27 Feb Bring on the Salmon (and Salmon Dill Cakes!)
Heart disease has taken more American lives than any other disease and remains the leading cause of death in both men and women. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 611,105 lives were lost in 2013 to the disease. One of the best ways to protect your heart is by getting plenty of Omega-3s, and salmon is one of the best food sources out there.
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that your body can’t produce enough of on its own. That means you need to find a way to get omega-3 into your body, especially in the form of DHA and EPA. These good-for-you fats help keep our blood vessels healthy and help reduce chronic inflammation, both of which lower your risk of heart disease.
Rich in DHA and EPA, as well as vitamin D and protein, salmon is one of the best foods you can eat for your heart. Omega-3s are found in all types of fish, but salmon is especially high since these fish store the oils in their muscles. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fatty fish (like salmon) per week. Studies have found that it can help reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third.
Wild Vs. Farmed
The wild versus farmed controversy is ongoing. The primary concern is the level of contaminants, such as PCBs, in farmed varieties. The truth is, much of the salmon we eat in the U.S. is farmed and the type you’ll likely find at restaurants. You can usually find both varieties at your local market and wild usually comes with a higher price tag. The consensus is that any type of salmon is better than none. And if your wallet can handle the wild, go for it. But salmon in general is lower in contaminants compared to other types of fish and you’ll still do your heart good with farmed salmon.
One of the most cost effective ways to get your weekly dose of salmon is in a can. Canned salmon is not only affordable, but almost always wild. Here’s a yummy recipe for Salmon Dill Cakes courtesy of the National Salmon Council and Kristin of Dizzy, Busy and Hungry.
2 (6 ounce) cans boneless skinless salmon, drained
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh dill (can substitute dried dill weed), divided
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 cups frozen hash browns
½ cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Combine salmon, onion, eggs, 2 tablespoons dill, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and the panko crumbs, and stir to combine.
2. Form and press the salmon mixture into cakes, approximately 3 inches across.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it is heated, add the cakes and cook until brown, about 4-5 minutes.
4. Flip the cakes and cook for another 4-5 minutes to brown the other side.
5. Repeat process for the remaining cakes.
6. Combine the sour cream, lemon juice, and remaining dill in a small bowl. Drizzle over the cakes or serve on the side.