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Is Eating Tuna Poke OK?

“I could eat my weight in poke every day,” I said as I dug my toes into the powdery white sand of a Maui beach and shoveled the lovely seafood salad into my mouth with a spork.

I’m not alone. From Poughkeepsie to Palm Springs, poke is the “it” dish of the moment with everyone from high-end chefs to food carts dishing it out.

If you’re not familiar with poke (pronounced po-KAY), here’s a quick explanation: Poke is a traditional Hawaiian salad made of cubes of raw or cooked fish (the name in Hawaiian means “to cut” or “chunk”), soy sauce, sweet onions, sesame oil and sometimes nuts and/or seaweed. It’s most commonly made with yellowfin tuna (also known by the Hawaiian name ‘ahi’), but there are numerous variations including cooked octopus, salmon and even fish roe. It’s quick, it’s protein-packed and it’s delicious.

But as I enjoyed the pearly pink ahi salad, there was a nagging voice in the back of my head asking me some rather pointed questions about my new favorite food.

Is eating raw fish really safe?

What about the high-mercury content in tuna?  

If this trend continues, will there even be any tuna left in the ocean?

IS EATING POKE SAFE?

The FDA requires that seafood sold for raw consumption must first be deep frozen to very specific guidelines to kill any parasites in the muscle structure of the fish. So, as long as you are getting fish that has been handled and distributed with raw consumption in mind, parasites are not an issue.

As for foodborne illness due to spoilage or cross-contamination, poke is relatively safe, says Katie Sullivan Morford, a registered dietitian and blogger at Mom’s Kitchen Handbook. “If you’re a healthy adult with a healthy immune system and you’re being smart about where you are dining, I feel comfortable saying ‘go for it’,” she says.

Use the same common sense you would when choosing any restaurant. Dine at reputable places that are busy so the fish is always fresh. Never eat fish that smells overtly fishy or has an off aroma, and steer away from places that don’t serve much fish. That lonely mini mart on a back road in Oklahoma isn’t likely the best place to feed your poke craving.

If you are making poke at home, tell your fishmonger you’ll be consuming the fish raw so they can steer you toward the right fish. Keep in mind that labeling terms like “for sushi” or “sashimi grade” are not regulated, so it doesn’t mean much from a safety standpoint. When in doubt, ask.

That said, not everyone should eat raw fish, cautions Morford. “Anyone with a compromised immune system — anyone who is unwell, undergoing medical treatment that affects the immune system, pregnant women, the elderly and young children should opt for cooked fish rather than raw.”


READ MORE > WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH FISH OIL?


WHAT ABOUT THE HIGH-MERCURY CONTENT IN TUNA?

Methylmercury is the heavy metal that’s present in high concentrations in large predator fish like tuna. Studies have shown it’s a neurotoxin, especially when the brain is developing.

The evidence is limited and conflicting on the effect mercury consumption has on adults. The FDA has no specific guidelines for how much tuna is acceptable for most of the population, but it does recommend pregnant women, those breastfeeding and children ages 47 eat no more than 1 serving (4 ounces for adults and 2 ounces for kids) of ahi tuna a week.

“It’s interesting because the thinking on mercury and fish consumption has shifted in the last couple of years,” says Morford. “Studies are showing that when fish high in mercury are also high in selenium, the selenium offsets the potential negative effects of methylmercury in the fish. And then there’s all the omega-3 fatty acids, which are so good for your brain.”

The takeaway among experts is the benefits of eating fish outweigh the risks. The key is moderation and diversity in your diet, eating ahi poke one meal and then choosing a smaller fish like sardines or wild salmon the next.


READ MORE > 10 TASTY, LOW-CARB LUNCHES UNDER 350 CALORIES


WHAT ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY?

So we’ve got the green light to eat tuna poke from a health standpoint, but if we all start shoveling ahi into our faces like sunburnt tourists in Hawaii, will there be any fish left for future generations?

“There’s definitely pressure on these stocks already,” says Ryan Bigelow, engagement manager for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.  “But while poke is really popular right now, I don’t see that it alone would drive yellowfin tuna into extinction, at least for now,” he says.

