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Trout meat

The state’s hatchery-reared trout tend to have a reddish or orange tint to their flesh as a result of astaxanthin, an antioxidant that is an ingredient in their feed.

Eating trout is not only great for the taste buds, but it has been shown to improve human health in a variety of ways. Freshwater trout is not only fun to catch, but it is one of the tastiest, healthiest fish you can include in your diet.

Consider that a cooked serving of a farm-raised or hatchery-reared rainbow trout contains approximately 981 milligrams of the omega-3 fatty acids. This amount far exceeds the minimum daily requirement (300 to 500 milligrams) established by the World Health Organization. In fact, a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids is linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, high blood cholesterol and certain types of cancer. Omega-3 fatty acid consumption may also help prevent neurological disorders such as dementia, depression, bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.

Trout consumption also lowers serum cholesterol and triglyceride values, helping prevent or decrease coronary heart disease. Additionally, trout is an excellent source of easily digestible protein. The American Heart Association and the Harvard School of Public Health agree that trout’s relatively low fat and cholesterol content make it a good protein to substitute in your diet for meats like beef, pork and lamb, which contain significantly higher amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol.

The American Heart Association states that a heavy fish diet that includes trout is better than a strictly vegetarian diet in reducing fats in the bloodstream and lowering the risk of a heart attack.

If you are counting calories, an average serving of trout has about one-third to one-half the calories proportionally of most meat cuts. That average serving of trout also fulfills the USDA’s guideline for a person’s daily intake of animal protein. Trout fit perfectly in a diet that includes alternative proteins like soybean and wheat, as well.

If compared to beef, pork, lamb and chicken, fish such as trout is an equal or better source of vitamins, principally A, D, B6, B12, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. Its calcium content is eight times greater than that of beef, pork, lamb and chicken.

A trout also has low sodium content, unless, of course, it has been smoked or salted. Individuals who have high blood pressure or cardiac issues are encouraged by physicians and dieticians to eat fresh fish such as trout because of its low sodium level.

You can maximize trout’s health benefits by choosing low-fat cooking methods like broiling, grilling, baking, poaching or steaming instead of frying or deep-fat frying. But there is one cardinal rule for cooking trout and not ruining the healthful benefits of it: Never overcook it. Also, remember the more time between catching and cooking trout, the more the flavor suffers and nutrition can be comprised.

“They [Nebraska’s stocked trout] are a farm-raised trout that is in spring water or well water the whole time,” said Jim Gleim, fish production administrator for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He adds that the trout are closely monitored, fed a fortified diet and are extremely healthy fish.

Be prepared to go get some fresh air, have some fun fishing, eat healthy and enjoy a scrumptious meal. Try trout.

Greg Wagner is a public information officer in the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Communications Division. Contact him at greg.wagner@nebraska.gov.

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