Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States, with an estimated 37.3 million Americans living with this condition. This November, Heartland Catfish is recognizing National Diabetes Month to increase awareness and answer the question, “Is catfish a healthy protein source for diabetics?”
Catfish, A Premiere Protein
When recommending protein options for diabetics, the Centers for Disease Control highly recommends lean meats and specifically mentions fish as a premiere protein source for diabetics. Knowing that fish is not only an acceptable, but a recommended protein by the CDC is certainly helpful, but what makes catfish specifically a better option? Let’s look at the compounds and components of catfish that give the fish its uniquely healthy upside.
Protein, Fats, Vitamins and Minerals
When looking at the vitamins, healthy fats and acidic compounds found within catfish, it is easy to see why it is such a popular choice for diabetics. Catfish typically has a lower caloric intake than many other fish, while still providing a plentiful bounty of healthy compounds. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one fillet is packed with more than 26 grams of protein, over 100% of the daily needed vitamin B-12 and contains only trace amounts of saturated fats. Additionally, catfish is much lower in sodium than other fish, which helps individuals maintain a lower blood pressure. The American Diabetes Association also recommends including more polyunsaturated fats in your diet, which is a common source in catfish. This specific type of fat is extremely important, as it is not naturally produced in the human body and needs to be ingested through foods like fish and nuts. This fat helps your body lower bad cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, making it crucial for fighting diabetes.
Health benefits aside, another reason to consume catfish as a protein alternative is the multitude of ways in which the fish can be cooked or prepared. Below are some of the recommended ways for diabetics to consume catfish.
The versatility in which catfish can be prepared can both help and hinder your healthy diet if not careful. Avoid heavily salting your catfish when preparing it to not raise your blood pressure, as well as avoid breading or frying fish to reduce excess carbs. The American Diabetes Association recommends grilling, broiling or baking catfish for the healthiest outcome.
Catfish is an inexpensive and healthy protein alternative, especially for diabetics. The protein, fats, vitamins and minerals discussed demonstrate the advantages catfish provide to not only diabetics but anyone wanting to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Start improving your health in a budget-friendly way and add Heartland Catfish to your diet.
Interested in preparing catfish yourself but need some healthy inspiration? Check out Heartland Catfish’s recipe page for some delicious ideas.