Nutrition and DietThe benefits of white fish and what are the lean ones

The benefits of white fish and what are the lean ones

White fish is essential in the diet, since it has important benefits and properties, being ideal within a healthy and balanced diet. We reveal the list for you so you know what they are.

White fish (also known as lean fish), are an excellent alternative in meals, since in addition to being easy to prepare (they can be grilled, microwaved or baked), they have very important properties and benefits.

White fish stands out for being a food with an important source of nutrients, in addition to being easily digestible. One of the most important nutrients in white fish is high or good quality protein, which is accompanied by B vitamins and minerals, such as phosphorus, calcium, iron, iodine and copper.

They are ideal for all people, especially for the little ones or young people who are at school, since white fish will provide them with an interesting amount of phosphorus, and especially calcium, an important mineral that favors proper growth.

It is also so beneficial that many nutritional experts advise taking between three and four servings of fish a week, given the important virtues they have.

Regarding the caloric value of white fish, we must indicate that approximately a medium portion of lean fish of about 110 grams, provides 120 kcal.

Precisely because lean fish usually have a similar caloric value, it is highly recommended to alternate different fish at meals, in such a way that we will enjoy all the flavor of the sea by choosing one or the other.

White fish is a very nutritious food, rich in good quality protein and low in fat.

What are white fish?

Among other aspects, we name below a brief list of which are the so-called “white” or “lean” fish:

  • Cod: Saltwater fish that belongs to the Gravidae family. It lives in the temperate and cold seas of the north, highly appreciated for its lean meat and for the oil that we find in its liver.
  • Sea bream: Fish known by the name of Paellas bogaraveo, with a delicious flavor and highly appreciated for its meat.
  • Cabracho: Also known by the name of cabracho, and whose scientific name is Scorpaena scrofa, it stands out for being a very characteristic rock fish, due to its striking reddish color. It is considered one of the tastiest and tenderest.
  • Dogfish: Fish that lives near the coast, also known by the names of Glass Horn, Vitamin Shark or Caella. It is a generally cartilaginous fish, with a high content of urea in its meat.
  • Dorada: One of the best known lean or white fish. Known by the name of Sparus aurata, it is a delicious fish that has the ability to turn into a semi-fat fish at certain times of the year, thanks to its body fat increasing above 2.5%.
  • Sole: There is no doubt that we are facing one of the best known, consumed and popular fish. Scientifically known by the name of Soleasolea, it is a flatfish highly valued for its culinary use. Similar to the scorpionfish.
  • Hake: This is another of the most popular and consumed white fish. Known by the name of Merlucciusmerluccius, it is one of the most used in the kitchen of our country.
  • Grouper:  White fish just as applied in the gastronomy and in the kitchen of our country in the same way as sole or hake, it is scientifically known by the name of Epinephelus spp.
  • Whiting: Did you know that it is a smaller hake? It is also known by the name of “whiting”, since it usually tends to have that curious shape.
  • Rooster: It is a scientifically known white fish with the curious -and difficult- name of Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis. It is usually used when children begin to eat fish, thanks to the fact that it has practically no bones and its mild flavor.
  • Turbot: It consists of a flat-shaped white fish, which is very reminiscent of sole. It is known by the name of Psetta maxima and is highly valued for its tender meat in the kitchen.

We can also name other equally well-known lean or white fish, such as roseate, monkfish and ray.

What benefits does lean or white fish offer us?

From a nutritional point of view, white fish stands out for its richness in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and for its high content of proteins of high biological value (around 20% per 100 grams of edible part). These proteins are also considered of good quality because it means that they provide all the essential amino acids, which are easily assimilated by our body. Which in turn means that they are easily digestible fish.

They are also very interesting for their mineral content, among which the presence of calcium, phosphorus, copper and iron stands out. Due to its richness in calcium and phosphorus, for example, white fish is ideal to include in children’s nutrition, since they positively help the growth and strengthening of bones.

Due to their  richness in group B vitamins, among which the presence of vitamin B12 stands out, they are interesting fish when it comes to increasing defenses by strengthening the immune system, being very interesting their consumption in the diet when suffering from anemia.

Among other aspects, below we summarize what are the main properties of white fish:

  • Vitamins: high in vitamins of group B.
  • Minerals: rich in phosphorus, calcium, iron, iodine and copper.
  • High protein content of good quality.
  • Low calorie content: just 120 kilocalories per 100 grams.

Nutritional information for lean fish

Although each variety of lean fish has different nutritional qualities, here is the nutritional composition of one of the most consumed and popular white fish (sole), precisely because it will help to discover the nutritional content that most of these fish have:

Calories 81.38 kcal
Carbohydrates 0.5 g
Protein 17.5 g
Fats 1.5 g
Iron 0.7 mg
Magnesium 29 mg
Potassium 230 mg
Match 260 mg
Iodine 30 mg
Vitamin B3 (niacin) 5.5 mg
Vitamin B9 (folic acid) 11 mg
B12 vitamin 0.95 µg

As we can see, they are healthy and nutritious fish, whose consumption is advisable. How many servings of white fish is it advisable to consume per week? It is recommended to consume 4 servings of fish a week, of which 2 servings must be white fish.


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