Fish are high in nutrients that are beneficial to your health. Fish markets, on the other hand, are scarce, making them generally inaccessible. Frozen fish sticks, on the other side, are a common sight in the frozen food section of any supermarket. The nutrients in frozen fish are preserved, but are fish sticks healthy?
Naturally, deep-fried, oily food is terrible for health, so fish sticks are unhealthy, but there are healthier ways to consume the fish sticks.
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What are Fish Sticks Made of?
Fish sticks are usually made from white fish such as tilapia, cod, pollock, or haddock. These fish have one thing in common: they have high protein and are packed with delicious nutrients.
However, processed food coated in preservatives, refined starch, and breaded to give you that crunch is usually deep-fried. Deep frying the fish sticks strips them of any good nutrients that your body can benefit from. However, they are a good protein source that you can add to diversify your diet.
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Are Fish Sticks Healthy?
Fish sticks are not healthy as they are usually deep-fried in oil. This can increase cholesterol and make you bloated. However, frying them with olive oil or a pan can make them healthier.
So ultimately, if you wonder if fish sticks are healthy, it boils down to how you prepare your fish sticks.
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Advantages of Fish Sticks
Fish sticks are a staple in a household as they are affordable and readily available.
Ease of Access:
Fish markets are usually crowded and have a potent smell that is not for the faint-hearted. Furthermore, the congestion and stench of fish can make the market unnerving.
On the flip side, fish sticks are readily available in the frozen section of any market. Such supermarkets are open throughout cities. Moreover, there are varieties of brands with different price ranges that produce fish sticks, making them more accessible.
Well, mostly! Whichever brand you consume your fish sticks from, it is bound to be delicious. If your fish stick has a brown tint or smells funky, it is best not to consume it. Also, always check the expiration date before buying any fish sticks from supermarkets.
High in Protein:
Fish sticks are high in protein. They make you feel full, so it is excellent for weight management as you won’t entertain frequent food cravings. Additionally, proteins help muscle repair, so it is a perfect addition to your diet if you work out often.
Versatility of Use:
Fish sticks are fantastic finger foods suitable for cocktail parties, small gatherings, parties, etc. They pair well with other kinds of food. Instead of serving as a solo dish, you can chop fish sticks and add them to saucy pasta, flavorful chow mein, bland rice, vegetables, or cheese.
The crunchy fish sticks will add an element of fun, flavor, and texture that many will love. Indeed, their versatility is why it is so loved among college students and children. They are a great way to introduce some protein in a carb-rich food.
Disadvantages of Fish Sticks
Let’s look at the disadvantages of eating fish sticks.
Deep Frying Fish Sticks Can Eliminate the Nutrients:
Fish are high in protein and minerals, so they are great for your body, brain, and overall health.
Generally, fish sticks have a thick coat of refined starch, preservatives, and artificial ingredients to improve the taste. Unfortunately, adding additional preservatives and deep-frying the sticks will omit the excellent omega acids, vitamin B-12, and all the yummy minerals fish is known to have.
High Sodium Content:
Sodium is excellent for our health as it is a catalyst for our nervous system. However, too much of something is always troublesome. Some fish sticks have high sodium levels, increasing your pressure. This is detrimental to health.
Fried in Oil:
Apart from having additional additives, fish sticks are fried in saturated, refined oil, which is terrible for you. It is delicious-yes-but very unhealthy.
Also, beware of the brands that offer extra crunchy fish fingers because additional crunch means that fish sticks have more breading and require more deep-fried.
Alternative to Fish Sticks
Fish sticks can be unhealthy, but if you make fish sticks at home using natural substances, that omits many cons of fish sticks.
Pan-frying can be done using less oil which is the healthier option to its counter alternative. Prepare fish sticks by cutting them into appropriate proportions and covering them with breadcrumbs. Add lemon and a tasty sauce or dip to enjoy the end product.
02. Olive Oil:
Instead of deep-frying the food in processed oil, you can deep fry the food in olive oil, which is healthier. Olive oil does not alter the taste as much, making it an ideal alternative.
03. Bake or Grill the Fish Sticks:
Baking the fish sticks or grilling them can be a great alternative to healthily eating the fish sticks.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are fish sticks processed food?
They are processed food found in the frozen aisle of any supermarket. They are generally made from tilapia, cod, haddock, and other white fish.
Can you gain weight from eating fish sticks?
One serving of frozen fish can have 78 calories, so it is a high-calorie snack. Hence, you can gain weight if you consume more than one fish stick.
Are the frozen fish we buy healthy?
When you freeze the fish, it retains its nutrients, so frozen fish is just as good as the fresh fish as they maintain the nutrients.
So, are fish sticks healthy? The short answer is it depends on how it is fried and consumed. Deep frying it in oil is undoubtedly an unhealthy way of eating it as it strips away any nutrients it has.
However, pan-frying, grilling or baking fish sticks at home can be a great way of consuming the fish sticks healthily.