One of the most debated issues today is the issue of healthiness of foods. Today, we're going to steer the argument forward by comparing fish and meat.
Fish and meat are delicacies eaten almost everyday by everyone, so, we shouldn't be kept in the dark about what we eat.
Let's start by reviewing what they can do for us.
Who doesn't know fish?
Fishes are natural seafood rich in many vitamins and minerals and contains protein of high biological value.
Fishes also contain Omega-3 fatty acids and DHA (confused? That means Docosahexaenoic Acid).
These make fish one of the most essential foods for healthy growth and development, --and personally, my favourite.
There are mainly two types of fish, fatty fish and lean fish.
Salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are some healthy and rich varieties of fish.
Remember, we're comparing fish and meat and trying to bring out the better.
Is fish better than meat, or is it the other way round?
To make any valid and fair conclusion, we should take a look at the nutritional value of fish.
Nutritional Information Of Fish.
For a 100 grams serving of an average fish (no added fats during preparation).
A 100 grams serving of fish contains 84 calories, wow. And the recommended daily amount stays at about 2000.
So, I still have 1,816 calories eatable after enjoying 100 grams of fish. That's far below that of beef which is...
I'll tell you when it's time.
Anyway, the some of the other nutrients contained in 100 grams of fish are as follows.
Total fat content is 0.92g which is about 1% of the recommended daily intake.
Saturated fats: 0.195g
The total cholesterol content is 58mg which is about 19% of the recommended daily dietary cholesterol intake.
Sodium: 81mg and 3% of the RDA (Recommended Daily Amount).
Fish contains no carbohydrates, dietary fiber or sugars. This is something that people like you and I trying to lose weight will love.
However in a 100 grams serving of fish, we get 17.76 grams of protein, 13 milligrams of calcium and 351 milligrams of potassium.
It also contains iron, vitamins A and C in micro quantities.
And So What...
To many people, maybe including you, those are just numbers and percentages compiled by health oriented scientists.
But in actuality it's not.
What does the nutritional information mean?
How is it going to be of benefit?
To answer your questions, I'm going to let you know about the importance of fish.
What Are The Importance Of Fish?
Fishes are very important in many ways.
They are important for almost all of our organs and systems to perform functionally.
The nutrients mainly supplied by fish work excellently to ensure the normality of the body in aspects such as.
Brain and Eye.
The abundant presence of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and DHA (already told you the meaning) help the growth and development of brain tissues.
Good eyesight is also maintained as these nutrients reside in and nourishes the retina.
In this way, fish will help in maintaining good eyesight and develop your brain.
So you couldn't finish a twenty pages book because you had difficulty focusing on what you just read?
Grab some fish!
Some important nutrients abundant in fish are good for promoting your concentration level. This may lead to good behaviour and reading skills.
Fish is also known to prevent ADHD (don't worry, it means Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Take up a good dictionary and look up the words to find it's meanings.
Suffering from insomnia? -- get a fish.
Some types of fishes, such as salmon contains a special amino acid called tryptophan.
Tryptophan is naturally a sedative agent and will make you sleep, and, as you know, it's relaxing to sleep.
No wonder I sleep like a baby whenever I eat fish.
Heart attack and stroke are the two most common causes of premature death in the world.
They're both caused by treating your heart unfairly.
Eating heart-healthy foods will significantly reduce the risk of the two diseases drastically. And...
Researches show that fish is one of the most heart healthy foods you can eat.
In fact, a large study on more than 40,000 men in the United States revealed that eating one or more servings of fish per week will reduce your risk of developing heart diseases by 15%.
Afraid of stroke? --pick up that fish!
Asthma is a chronic illness which main symptom is the inflammation of the airways.
It is a serious illness and rates of getting asthma is increasing stealthily over the decades.
Is fish any good for asthma?
According to a study, regular fish intake will decrease your child's rate of getting asthma by 24%, --and what about you, the adult?
No significant change was detected!
Risk Of Cancer.
If you're asked to mention the most feared diseases now, you say...
Diabetes, --and then...
What if I'm to tell you about something that could help you prevent the harshest types of cancer, will you be willing to learn?
Well, eating fish regularly, about three times a week will do that.
It reduces the risk of a lot of cancers, oral, colon, breast, prostate and ovarian cancer due to its richness in omega 3 fatty acids.
Some fish also contain a substance known as selenium. Selenium creates an enzyme which helps the body to prevent cancer.
Fish here, fish there.
Do that mean you should eat every fish that comes your way?
That's at your own risk.
Are All Fishes Healthy?
If we're going by the natural state of fish, adding no external fat while cooking and cooking the fish PERFECTLY well, almost all fishes are healthy.
Although there are a few fish, either endangered or may be dangerous in some ways.
Also, some cooking practices may drastically affect the nutritional value of the popular seafoods.
Species like the Bluefin Tuna, Orange Roughly, Mahi Mahi and Halibut are among the fish marked 'Avoid', according to this Eatingwell article.
Also, about cooking practices.
What are the best ways to cook fishes?
There are many different ways by which fish are cooked. These may include;
- Grilling: Using extreme heat from below.
- Broiling: Using extreme heat from above.
- Pan Frying: Frying using little amount of fat.
- Deep Frying: Frying using a large amount of fat.
- Poaching: Submerging in water or some other liquid and heating in the oven.
- Steaming: Using hot vaporized water to cook.
- Microwaving: Cooking using waves of energy.
- Baking: Using dry heat, most commonly in an oven.
It goes on and on, the list is endless.
Then what is the best method?
In order to preserve all useful nutrients without adding more calories and fats, microwaving is best and deep-frying is of course, --worst.
