My recent series on the ABCs of good foods generated some interesting responses. Here are a couple from readers in New Jersey:
“Hi, Barbara! Great article on A to Z health foods. … Question: No mention of fish? As a nutritionist, looking for your take on fish. I eat it four to five times a week in some form. Sorry to ask for free advice. Keep up the great writing.” — Kevin M.
Dear Kevin: My take is that there is more than one good food that starts with the letter F. I mentioned fruit in my column, but fish should definitely be on the list, as well. Fish and other seafood are rich in top-quality protein and low in saturated fat. And fish — especially cold-water varieties like salmon, sardines and tuna — provides valuable omega-3 fats, well-known for their protective effects on the heart.
Fish is also one of few natural foods that contain vitamin D, a hormone-like vitamin with far-reaching health benefits. Experts advise us to consume at least two servings of fish each week. If you’d like more free advice on the safety and sustainability of various types of fish, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program at www.seafoodwatch.org.
Another reader from New Jersey writes: “I read with interest your page of food recommendations and noted what seemed to me a major omission: baked potatoes.
“In grade school, I was taught that sailors got scurvy because they peeled potatoes but when they stopped peeling potatoes scurvy stopped being a problem. When I was a teenager, an illness brought me close to death, and I was out of school for an entire year. My mother put me on a fast, and then my diet consisted of baked potatoes for several months, and I recovered. I am now 91, and I continue to run seven or eight miles in the morning. I believe that potatoes are a valuable dietary staple.” — Nathaniel F.