If you know how to cook catfish, it may be one of your favorite dishes to have on a regular basis. In fact, catfish is one of the most popular types of fish in the United States.
Although its taste and low price make it a popular option, some may not think of catfish as being especially healthy.
Why Catfish is Healthy
You’ve probably heard of the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. This type of fat is known as the “good fat” for reducing inflammation and blood pressure.
Catfish contains omega-3 fats, but they’re high in omega-6 fatty acids as well. Like omega-3s, these are unsaturated fats and help to lower your cholesterol. Omega-6 fats also play a role in blood clotting, an important part of the healing process during an injury.
Other nutrients found in catfish are complete proteins, which your body needs to build lean muscle mass. One three-ounce serving of catfish contains 15.7 grams of protein. Catfish also contains vitamin B-12, which helps to regulate your metabolism and energy throughout the day.
Another benefit of this fish is found in what it doesn’t contain: Almost all fish contain mercury, a hazardous metal, but catfish are usually relatively low in this element.
Cooking Them (Healthily)
Although this fish contributes to a balanced diet, you can lose some nutrients if you fry it. Baking and broiling catfish are healthier alternatives, which also helps maintain its natural flavor.
Tomatillo Salsa Catfish
One great twist on this traditional southern dish is to bake catfish with a tomatillo salsa. The salsa adds a flavorful punch that goes well with the fish’s flaky consistency.
To get started, make up a fresh tomatillo salsa by combining these ingredients together:
- 1 pound roasted tomatillos
- 1 chopped onion (medium)
- 1 minced jalapeno pepper
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
- Juice of one lime
Next, in a shallow pan, place approximately four pieces of catfish, add salt and pepper, and top with about one cup of salsa. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.
If tomatillo salsa isn’t for you, you can make this dish with almost any type of salsa.
Another great idea for preparing catfish is to bread and bake it. And you can make your own breading quickly.
Gather up a mixture of flour, spices like garlic, pepper, paprika or others, and nuts — such as pecans. After dipping the fish in a milk and egg bath, dredge the item in your flour mixture and place it on a pan.
Bake in a high-temperature oven, and you’ll get the same crispy texture as frying without the fat. Use these ideas to get started and then modify the ingredients to get the taste you want.
When looking to learn to cook catfish, you can find a variety of options without sacrificing nutritional value or flavor. And it’s an inexpensive way to include fish in your diet regularly.
Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on bcbst.com. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.