ALBANY — Extension of the Cornell cooperative | Albany County is offering the Resolve to Eat More Fish online program in 2022 from 7-8 p.m. on January 26 via Zoom. Many of us make health resolutions at the start of a new year. If you’ve chosen to shed a few pounds or be more careful about the foods you eat this year, then this program might be for you. There are many health benefits associated with eating fish. They provide a low-fat, high-quality source of protein and are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as vitamin D and riboflavin. They are also an excellent source of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus.
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week as part of a heart-healthy diet that can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke . Omega-3 fatty acids are found in all fish, but are especially high in fatty fish and seafood (more than 10% fat), such as salmon, trout, sardines, herring, canned mackerel, canned light tuna and oysters. Our body does not produce omega-3 fatty acids, so we must get them from the foods we eat.
During this program, we will discuss the health benefits of eating fish, beneficial ways to prepare fish, and environmental issues threatening our fish supply, such as chemical contamination and overfishing. We’ll also talk about the importance of knowing where your fish comes from, whether you buy it or catch it in the wild. For example, there are specific fish advisories from the New York State Department of Health for New York State waterways, such as the Hudson River, depending on whether you are male or female. and your age (www.health.ny.gov). The contaminants of greatest concern continue to be the group of long-lasting chemicals known as PCBs, which can be particularly harmful to children and unborn children as they can affect their developing brains and nervous systems. In grocery store fish, the chemical of greatest concern is mercury (www.fda.gov/fishadvice or www.epa.gov/fishadvice). Refer to their charts to find the types of fish to avoid due to potentially high mercury levels and what types of fish are the best choices for your family at the store.
The good news is that there are plenty of other safe places to fish in the Capital District besides the Hudson River, where the whole family can eat up to two meals of 4-ounce fish a week. In Albany County specifically, there is public access to Normanskill, Onesquethaw, Six Mile Waterworks, Basic Creek and many more. There is a Free Fishing Weekend coming next month on February 19-20 when a New York State DEC fishing license is not required. Ann Lee Pond in Colonie and Lake Thompson in Bern are two popular places to go ice fishing in Albany County for trout and sunfish, once the ice is frozen to the proper thickness to be safe.
Fish is not only an important source of nutrition. The art of catching, preparing and eating fish is an integral part of the culture and family traditions of some populations. We will share tips and recipes for preparing fish in a safe, healthy and delicious way.