Chew on This

Don’t like tuna? Try trout, a rich source for omega 3 fatty acids and potassium

Trout is a rich source for omega 3 fatty acids and potassium, needed to control blood pressure.
Trout is a rich source for omega 3 fatty acids and potassium, needed to control blood pressure. TNS

What do salmon, tuna, herring and sardines have in common? They are the fish usually promoted as being a rich source for omega 3 fatty acids. As I am in the mountains of North Carolina and our local fish is trout, I thought a deeper dive into trout nutrition would be interesting.

A relative of the salmon, rainbow trout is a freshwater fish. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, most rainbow trout on the U.S. market is farmed-raised in the U.S. The trout are grown in raceways that resemble free flowing rivers. The farms meet strict environmental standards. Because of this, the trout are sustainable and low in mercury and other contaminants.

A 3.3-ounce serving of rainbow trout has about 130 calories and 21 grams of protein. Additionally this small serving provides 125% of recommended daily vitamin D, 70% of vitamin B12 and 18% of selenium.

The trout also has 381 mg. of potassium. Adequate potassium intake is essential for controlling blood pressure.

By comparison, a banana has 420 mg of potassium. And the real standout is the 1,068 mg of the omega 3 fatty acids DHA + EPA. Omega 3 fatty acids are best known for heart health but also might have a protective role in brain health and certain types of cancer. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fatty fish a week.

Rainbow trout is a great alternative for people like my husband who do not like the taste of salmon or tuna. Its mild flavor lends itself to a variety of preparation styles. Trout can be grilled, baked or pan-fried. Crusted with almonds or pecans bumps up the nutrition, taste and fiber. I have been adding leftover trout from dinner into a morning omelet. I can’t wait to try this collection of recipes when I get home:

Sheah Rarback MS, RDN is voluntary faculty at the Miller School of Medicine