salmon and tuna are great sources for Omega-3 acids, but so are trout, mackerel and herring. On the other hand, seafood species like shrimp, crab, lobster and clams have very little Omega-3 content.

That’s not to say they’re not healthy. They’re still extremely nutritious. Shrimp, for example, is a great source of protein.

Many times when people are trying to lose weight, they think the only answer is to cut back on what they eat. That can backfire, because it leaves them feeling hungry. Eating more protein can keep them feeling full and satisfied. That’s also helpful in maintaining blood sugars. When you increase your protein intake, you don’t have those highs and lows that can lead to hunger and lack of concentration.

If you want to lose weight, seafood is a great high-protein, low-calorie center-plate replacement that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. When adding more seafood to your diet as part of a weight-loss plan, look for nutrient dense species.

The calories you’re getting will be very well spent, because you’ll get a lot of nutrients with them – protein, beneficial fats and other nutrients. Clams for example, have 30 percent of your daily need for iron, as well calcium and other vitamins.

All seafood is beneficial. The only possible downside is mercury content – especially in shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel. Visit Hy-Vee’s seafood counter for more information about seafood species that are both low in mercury and Responsible Choices.

Besides looking at how the fish was caught and the effect on the ocean’s environment, Hy-Vee’s suppliers also consider seafood’s safety for consumption.