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Show Seafood Some Love and Get Heart Healthy!

February 17, 2021

U.S. seafood is sustainably produced, so it’s good for the planet. But did you know that it’s also good for your heart?

Slices of garlic chili oil and smoked oyster pizza on baking pan and a white plate, topped with fresh greens. Garlic chili oil and smoked oyster pizza. Photo credit: Abby Rogerson, courtesy of Washington Sea Grant.

February is American Heart Month, a time when everyone is encouraged to adopt behaviors that promote cardiovascular health. One easy way to help your heart? Eat more seafood!  Studies show  that regular seafood consumption has beneficial impacts on blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that everyone—from about 6 months and up—eat regular servings of seafood. If you’re one of the almost 90 percent of Americans who doesn’t meet this target, read on for great ways to add some heart-healthy seafood to your diet. It’s both sustainable and delicious!

Swap Meat for Seafood

Shake things up the next time you’re craving an old favorite. Replacing processed or high-fat proteins with a lean protein like seafood is a great way to reduce your intake of saturated fat and sodium. Given the diversity of U.S. seafood, the possibilities are endless!

Baking pan of pollock enchiladas next to plated serving with fork.
Creamy wild Alaska pollock enchiladas. Recipe and photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Think Outside the Sandwich

For many of us, when we think “lunch,” we think “sandwich.” While they’re quick and easy to eat (especially at your desk), they’re also one of the top sources of saturated fats and sodium. You certainly don’t need to give up tuna melts or pollock reubens, but why not ditch the bread and add some greens? 

Three pan-seared sea scallops plated atop leafy greens with vinaigrette.
Seared sea scallops atop green salad. Credit: NOAA Fisheries

Start Young

Introducing your kids to healthy eating when they’re young can influence their eating in the future. Start promoting heart health early on by incorporating sustainable seafood options into your family’s menu at least twice a week. Instead of overly processed options that are often high in sodium, try kid-friendly recipes. And for even more ideas, check out Seafood Nutrition Partnership’s resources on turning your kids into Little Seafoodies

A dozen homemade fish sticks rest on a baking rack over a cooking sheet.
Homemade fish sticks just out of the oven. Photo courtesy of Seafood Nutrition Partnership.

Be a Little Shellfish

We know that when it comes to dinner prep, many of us have to consider what the kids will eat. But don’t forget to treat yourself! Missing your favorite oyster raw bar? Order a dozen from your local farmers and shuck at home! Craving some fancy French food? Try your hand at some homemade bouillabaisse! 


NOAA Fisheries and FishWatch arm you with the facts about what makes U.S. seafood sustainable—from the ocean or farm to your plate. Get up-to-date information on the status of harvested marine fish and farmed fish, and learn more about U.S. seafood.