According to Bigelow, a more important question to ask is: Am I buying the most sustainable fish I can?

“When you go to your favorite poke shop, ask them if the fish they buy is sustainable. That alone can be enough to influence a restaurant to make smart choices about where their fish are coming from,” he says.

If you are concerned and want to learn more, Bigelow recommends checking out Seafood Watch and choosing fish from its “best choices” or “good choices” categories. Or download its app for fish sustainability advice on the go.

If you don’t feel comfortable asking questions at restaurants, Bigelow says you can easily find restaurants and purveyors of sustainable seafood with the help of its Seafood Watch Partners list. The searchable database makes it easy to discover restaurants and purveyors near you who are fighting the good seafood fight.

SO IS EATING TUNA POKE OK?

Yes, it is fairly safe as long as you are eating at reputable, busy restaurants and you are healthy. No, the mercury in tuna isn’t going to kill you, but it’s a good idea to eat a variety of fish in any case.

Finally, the oceans are not going to run out of tuna just yet, but it’s a good idea to be mindful and ask questions about where your seafood is coming from so future generations can enjoy poke, too.

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Cheesy Veggie Bake [Video] | Recipe

Increase any picky eater’s vegetable intake by hiding veggies in Food Fanatic’s cheesy broccoli-zucchini egg bake! Shave time by prepping veggies the night before. Don’t have a spiralizer? Just slice zucchini into thin matchsticks instead of spiralizing, and follow instructions as normal.

Cheesy Veggie Bake

Ingredients

  • 4 large zucchini squashes
  • Salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup egg whites (about 8 large egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free plain greek yogurt (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • Black pepper
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups kale, torn and lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350°F and spray a 10-inch Cast Iron skillet with cooking spray. Set aside.

Using the 6mm blade on your spiralizer. Spiralize the zucchinis, so that they turn into long noodles.

Place the zucchini into a strainer set over a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let them sit for 20 minutes, stirring around every so often.

While the zucchini noodles sit, whisk together the eggs and egg whites in a large bowl. Add in the Greek yogurt and a pinch of pepper and additional salt. Whisk until smooth and creamy.

Once the zucchini has sat, squeeze out as much excess water as you can. Then, transfer the zucchini noodles onto a paper towel and dry off, again, as much as you can.

Stir the zucchini noodles, broccoli, kale and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese into the egg mixture and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared skillet and spread out evenly. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake until the eggs feel set and begin to slightly pull away from the side of the skillet, about 40-45 minutes. Turn your oven to high broil and broil an additional 2-3 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 8 |  Serving Size: 1/8 of dish

Per serving: Calories: 164; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 121mg; Sodium: 301mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 16g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 678mg; Iron: 8%; Vitamin A: 48%; Vitamin C: 114%; Calcium: 40% 

Recipe by Food Fanatic, a gathering of the best food bloggers the internet has to offer in one tasty spot. If you love food, we’re your people. For more delicious recipes, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Original recipe created by Taylor of Food Faith Fitness and published on Food Fanatic.

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Tips On How To Lose Weight In Summer!

How To Lose Weight In Summer?

Hello All!!!

It is summer and it is obvious that you can feel the heat. By the way, how did you spend your winters? Were you happily gorging on your favourite winter delicacies or practicing portion control? It is said that most people feel more hungry during winters and as a result pack on a few kilos.

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Now if you are planning to head to a beach destination for summer vacation, you would need to get rid of the excess weight you have gained. This is to let you flaunt a perfect figure in your swimsuit which is otherwise out of shape. Your major trouble areas must be the belly fat and love handles. Okay, even if you are out of shape you need not worry as here are a few tips on how to lose weight in summer.

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Get slim and trim again with the help of these tips:

1) Cut out on alcohol

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Cutting back or cutting out on alcohol is one of the fastest ways of weight loss. Are you aware of the fact that alcohol is similar to sugar chemically? Drinking alcohol sets off the same insulin resistance that leads to weight gain. It would be great if you can give your liver a break from alcohol for 6 weeks.

