Nutrition Basics: The Goodness of Tilapia Explained

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We all know that Tilapia is loaded with protein (in a 4 oz serving, there are 21 grams of protein for 90 calories!). But did you know it’s also a source of other vitamins and contains only 1 gram of fat per serving? Along with this, it’s also gluten free and a great low-fat alternative to many proteins. Being a nutrient-rich protein, you’ll want to read on for a breakdown of the benefits of this lean fish.

High Protein, Low Calories

Containing only 90 calories per serving, Tilapia is significantly lower in calories compared to other fish like tuna (184) and salmon (208). Plus, with a whopping 21 grams of protein, Tilapia is the perfect post-workout protein. Consider pairing Tilapia with a side of brown rice, edamame beans and sautéed swiss chard for an energy packed meal. For other low calorie, high protein meals, check out these recipes.

Packed with Potassium

Another mineral in Tilapia is potassium—10% of your daily recommended amount can be found in a typical 4 oz serving (that’s as much as a banana!). As an electrolyte, potassium regulates the electrical activity of your heart, builds protein and metabolizes carbohydrates. In fact, potassium can even help lower blood pressure—just another added benefit. For other sources of potassium try lima beans, pinto beans, soybeans, lentils, avocados or, of course, bananas.

Low in Saturated Fats

It is recommended that we reduce our intake of both total fat (to less than 30 percent of our consumed calories) as well as our intake of saturated fat. Fortunately, Tilapia contains only 0.5 grams of saturated fat per serving and 0g of trans fat—making it a healthy choice to incorporate into your diet.

Adds Iron to Your Diet

A serving of Tilapia has 2% of your daily recommended iron intake and gives your body a boost. Iron is a vital part of keeping your red blood cells healthy and promotes the release of energy in the body. If you’re low on iron, consider pairing Tilapia with some spinach. This dish will help bolster your iron levels and have you feeling full of energy. Other foods that contain iron include cereals, liver, dried fruits, sardines, parsley and watercress.

Naturally Gluten-Free

Tilapia raised in Mexico, Honduras and Indonesia are also inherently gluten-free, meaning that it is safe for all consumers—including those watching their gluten intake for health or dietary reasons.

A Source of Vitamin C

A 4 oz serving of Tilapia provides you with 2% of your daily intake of Vitamin C. This vitamin creates collagen in the body, which keeps skin, joints and bones strong. It also helps heal wounds in the body by strengthening white blood cells. Other sources of vitamin C include black currants, green peppers, mangoes, oranges, cabbage, tomatoes and potatoes. We think there’s some room for creativity here—it’s time to see how many vitamin C rich foods you can combine into a tasty dish.

As you can see, Tilapia is more than a great source of protein—it’s a basic source of the vitamins and minerals that are essential to a healthy body, even if you have dietary restrictions. Plus, this tasty white fish has zero carbs and is low in fat, making it one of the leanest proteins you can eat. Adding Tilapia to your diet is a great step in making healthy choices for your and your family.

Photo credit: Kim