Selecting your Seafood at the Grocery Store

Selecting your Seafood at the Grocery StoreWith so much talk about how great Omega-3’s are in a healthy diet you would think stocking up on seafood on your next trip to the grocery store is a no brainer. Not so fast, there is a key to selecting your seafood safely and which fish and seafood have the best nutritional benefits.

• Salmon – Salmon is readily available in almost any grocery store and is one of the richest sources of Omega 3’s. But sometimes you might feel like you need to be a fisherman to know what kind to choose – Atlantic or Alaskan, Wild or Farmed, Fresh or Frozen? When it comes to picking your salmon fresh is always the best option. If you are going to try farmed get U.S. farmed salmon they contain almost as many omega-3’s as wild and they are perfectly safe depending on the source. As a rule of thumb Chilean and other countries farmed fish are not regulated and you never know what you are getting. Talk to person at the seafood counter for their recommendations on the freshest fish in the case. They know how long it’s been there and are a good source to find out exactly what you are getting.

• Shrimp – Shrimp is delicious and a great staple in your weekly diet plan. Selecting this type of seafood also takes a great deal of care and attention to detail to ensure what you are putting on your plate is safe. Since seafood has a very short shelf lives try to get shrimp from a destination close to you. Avoid imported shrimp unless it is carefully frozen and comes from a trusted source. Ensure that the shrimp you are purchasing is the right color and does not have any hint of a fishy odor. All shrimp should be stored on ice and it is best to avoid pre-cooked shrimp.

• Shell Fish – Mussels, Clams and other shellfish are very healthy and a great source of nutrients. The shells should always be hard, unbroken and reasonably clean and displayed on ice. Shells should also be tightly closed so be careful to watch the person at the seafood counter to check for any open shells.

• Lobster and Crab – If buying lobster or crab live they should be submerged in ice with limited movement. Look for a healthy exterior and no visible injuries or defects. If buying precooked or frozen don’t buy anything that has been sitting in the case for over a day. Make sure and ask how long the seafood has been on display and if they are not sure it is wise to pass.