National Fish and Chips Day!
Fried fish is said to have been brought to the UK by Jewish immigrants from Spain and Portugal in the 17th century. However, there is some debate over whose idea it was to bring together fried fish and chips, with some claiming London and others saying Lancashire is where it originated in the 1860’s.1
Nevertheless, we can certainly agree that this combination has been consumed for a rather long time, and so it seems appropriate that we celebrate one of our nation’s most iconic dishes – and that day is – National Fish & Chips Day, on FRYday 7 June 2019.
How much fish should we eat?
In the UK, we are recommended to consume at least 2 portions (2x140g) of fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish2 such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout3.
Why is white fish good for us?
Cod and haddock are the most common fish for this iconic fish & chip meal, although some restaurants may offer other varieties of white fish. Unlike oily fish, white fish are not high in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin D, but they are a good source of low-fat protein and plenty of other vitamins and minerals.3
In particular, cod and haddock are both good sources of iodine and selenium. A single serving should provide your entire daily iodine requirements and around half of your daily selenium requirements6, although the exact nutrient content will vary per portion.
- Iodine is needed to make thyroid hormones, which have important roles in metabolism and growth. In the UK, we are recommended to have 150 µg each day, but this increases to 200 µg for pregnant and breastfeeding women. This increased requirement is important as iodine plays a key role in the development of the baby’s brain. Iodine is passed from the mother to her baby while they are still in the womb but also through breast milk when they are feeding. .4
- Selenium has an important role in a number of the body’s functions, including the immune system, reproduction, and preventing damage to cells and tissues. In the UK, it is recommended that men have 75 µg and women have 60 µg of selenium per day.5
Tips to make your fish & chips healthier
Despite the nutritional benefits of white fish, it is important to note that this meal can be high in calories, fat, and salt. Some simple steps you could take when choosing this meal include; opt for a smaller portion – particularly of the chips, add some vegetables or salad to the plate, focus on eating the fish and limit the amount of batter eaten, and hold off on adding salt.
For more information on National Fish & Chips Day, click here.
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