Nutritionists often tout how small changes to a diet can make a big impact on a person’s health. Small lifestyle changes like taking a daily walk, drinking more water, eating more fruits and veggies, and trying a new food each week can make huge strides on a person’s quest to improve health and feel better. 

Adding two servings of fish to your meal rotation is another suggestion that many nutritionists and dieticians recommend to improve overall health. From improving heart health to reducing calories, meals that have a few ounces of fish can be the small change that can make a big difference. 

checking cholesterol levels under a microscope

What Scientists Say About the Addition of Fish

It may seem random to state that incorporating two servings of fish to a diet can help improve heart health, among other health impacts, but many scientists and nutrition experts stand by studies done on these small changes.

Science News published a report in 2018 entitled, “Keep saying yes to fish twice a week for heart health.” They began their report reaffirming “the American Heart Association’s recommendation to eat fish- especially those rich in Omega-3 fatty acids twice a week to help reduce the risk of heart failure, coronary heart disease, cardiac arrest and the most common type of stroke.”

The National Institute of Health takes this study even further to state that it’s not just the heart that can see benefits of twice weekly fish consumption, but the brain as well. They cite studies that have shown that people who eat fish every week have more grey matter in their brain (the part that regulates emotion and memory). 

The American Heart Association explains that to get the full health benefits as well as others such as: weight benefits, lowered BMI, lowered inflammation, vision improvement, and a decrease in depression symptoms one would need to eat, “two 3.5-ounce servings of non-fried fish, or about 3/4 cup of flaked fish, every week. That’s more than Americans typically eat: In 2012, the average seafood intake was 1.3 servings per week – slightly up from 1.1 servings a week in 1999.”

How to Get Two Servings in Each Week 

While you may agree that there are definite benefits to adding two servings of fish each week to your diet, you may also wonder how you will manage to incorporate fish each week. Here are a few ideas that could get you started. 

  • Add salmon to your breakfast sandwich.
  • Incorporate tuna or shrimp as a part of your lunch or side salad. 
  • Offer shrimp as an appetizer before your main meals. 
  • Add fish as a main part of your regular meals. For instance, if your family likes tacos with ground beef, offer some with fish as well. 

Two full meals do not need to revolve around a fish dish but rather squeeze the fish options into your regular meals to make your main offerings healthy choices. If you like to grill burgers, dogs, and steaks outdoors, add a few fillets of fish to have in addition.