What is the Healthiest Way to Cook Fish?

Fish is one of the healthiest foods because it is loaded with high-quality proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamins D. All fish also have different nutrition profiles, which is divided into two parts: lean and fatty. Although both of them are important in the body, yet the fatty fish can sustain more important health nutrients, such as Omega-3 fatty acids, which are lacking in lean fishes.

What is the healthiest way to cook fish? You can cook fish by steaming, poaching, broiling, grilling, and baking. These methods can bring out the best taste of the fish. There are also a lot of amazing cuisines from different countries that can be a delight in every family’s dining table.

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In this article, you will learn the health benefits of cooking fish, methods in cooking fish, suggested fish meals, and some health points to remember when choosing and cooking fish.

Health Essentials Of Fish

Aside from being a wide producer of Omega-3, that’s responsible for growth and development. Fishes also have some psychological, mental, and physical benefits to the body.

Prevents Depression

Depression is a common problem among teenagers. This type of psychological condition is described as a borderline sadness and decrease in energy, which results in the loss of interest in life and other physical abnormalities, such as heart disease and obesity.

Studies conclude that people who eat fish regularly have less tendency to become depressed because of the omega-3 fatty acids that fight off negative energies and increase the anti-depressant effects on the body.

Other conditions that can be treated by fish include bipolar disorder, a psychological condition that has bounds in two extreme emotions.

Producer Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D serves as a steroid hormone in the body in which it regulates the production of calcium and maintains the level of phosphorus and other micro-nutrients. In the US, almost 45% of the population is deficient in Vitamin D.

That’s why they are susceptible to lose bone density, which usually leads to bone fractures and osteoporosis. Salmon and Herring Fishes are great producers of Vitamin D, with more than 200% Vitamin D in a single tablespoon.

Prevents Autoimmune Diseases

One of the benefits of Omega-3 is the reduction of diabetes. Rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Fish oil intake and omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for lowering the risk of multiple cases of sclerosis.

Protects Vision

One of the main causes of blindness is age-related macular degeneration, which usually occurs in older people. Nutrients found in fishes may be able to protect the old ones against this disease with regular fish intake.

In the US, almost 45% are at risk for AMD, and the majority of them are women. Another study has been linked to the reducing case of neovascular AMD.

Improve Sleep Quality

Most of the causes of sleep deprivation are the irregular sleeping time and abnormality of body clock lifestyle, thus making sleeping disorders as one of the most prominent conditions in the world.

Study shows eating at least three times a week of salmon or any kind of fatty fish can improve sleep quality and function. Regular intake of fishes regulates the production of Vitamin D, which is responsible for reducing the chances of sleep deprivation.

Methods In Cooking Fishes

There are various ways to cook fish that don’t compromise its flavor and nutrients at the same time. However, you must take note that the methods of cooking fish would change its nutritional composition, which is discussed below:

Grilling And Boiling

Both methods are similar in many ways because they involve high temperatures that have to be applied to your fish. The only main difference between the two methods is grilling applies lesser heat whereas broiling applies higher heat temperatures.

To keep the nutrients, you need to avoid cooking in an open flame.

A correct applied method can help reduce some complicated heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. However, you ought to be careful because both of them are known to create a dangerous compound formation.

It includes heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are harmful to the body.

Pan-Frying And Deep-Frying

Pan-Frying and Deep-Frying are also the same methods, but the difference is the amount of oil that was applied to the fish while cooking.

During frying, the fish absorbs the oil, which is converted into fats and adds its calorie contents. The healthiest oil that has to be used is vegetable oil because it contains a high amount of omega-3.

The high temperature is responsible for keeping the fish from damage and compromising its nutritional value.

For comparison purposes, the research considered that pan-frying is healthier than deep-frying because of the small amount of oil applied to the food. For more tips, cook the food at a stable high temperature as it will add more nutrients to the fish.

If vegetable oil is not present, then olive oil will do.

Poaching And Steaming

These methods would include a large number of liquids, such as water, wine, and milk. There is no need for you to add oil in this method. It would instead use a hot, vaporized water for cooking the fish at a lower temperature.

Heterocyclic Amines and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons exist when cooking it at a higher temperature.

The longer you cook it, the more chance that the number of cholesterol oxidation products are increased. These harmful cholesterol contents are harmful. In lower temperatures, the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are maintained and preserved.


One of the most interesting methods is baking, which is rarely used compared to the other methods mentioned above. Baking is a method, which includes a fixed amount of heat and time and is cooked in an oven.

Doing this method will cause a lesser chance of losing omega-3 fatty acids while retaining Vitamin D contents. One good thing about baking is even if it’s overcooked, the Vitamin D content is still intact, compared to a fried fish that loses almost 50% of Vitamin D.

Baking fish would require a minimal amount of olive or vegetable oil.

Sous Vide

Sous Vide is translated as “under vacuum,” meaning the fish is being placed inside a sealed pouch. It is where the food is being cooked at a minimal temperature.

