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How to Buy and Store Tilapia

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– Nutrition –

Widely available and affordable, this mild whitefish pairs nicely with just about everything.

Shop and Store

Efficiently farmed and distributed year-round, tilapia is often the freshest option at the market. Look for whole tilapia, if possible, and avoid previously frozen fillets; freezing can damage the fish’s delicate texture and spoil its mild flavor. As with most fresh fish, it’s best eaten as soon as possible, though it can last in the fridge for up to two days.

Aim for Eco-Friendly

As herbivores, tilapia are a sustainable alternative to farmed fish that feed on fishmeal. Because all varieties eat algae, they’re often raised in small bodies of water to reduce excessive algae blooms and improve water quality. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch gives its “best choice” stamp to tilapia farmed worldwide in indoor circulating tanks, Ecuadorian ponds, and Peruvian raceways. The organization recommends avoiding tilapia imported from China, where producers feed the fish antibiotics and raise them in nonsecure pens.

Know Your Nutrients

Tilapia is an excellent source of protein and contains several other important nutrients, including vitamin B12, niacin, and selenium, an antioxidant that may help counter some of the harmful effects of mercury and other heavy metals. Corn- and grain-fed tilapia often contain higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids than those fed on algae, so include some omega-3s in your diet to achieve the right balance. (Learn more about how omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids influence your health at “The Omega Balance”.)

Find Your Flavor

Its mild flavor makes tilapia a fine seafood choice for those who don’t enjoy “fishy” fish. It also pairs well with practically any combination of flavors and can be baked, sautéed, broiled, or steamed. Learn how to make our Almond-Crusted Tilapia at “Almond-Crusted Tilapia”.

This originally appeared as “Tilapia” in the July-August 2020 print issue of Experience Life.

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Health & Fitness

Which Type of Butter Should You Choose?

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Which butter is better? Here are five varieties to consider.

  1. Organic butter offers more healing omega-3 fatty acids than other butters. And it’s less likely to have high levels of toxins, which can accumulate in an animal’s fatty tissues.
  2. Grassfed butter delivers more beta-carotene and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Beta-carotene is a potent antioxidant, and CLA can help improve body composition and reduce cardiovascular-disease risk. Some studies also show CLA may help protect against cancer.
  3. Cultured butter is slightly fermented or aged. “Fermenting butter increases the amount of butyrate,” says nutritionist Liz Lipski, PhD, which is a win for gut health. It also has a slightly tangy flavor that many people enjoy.
  4. Unsalted butter is largely a matter of taste preference compared with salted butter. Like butter, salt carries its own stigma when it comes to heart health — one that has been debunked in recent years. (For more on concerns about sodium, see “Is Salt Bad for You — Or Not?”.)
  5. Ghee is a clarified butter in which the milk has been heated and the solids skimmed off. It can be used in all the same ways as butter, and because the solids have been removed, it is often more digestible for people who don’t tolerate casein or lactose. It contains the same nutrients as butter, including butyrate. Ghee is stable at room temperature, making it a good option for meals on the go or while camping. (For a tasty recipe for infused ghee, visit “Infused Ghee”.)

This article originally appeared as “Butter Up” in “Everything’s Better With Butter” in the January/February 2021 issue of Experience Life.

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