That will be all on fish for now. Without wasting much time, let's move. We need to know the winner today.
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Don't tell me you don't know meat.
Also rich sources of protein and iron, meat is the flesh of animals that you feel you can eat.
As some scientists argue that fish is also a kind of meat, I'll be referring to the actual meat I'm talking about.
But anywhere you see me use meat, take it as beef.
In fact, we're taking beef as meat here. It's widely known, popular.
The question, is meat healthier than fish? We're going to arrive at a conclusion today.
As we did with fish, let's see the nutritional information for 100 grams of broiled lean meat (beef), with 10% fat content.
- Calories 217
- Water 61%
- Protein 26.1 grams
- Carbohydrates 0 grams.
- Sugar 0 grams.
- Fiber 0 grams
- Fat 11.8 grams
When you compare the statistics of the two foods, what do you discover?
The main difference between fish and meat is that while fish contains all needed nutrients in moderation, meat contains it in excess.
But not to be bias, lemme do what I did in the case of fish.
What did I do?
I outlined the importance, and for the meat part...
Importance Of Fish
Amino acids are a kind of nutrients utilised by the body in a variety of ways. It is mainly used by the body to build muscles, strengthen the immune system and help maintain a normal metabolism.
Accounts for the reason bodybuilders needs plenty of a specific amino acid, creatine to build muscles.
However, we cannot produce them naturally and the only hope we have is through adequate dieting, and one of the foods that guarantees availability of amino acids is what we're talking about, --meat.
So, you wanna be a bodybuilder, --you need meat!
Did you know?
Africa is suffering from protein deficiency.
Apart from beans, all other foods with protein in west Africa are minor foods, --can't be served alone.
This tells us something.
We need more protein!
How do we get it?
Turn to meat!
According to the above nutritional information, more than 26% of lean meat is protein.
This means, meat contains more protein than dairy (8g per cup) and eggs (6g each).
Wait, how am I sure you know what protein does?
Protein, as defined by our good old science teacher, builds new cells and repairs worn out cells.
Protein develops and repairs your muscles. So, if you're short in blood, bones or cartilage, what you need is protein.
As claimed by MyMeatUp.org, protein may help you manage and even lose weight.
While counting on the filling effects of meat, they claimed it will keep you full for longer periods.
This will help you eliminate hunger and food cravings.
Also, animal fat has a greater positive effect on weight loss than plant protein, they completed.
But as their claim was not backed with any instance of scientific research, I couldn't assure you that is the truth, and of course, I won't disappoint meat lovers by totally classifying it as a lie.
Natural Source Of Vitamin B12.
All vitamins are healthy, --that's a fact!
Meat is a natural source of vitamin B12, -- that's a fact too!
What do we need vitamin B12 for?
Almost everything. From making sure the brain and nervous system function normally, to coordinating the metabolic rate of the body to normal and maintaining high energy levels.
If you're not interested in foods naturally containing B12, then you must add it using supplements.
All Essential Nutrients.
Meats contain almost all essential nutrients needed for optimal health.
Nutrients like choline, various vitamins, zinc, phosphorus, thiamin, riboflavin, etc.
These nutrients will help you in your nervous system development, produce energy, repairs cells and muscles and even maintain normal blood pressure.
The absence of these kinds of nutrients in the body may lead to many health issues that could easily have been prevented by...
When there is a significant reduction of blood (or red blood cells) in the body, it will reduce the ability of the body to carry oxygen.
This condition is known as anaemia. Anaemia symptoms are tiredness and weakness.
One of the main causes of anaemia is iron deficiency.
When there is shortage of the nutrient (iron) in the body, the body is prone to anaemia.
All types of meat contains iron, popularly in the heme form, which is absorbed by the body better than non-heme iron, gotten from plant sources of course.
I know meat lovers will be jumping by now.
So, let me introduce something else into this story.
And it's nothing else but...
The Downsides Of Eating Meat
As eating meat is associated with a lot of importance, it also has it's own disadvantages which will be treated in this part of the article.
As with fish, some cooking methods can also change the nutritional effects of meat, however, we're not dwelling on that.
There are many health issues that could arise from eating meat.
Ever heard of the diet-heart hypothesis?
The diet-heart hypothesis is simply the idea that saturated fats is linked to increasing cholesterol levels, thereby increasing risk of heart diseases.
However, the diet-heart hypothesis is largely controversial and still debated.
Many studies indicate no relationship between saturated fats and heart disease.
If you'd be safe, decrease your intake of saturated fats.
If you love meat and you're worried about saturated fats, go for lean meat, which has now shown to have positive effects on cholesterol levels.
Remember I said meat contains heme iron. Also, when meat is overcooked, it produces Heterocyclic Amines.
These substances collaborate to increase the rate of developing a specific cancer known as Colon cancer.
The message is simple; "If you fear cancer, fear meat."
Can you stand the thought of having a worm in your stomach?
It makes me sick.
But do you know that undercooked meat may cause an internal worm that may reach a length of 13 to 33 feet (normally longer than you).
The beef tapeworm normally has mild symptoms but on severe cases may cause weight loss, abdominal pain and nausea.
Which Is Healthier Between Fish And Meat
And the winner is...
This is what we've all been waiting for.
Which is the answer to our puzzle: "The healthiest between meat and fish."
If we carefully look at the data, we discover that meat may be just as healthy as fish.
However, looking back again, we discover that the risks associated with fish consumption is not half as much as that of meat.
Also, the heart friendliness will make it a popular alternative for many.
For today, according to the advancement in research, fish is still the most healthy.
However, with the latest researches going on, meat may be clarified better than fish in the nearest future.
Do you agree with my argument?
If not, you can leave your argument below, --in the comments of course.