Healthy Throwback Food: Sardines!
Growing up in New Mexico, I remember eating some weird foods out of a can. Things like potted meat sandwiches, vienna sausages and canned green beans with tomato sauce. (Anyone ever had these things?)
These days I’m all about limiting processed food; it’s rare that I eat things from a can. But there is one weird childhood food that I’ve recently rediscovered…Canned Sardines!
I remember my mom opening a can of those small shiny fish, dicing up a red onion, mixing them together and making snack-sized sandwiches with saltine crackers.
A few weeks ago, I had a strong craving for those little sardine sandwiches. So as usual I began deconstructing my craving (What was it about sardine sandwiches that my body was asking for?) After a bit of research I figured it out. I was craving fat…good healthy fat.
Turns out sardines are one of the most concentrated sources of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have been shown to lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
ONE SERVING (3.25 ounce can) OF SARDINES CONTAINS OVER 50% OF THE DAILY VALUE OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS.
Sardines are also a top-notch source of vitamin D, which is critical for optimal health. If you read my recent post, you know very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. Add this one to your list!
Here’s how to select the healthiest canned sardines:
- choose ‘packed in olive oil’ or ‘packed in water’ over ‘packed in soybean oil’
- check the expiration date to ensure they’re fresh
- look for ‘Pacific Sardines’ on the label.
This type has been featured on the Super Green List of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. To receive this designation a fish needs to be among their best choices for sustainability (good for the planet), provide at least 250 mg of omega-3s (the good stuff) in an 8-ounce serving, and contain low levels of mercury and PCBs (the bad stuff).
I make them just like mom did, chopped up with some diced red onion. Only difference is I substitute the saltine for a gluten-free cracker
Here’s to a healthy heart!
Lots of Love,