Question:

Is it true that sprat has omega fats like salmon? How is it healthy to prepare it? Which are the healthy fishes that are cheaper than salmon? What kind of food you should not eat with them?

 

Answer:

Honestly, I had to do a mini research for the so popular “sprat” in order to answer this question. It turns out that this is the more familiar to me Black Sea brisling – a sea inhabitant from the family “Clupeidae”, widespread only in the European Baltic, North and Black Sea. The comparison between sprat and salmon is like between the drinks which are usually combined with them – beer and wine – both are alcoholic beverages, but their nutritional and gourmet value is incomparable.

Sprat’s healthy properties should not be underestimated, of course when it is not in the most common “fried” form. The brisling contains up to 23% fats and about 28% proteins and is a perfect source of vitamin A, D, B1, B2, C, PP, E; macro- and micro elements: calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, sulfur, iron, zinc, iodine, copper, manganese, chromium, fluorine, molybdenum, cobalt, nickel.

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Essential amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids enter the composition of the proteins of the small fish, which fight the elevated cholesterol levels in the blood and protect the blood vessels from atherosclerotic changes.

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Salmon, on the other hand, is popular mainly because of the high content of the same healthy unsaturated fatty acids. They are found in almost all fishes, but they are the most easily digestible by the human organism in the salmon. That’s why it is famed as the healthiest fish for prevention of cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, it reduces blood clotting and regulates the blood pressure.

Salmon falls into the category of “delicacy” and not everyone can afford it, but one can buy several not so expensive and not less healthy foods for less amount of money. So, if your food budget is limited, you may replace the salmon with trout, mackerel or even sprat. They are “fat” fishes too like the salmon and are not less healthy.

Whatever fish you choose, remember that it should be prepared in a healthy manner. Forget about fried sprat or breaded fillet on a pan. Stick to grilled fish or fillet, prepared in foil in the oven. If you flavor the fish, use olive oil.

If you buy fresh fish, it is important to cook it on the same day.  The staying of the product, even in a fridge is harmful both to its healthy qualities and taste. In case you should keep fresh fish for more than 24 hours before cooking it, it is better to freeze it.

I pay more special attention to the pregnant women who should be especially careful with the fish consumption. Do not ignore the high content of mercury and toxins in some species (shark, swordfish and tuna). If the fish itself is poorly stored, spoiled or poisonous, there is no room for discussion.

There are also some rules, in regard to the combination of fish with other food products, which are associated with the utilization of the fish protein and the eventual development of intoxication. When the metabolic pathways for utilization of proteins are additionally “slowed down” with different types of proteins, the biochemical reactions and interactions become more complex. It is a question of bad combination of different protein sources, engagement of multidirectional enzyme systems with their intermediate products and so on. Unpleasant consequences are possible, although they are rare. So you’d better avoid the combination of fish and milk, as well as fish and eggs.

The “strange” or “inappropriate” combinations in the culinary practice are a fact. There are many examples of unhealthy combinations in cooking, which date back long before the scientific finding on the issue. Well, tradition is not always of the same mind with science.

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