I am eating less beef and chicken and making healthier choices. Sardines have tons of benefits that make them a great addition to my eating regimen.
Sardines – the benefits of eating more fish
I don’t care what the benefits are to sardines. I’m not used to eating canned fish. Since I outgrew tuna fish sandwiches I have been a sushi, poke, and smoked fish kind of guy.
Part of my weight gain has come from eating too much land animals. I over-eat beef and chicken and I’ve never really balanced it with fish. Fish are generally better for our health. Mostly I have stuck to salmon and tuna. But as my diet squeezes out less healthy options, I am seeking to branch out and try some new fish options.
Something fishy – sardines in my diet and the benefits
I landed on adding sardines into my diet because I read about their dietary benefits. Their rich supply of omega-3 fatty acids is linked to heart and cholesterol health. Sardines are packed with nutrients including vitamin B12. B12 promotes cardiovascular well-being, lowering the risk factor for atherosclerosis.
Their health claims include reduced levels of inflammation, enhanced bone health, and increased weight loss. Plus, they supply a wide array of important vitamins and minerals for a low amount of calories.
Which is all well and good, but what about the fishy flavor? Can all the nutrient-dense benefits in the ocean outweigh a strong flavor or taste?
Choosing canned sardines – advantages and benefits
When I was selecting my tuna for my Christian Bale Tuna Diet I also picked up some varieties of canned tuna and anchovies. I wasn’t emotionally excited about these little bait-sized fish packed in smelly oil. But I was mentally excited about the benefits I could add to my diet.
I have plenty of access to fresh and frozen sardines, mackerel, and other high omega-3 fish. The international markets have them laid out by the bushels of beds of ice. All their little eyes look at you as if with shock that you could do this to them.
Buying fresh fish and then having to deal with cooking it and eating it and maybe liking it and maybe not was discouraging. For my diet plan to succeed it has to be simple. Simple to make, simple to eat, and simple to clean up. Canned sardines checked all three boxes.
Adding canned sardines a little at a time to my tuna plate gave me confidence that I wasn’t going to ruin the dish. I could also see if the benefits were worth the trouble.
So far, so good and oily
For the last three days, I’ve topped my tuna with a couple of sardines. To be honest, the taste of the sardines isn’t that much different from the canned tuna. It is, perhaps, a little saltier. But nothing near the fishiness I was expecting. The flavor is not off-putting in the least.
The brand I bought has the sardines cleaned and headless. The bones are super-fine and barely distinguishable beyond a little crunch. The oil they are in does not compete with the grapeseed oil I use on the tuna. They were easy to transfer out of the tin and into a plastic container so that I can keep them in the refrigerator.
Adding the sardines to the tuna doesn’t increase the volume of the meal very much. Each one can’t weigh more than 1/2 an ounce. Given their nutritional density, I think they are worth their weight.
Hooked on sardines?
Canned is good. It is easy to buy, store, open, and eat. The cleanup is nil. Still, I’m interested in trying a couple of sardine recipes using fresh fish.
My source will be the Buford Farmer’s Market or the Dekalb International Market. I need to pick up a really nice piece of tuna for my last tuna meal on Sunday. Maybe I can include a grilled or salt-roasted sardine or two with it. The ones in the cans are quite small, but the ones at the market are available in larger sizes.
Under any circumstances, I need to learn my way around the fish department. Moving from beef and chicken and white starches to mostly green and colored vegetables and fish is going to demand more variety than I have been used to. The benefits I get from sardine are just the beginning.
Sardines benefits to make a note of:
- Each serving of sardines is high in many important nutrients, including protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and selenium.
- Because of their impressive nutrient profile, sardines can benefit just about every aspect of health, from regulating blood sugar levels to protecting against mood disorders.
- Opt for wild-caught fish whenever possible, and look for sardines canned in either water or olive oil rather than soybean oil.
- Swap sardines in for other types of fish in your favorite recipes, or enjoy them grilled, roasted or fresh to reap all the nutritional rewards that this tasty fish has to offer.
Where I am today
My weight dances frustratingly close to my next goal weight milestone. But it just won’t get there. I’m still at 238.2. I really want to hit that milestone and leave the 240s behind for good.
Next week I switch up my diet and go back to my cabbage and greens diet for 14 days. That is psychologically tough. I really didn’t enjoy my cabbage diet, despite the benefits. Then it is two weeks of an all-water diet. If I can’t lose some weight doing this, I don’t know what else to try.
Zero in the exercise department this week. I’ve been working a prep shift since Monday that has me going in every day this week at 2 am and working until around 7 am. Then I come home, go right to bed and sleep until about 3 pm. If I were more diligent and organized, I could work something out. But it has been in the 90s all week so outdoor exercise in the afternoon just isn’t happening.
I’ll try to get restarted on exercise next week and make up the lost ground. I know it is a vital component of my weight loss strategy.