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Is Fried Fish Healthy? Nutritional Value and Health Benefits
Nutrition

Is Fried Fish Healthy? Nutritional Value and Health Benefits

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 September 23
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4 min

Fish is considered an extremely healthy source of nutrients. However, will it have health benefits if it’s fried? Scroll down to find out.

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It is well-known that fish has high nutritional content – they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fatty acids. This is why many nutritionists would advise including fish in your diet.

There are numerous ways to cook fish, which can make one wonder if fried fish gives us the same health benefits as fish cooked using other methods. 

Is Fried Fish Healthy?

No, fried fish is not considered healthy. While fish is rich in high-quality nutrients, how you cook them determines their health benefits. The frying process can drastically lessen their nutritional content, giving you less value than, say, steaming or broiling.

Cholesterol and saturated fat are increased when we fry fish. Add more than a dash of salt, and this can be a recipe for disaster. Eating fried fish with high levels of sodium increases our blood pressure, while bad cholesterol clogs the vessels in our heart, leading to heart disease.

Can you still eat fried fish? Absolutely. One technique to lessen its negative effects on health is to pan fry instead of deep frying fish. This will lessen the amount of oil needed in cooking, giving you a better quality of fried fish. Another piece of advice is to use olive oil, which is regarded as a healthier alternative to other kinds of cooking oil.

Which Type of Fish Is the Healthiest?

In terms of nutritional benefits, most fish are good sources of nutrients. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which keep our brain and heart in good shape. Salmon and herring provide as high as 100% of our daily recommended vitamin D intake, while cod liver oil provides twice this amount.

Studies have shown that those with a fish-heavy diet have a significantly decreased risk of cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack.

3 Benefits of Fried Fish

#1 The risk of developing heart disease is decreased

Omega-3 fatty acids are the star of the show when it comes to the health benefits of eating fried fish. They help prevent blockages in coronary arteries, lower triglyceride levels, and help avoid high blood pressure.

#2 Brain health is improved

Another benefit for those who eat fried fish is delayed neurologic signs of aging, such as memory loss, inattentiveness, and trouble with multitasking. This is one reason why fish is considered extremely healthy.

#3 The risk of depression is reduced

Studies have discovered a strong association between fatty acids in fish and decreased symptoms of depression. People who eat fish have better cognitive functioning, also lessening their risk for mood disorders. 

DENNY’S Fried Fish Nutritional Facts

Nutritional table (per 100g)

Calories/Nutrient (per 100g)Amount
Calories234 kcal
Protein13.8g
Carbohydrate17.4g
Fiber1g
Sugar0.4g
Fats (Total)12.2g
Cholesterol37mg

High in carbohydrates

Fried fish contains approximately 17.4 grams of carbohydrates per 100g. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that 45–65% of total daily calorie intake should be from carbohydrates. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for carbohydrates is 130g daily.

High in proteins

Proteins are the building blocks of most of our body. Therefore, adequate intake helps us function. Fried fish provides around 13.8g of protein per 100g. The RDA is 0.8g of protein per kilogram (or 0.36g per pound) of our body weight.

Moderate amount of calories

In general, the recommended daily intake is 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 calories for men. A 100g serving of fried fish provides a modest amount of calories.

Healthy Fried Fish Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 5oz fish filet
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

Step 1: Place the eggs in a small bowl and whisk.

Step 2: Combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and cornstarch on a bowl or plate.

Step 3: Season fish with salt and pepper. You may add herbs for more flavor.

Step 4: Dip fish filets and dredge in the cornstarch mixture, coating all sides.

Step 5: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the coated fish filets.

Step 6: Fry until golden brown.

Step 7: Remove excess oil using a kitchen towel. Serve with your favorite sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is fried fish good for you?

It’s not as healthy as fish cooked by baking, broiling, and steaming, among others. Frying decreases the important nutrients of fish; however, pan-frying and opting to use healthy oil can preserve more of this good fat.

Is fried fish high in sodium?

Fish is not innately high in sodium, even when fried. However, the amount of salt you put during cooking determines the level of sodium in fried fish.

Is fried fish fattening?

Because of its high quality of nutrients, eating fried fish in moderation is not fattening. Even better, fried fish can be a part of your weight loss diet as it provides high-quality nutrients.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Fried fish is high in protein and carbohydrates and supplies a moderate amount of calories. These contribute to meeting the daily requirement for optimal nutrition.

Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are regarded as “fatty fish” and are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. On the other hand, salmon and herring can provide the full requirement for vitamin D intake.

Compared to other methods of cooking, experts find fried fish bad for your health, especially after deep frying.

Herbs and spices can add distinct aromas and flavors to fried fish. Controlling the amount of salt you put in during cooking also helps keep sodium levels in check.

Conclusion

It is widely known that fish is a good source of many nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to our health.

There are various ways of cooking fish, and among these, frying is the least preferred by experts, as fish loses its nutritional power in the process. However, you may still enjoy fried fish by pan-frying.High-density nutrients in fish contribute to cardiac and mental health. Vitamins and minerals allow our bodies to function better. Fried fish, when in moderation, can still be part of our diet. Just make sure to eat not more than two servings per week.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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