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Fish with higher protein content



Fish, especially certain types, contain high amounts of high-quality protein, making it a good source of this macronutrient while also providing essential minerals and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Fish proteins are defined as peptides of high biological value (BV=78), since they contain a mapping of essential amino acids (AAE) very similar to that of human proteins. However, it is important to limit the intake of larger fish such as swordfish, as they can contain high levels of mercury. According to nutrition experts, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein for adult women is 46 grams, while for adult men it is 56 grams. In addition to fish, other foods that are excellent sources of dietary protein include cheese, lean red meats, seeds, poultry, yeast extract, and legumes.

Tuna: the most protein-rich

Of all the fish with a high protein content, tuna is undoubtedly the one that boasts the greatest richness in this macronutrient. Bluefin and yellowfin tuna species are particularly rich in protein, with bluefin tuna offering 29.91 grams of protein per 100 grams of cooked fish, and yellowfin tuna providing 29.15 grams. Canned light tuna, usually made from a blend of yellowfin tuna and skipjack tuna, is also an excellent source of protein, providing 29.13 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Highest protein fish: what are they?

In addition to tuna, other high-protein fish, ranging from about 26 to 29 grams per 100-gram serving, include: anchovies, salmon, halibut, red snapper, and tilapia. Swordfish and cod also contain high amounts of dietary protein, each providing approximately 23 grams per 100 grams of fish. Lobster and other shellfish are also good sources of protein, with lobster providing 26.41 grams per 100 grams. Shrimp and crabmeat are other high-protein marine crustaceans. Although usually consumed in smaller quantities than fish meat, fish eggs are also very high in protein, offering around 29 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Among the amino acids of fish there is an abundant presence of lysine, the limiting amino acid of cereals and some vegetables. For this reason, the best combination on the plate is between cereals and fish, vegetables and fish. Nutritionists, however, do not recommend mixing fish with other protein sources such as legumes, meat, cheese or eggs.

Watch out for mercury levels

It is important to choose carefully when selecting high-protein fish to limit the risk of mercury exposure. Despite providing the highest protein content in fish, bluefin tuna, consumed primarily in sushi dishes, has been associated with high levels of mercury. Light canned tuna, on the other hand, while providing only slightly less protein than bluefin tuna, has relatively low levels of mercury. Shrimp, salmon, cod and crab are also low in mercury, while swordfish and snapper, or large fish in general, contain higher amounts of mercury.

Benefits of fish proteins

Fish proteins have been, and still are, the subject of numerous studies in the nutritional and medical fields. The most supported thesis sees the consumption of fish, in particular its fats and proteins, as beneficial and capable of promoting a reduction in the incidence of overweight and an improvement in metabolic parameters (blood pressure, cholesterolemia, triglycerides, systemic inflammation, global cardiovascular risk).

While lipidemia appears to benefit enormously from the nutritional intake of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega-3 series, present in fish, fish proteins intervene by reducing systemic inflammation (in particular, C-reactive protein) and improving sensitivity to insulin; both of these characteristics make fish proteins an important factor in protecting against type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Furthermore, fish proteins would have beneficial effects on bio-regulatory metabolism, contributing to a greater sense of satiety, thus reducing food consumption. This could be attributed to the ability of fish proteins to stimulate the secretion of gastrointestinal mediators responsible for satiety: the cholecystochinine (CCK) and the glucagon peptide-1 (GPL-1). The result is therefore a physiological improvement in the regulation of body weight.

To build muscle it is better to eat protein for breakfast.

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