2) Choose carbs carefully

reducing carbs

Refined carbs, i.e the white processed carbs spike blood sugar levels and the release of insulin, both of which result in fat accumulation in the body. You need to swap refined carbs for slow burning, unrefined carbs such as oats, brown rice, whole grains. This small change has a huge impact on your health as well as weight.

3) Go Mediterranean

Mediterranean food

It is another way of saying – ‘get rid of junk food’ but Mediterranean diet is undoubtedly healthy. For at least 6 weeks just get your hands on a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts, lean protein, low fat dairy and olive oil.

4) Eat soups

ColdCucumber Soup For Weight Loss

 

Experts say that soup is a great appetite suppressant as it has combination of liquids and solids that bust hunger. Eating soup before meals can help lower total calorie intake by about 20%. You can make it your main meal too! Here are recipes of some healthy soups for weight loss.

5) Exercise portion control

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You must pay attention to food portions. It really matters a lot when it comes to weight loss. Serve yourself a little less and eat mindfully. Here are ways to control food portions easily.

6) Ditch the juice

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Fruit juice is has a higher sugar content and lower nutrient content when compared to the whole fruit. It also has less fibre in it. You must be aware of the fact that the nutrients are concentrated in the skin of the fruit which are lost while juicing. If you want apple juice, simply eat the whole apple and down a glass of water.

So, here were some tips on how to lose weight in summer! And I hope you found them useful.

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6 Fresh Ways to Eat Your Peas

Get a taste of the season with a springtime staple — peas. Whether tossed in a salad, sprinkled on toast or sautéed in a dish, these vibrant green legumes and pods add a healthy dose of fiber and protein, plus vitamins C and K. Try all the different types — snap, snow and garden peas in these six scrumptious recipes.

1. GOAT CHEESE & EGG TOASTS WITH FRESH PEAS | COOKIE AND KATE

Eggs and toast is a tried-and-true recipe that never gets old. In this variation, whole-grain toast is slathered with creamy goat cheese and topped with an egg. A garnish of fresh green peas and herbs add a pretty pop of color. Recipe makes 1 serving.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 269; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 206mg; Sodium: 371mg; Carbohydrate: 17g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 19g

2. GINGER CITRUS SOBA & SNOW PEAS | LOVE & LEMONS

Refreshing and simple to assemble, this dish is perfect as a light lunch or dinner. Sweet, tangy, zesty flavors are infused with nutty buckwheat noodles, crunchy snow peas and edamame. Recipe makes 4 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 179; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 342mg; Carbohydrate: 30g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 9g

3. LEMON DILL SHRIMP, ZUCCHINI & PEAS | IFOODREAL

This bright and vivaciously colored dish features sautéed shrimp, green peas and zucchini. Serve on a bed of leafy greens, quinoa or brown rice for a light, protein-packed dinner. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 1/4 cups each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 218; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 125mg; Sodium: 558mg; Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 19g

4. LEAF LETTUCE SALAD WITH BLACK RICE, SNAP PEAS & AVOCADO | UPROOT KITCHEN

This tasty salad is filled to the brim with tender greens, nutty black rice, crunchy snow peas and creamy avocado. A sprinkle of green onions and sunflower seeds finishes off this salad packed with whole grains, healthy fats and seasonal spring veggies. Recipe makes 3 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 355; Total Fat: 22g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 277mg; Carbohydrate: 37g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 8g

5. EASY VEGETABLE STIR-FRY | HUMMUSAPIEN

Make your own stir-fry instead of ordering take-out. This dish is brimming with colorful veggies and whole grains — all smothered in a sweet and savory teriyaki sauce. Roasted cashews sprinkled on top add a delightful crunch. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 1/2 cups each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 311; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 442mg; Carbohydrate: 43g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 13g; Protein: 9g

6. GROUND TURKEY WITH POTATOES & SPRING PEAS | SKINNYTASTE

Spring peas, potatoes and ground turkey are simmered in a tomato sauce for a quick, comforting weeknight dinner or for meal prep for lunches during the week. Serve with rice or whole-wheat pasta for a hearty and filling meal. Recipe makes 5 servings at 1 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 209; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 91mg; Sodium: 331mg; Carbohydrate: 17g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 21g

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