Although this method may take a long time, it’s still considered as the healthiest way to cook a fish. Sous Vide method uses a tightly controlled low temperature, where the moisture and nutrients are being maintained.

Points To Consider In Cooking Fish

Cooking fish is not just something simple, but it also has to undergo some research so you’ll know the most effective approach in cooking them while retaining its value. There are several points to consider about how you want to prepare and cook the fish.


One of the things to look at is the thickness of the cut of fish. For instance, if you’re planning to grill the fish, make sure that it’s thick enough to handle the heat. It’s also never a good idea to cook fish under a broiler.

Natural Flavor

You always have to know how to segregate the level of the natural flavor of the fish. Some of them have light flavors, while others are strong. In cooking fish, make it sure not to overwhelm their flavor, so its natural taste won’t be compromised.

Level Of Fat

As mentioned above, two types of fish meats exist andd those are lean meat and fatty meat. For the leaner types of fish meat, they are easily dried out and are more suitable for steaming and poaching, whereas fatty fish meats are best suited for grilling and roasting.

General Fish Features

When cooking, many general things can be found on the internet which you follow. It makes it easier for you to make the best choice for cooking so that you can serve it better for your family and guests.

Just as mentioned, dry cooking methods would involve fattier fish meats that can be roasted, grilled, and baked. It is because there’s a fewer chance for the fish to get fried out when cooking.

Healthy Fish Guides

This guide is a great help, especially for pregnant and lactating mothers, and young children, who might need to double their food nutrients in their bodies. This guide will also help you to know the health benefits that you can get from fishes and how you can reduce your exposure from contaminated fish.

Getting Rid Of Toxic Chemicals

Reducing contaminant exposure might take a long process from fish factories to deliver exceptional services to the consumers. But you have to be warned of these contaminants since they are bringing large, adverse effects on the body.

Dangerous contaminants include mercury, dioxins, and Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that can build up in your body and might affect your psychological state. It could also lead to cancer and pregnancy abnormalities.

Unfortunately, there are no cooking methods that can reduce or get rid of these chemicals, so when buying in the market, you ought to be careful.

One indication of the presence of mercury in the fish is a metal-like that surrounds the muscles of the fish.

Healthy Choices For Pregnant Women

Pregnant women can be very picky with seafood because all they can remember is the smell. However, any variety of cooked fish at least three times a week can be helpful during pregnancy. Pregnant women would need Omega-3 fatty acids to help build their baby’s physical features.

During the last trimester of pregnancy, that’s where all the major internal organs are being developed, such as the brains. Moms-to-be would require around 65 mg/day of Omega-3 DHA. It would also protect from having depression after pregnancy.

Another helpful nutrient is iron, which is responsible for carrying oxygen from the mom’s bloodstream going to her baby. Iron would also keep both of them to develop a strong immunity system.

Fish Consumption Advisories

Even if the fish is freshly caught, the Washington State Department of Health still strongly advises fishers about eating fresh fish because there might be some strong chemicals that are found in the water.

Although it is good for the body, there are precautionary measures that must be taken to reduce the exposure of fish from contaminants.

Suggested Fish Meal Menu

There are many styles to prepare fish, primarily that it is known to be one of the main dishes in the whole world. Cooking fish has been meticulous, and all countries have their version of their local fish cuisine.

Brazilian Fish Stew

Brazilian Fish Stew, or most commonly called Moqueca, is a simple recipe that will only take around 30 minutes of cooking. The original version of Moqueca is from Salvador, Brazil, because of its unique arrangement and preparation for the food.

The stew is requiring coconut milk, tomatoes, lime, and chilies so that the stew will be filled with interesting flavors. You should first fill the olive oil into a big saute pan in medium heat and then, saute the onion and salt for about 3 minutes.

Turn down the heat, and add carrots, garlic, jalapeno, and bell pepper, and combine and cook them together in about 5 minutes.

The next thing you’ll need to do is to add the tomato paste and spices until it simmers, and the carrots are tender enough. Add coconut milk, salt, and fish afterward. Once done, the stew will be thickened, and you can sprinkle Italian parsley on it.

Pan-Seared Halibut With Zucchini Noodles

Lemony Zucchini Noodles are an easy to cook, low-carb meal that’s best suited during the summer season. Aside from Halibut, you can also use a substitute cod, salmon, or sea bass to be served over lemony zucchini noodles.

First is to preheat the oven while heating the olive oil in a medium skillet with garlic cloves. Pat the fish dry with salt and pepper and fry it over medium heat until it turns golden.

In a separate large skillet, heat more olive oil and add garlic and zucchini noodles that have salt and pepper in it. Saute the noodles until it softens and tosses it in lemon zest and fresh parsley. For the final touch, garnish the fish with cherry tomatoes, chili flakes, and pecorino cheese.


Overall, fish is indeed an important meal that you should always include in your table. There are so many ways of cooking fish, and the internet will help you in getting information and balancing your cooking.