A New Food for You to Try

What if I told you there is a food that you can eat that provides more calcium and magnesium than milk, more protein than eggs, similar potassium to bananas and more iron than cooked spinach as well an excellent source of beneficial omega-3 fat? If that isn’t enough, what if I told you it was environmentally sustainable, portable and inexpensive? Would you give it a try?

I recently tried sardines for the first time. While they have been readily available in supermarkets for years, I was never served them before and had never ventured to try them on my own. That is until Raincoast Trading asked me if I would like to try some of their new wild caught Pacific sardines.

Knowing that they are an important source of omega-3 fat, I readily agreed. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and texture. What I had always thought would be a boney off-putting experience, was quite a pleasant one. The product comes in four flavoured varieties and one spring water packed. My kids (aged 2 and 3) ended up sharing the can with me, since they wanted to try what mommy was eating and they loved it too!

I am happy to write about this new product and hope that you give it a try. Here is the nutrition information from the Canadian Nutrient file to back up my earlier statements:

100g of Pacific sardine, canned in tomato sauce, drained with bones provides:

20.86 g protein, 240 mg calcium, 341 mg potassium, 34 mg magnesium, 2.3 mg iron

100g poached egg: 11.76 g protein

100g of 2% milk: 120 mg calcium and 11 mg magnesium

100g boiled spinach: 3.57 mg iron

100 g of banana: 358mg potassium

According to the DHA/EPA Omega-3 Institute, sardines rank in the top 5 omega-3 content of selected fishes, here are the top 10 on the list, in order of omega-3 content:

Salmon, Atlantic , farmed, cooked, dry heat 2.147

Herring, Atlantic , cooked, dry heat 2.014

Mackerel, Pacific and jack, mixed species, cooked, dry heat 1.848

Anchovy, European, raw 1.449

Sardine, Atlantic , canned in oil, drained solids with bone 0.982

Trout, mixed species, cooked, dry heat 0.936

Shark, mixed species, raw 0.843

Swordfish, cooked, dry heat 0.819

Sea bass, mixed species, cooked, dry heat 0.762

Pollock, Atlantic , cooked, dry heat 0.542

While this database lists only Atlantic sardines, the Canadian Nutrient file states that Pacific sardines contains 1.68 g of omega-3, putting it into the number 4 spot on this list.

The other consideration when buying seafood is the sustainability. According to the Monteray Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Pacific Sardines rate as a “best choice”, in contrast, they recommend that Atlantic sardines by avoided.

If you are looking for a nutritious, affordable, sustainable food to add to your family’s current menu, then I can recommend Raincoast Pacific Sardines.

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