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The Fatty Fish 411, and the Truth About Extreme Dieting!
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The Fatty Fish 411, and the Truth About Extreme Dieting!

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10.02.13
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Hi HG,

I'm trying to explore the world of seafood. I've heard that some fish, like salmon, are very high in fat. Can you give me the lowdown?

Wondering in Washington

Hey Wondering,

Great question... I love fish! Some are very low in fat, like tilapia, cod, and sea bass. A 4-oz. cooked portion has 120 - 145 calories and 1 - 3g fat (PointsPlus® value 3*). And some are known as fatty fish or oily fish, like trout and most types of salmon. A 4-oz. cooked portion of these has 215 - 260 calories and 10 - 15g fat (PointsPlus® value 5 - 7*).

Here's the important part: While some fish are fattier than others, they're actually packed with healthy fats, a.k.a. omega-3s. These are known for their heart-health benefits. The American Heart Association actually recommends that people eat fish rich in omega-3s at least twice a week. We all need fat in our diets, so make it the healthy kind!

When dining out, keep your meal guilt-free by ordering the omega-heavy fish broiled, baked, grilled, or steamed. No need to add extra fat by having it sautéed or fried in oil. Skip buttery or creamy sauces too. If the fish portion is gigantic, don't eat it all. (Take the rest home.) And fill out your meal with lots of steamed veggies!

Wanna DIY with HG recipes? Whip up this Crispy Creamy Salmon Bake or Scoopy Salmon Salad. For breakfast, enjoy a Foxy Lox-Topped Waffle! And this Sesame Salmon & Snap Peas en Foil pack is OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD good!

Happy chewing!

Hungry Girl,

I keep hearing about extreme dieting -- fasting, cleanses, etc. -- among celebrities as a way to lose weight quickly. What do you think about these crazes?

Extremely Curious Emily

Hi Emily,

First of all, it's called extreme dieting for a reason -- it's severe and can even be dangerous. Here's what you need to know...

Celebs often have expensive health professionals on call. You may be tempted to try a starlet's get-into-superhero-shape diet, but keep in mind that celebrities preparing for a role are usually monitored by health professionals throughout the process. This kind of precaution isn't realistic for the average person.

Fasting and cleanses could actually lead to weight gain. Abstaining from food slows down your metabolic rate, so your body will go into "store fat" mode once you resume your normal diet. Not ideal! If you want to lose weight, you're MUCH better off adopting lifestyle choices you can maintain.

Clean-eating basics. The type of detox I DO support is "clean eating." While there are many packaged foods that I love, when I want to really clean up my diet, I tend to stick with the all-natural stuff: fresh fruit (Fuji apples, strawberries, and raspberries are some of my favorites), lean protein (like grilled chicken and shrimp cocktail), and lots of veggies (I love enormous salads and steamed sugar snap peas). I also cut down on starchy carbs. And I drink TONS of water. It's a good way to flush out your system and keep yourself hydrated. Stick with the plain stuff, or add a squirt of lemon.

Overall, if you want to jump-start your weight loss, my suggestion would be to skip the fad diets and go for tried-and-true healthy eating and calorie counting. Speaking of which, click here for a great calculator to help determine your calorie needs!

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*The PointsPlus® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

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