Late summer and early fall is red snapper (a.k.a. pargo in the Caribbean  or huachinango in Mexico) season—and it makes for a tasty, healthy alternative to meat.

Late summer and early fall is red snapper (a.k.a. pargo in the Caribbean or huachinango in Mexico) season—and it makes for a tasty, healthy alternative to meat. (Photo/Betty Cortina)

How to incorporate more fish into your Latin diet

All week long we’re focusing on our five food resolutions of 2013, with lots of delicious recipes and tips on how to eat better this year. From posting yummy recipes incorporating whole grains to providing healthy protein alternatives to the usual chuletas and carnitas, NBC Latino is sharing how you can kick off 2013 in a healthy way.

If you needed a reason to incorporate more fish into your diet, how about this fact: eating fish just twice a week can reduce the risk of a fatal heart attack by about 30 percent. Fish – filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins D and B – are proven to lower blood pressure and boost heart health, reducing the risk of stroke. And while the American Heart Association recommends Americans consume two four-ounce servings of fish weekly, very few do, with the perception that fish can have high levels of contaminants like mercury. Choose fish that’s higher in heart healthy oils – like salmon and trout – and rest easy knowing that the overall health benefits of seafood can go a long way in a well-balanced diet.

Ceviche

Ceviche (Photo/Betty Cortina)

Get the maximum health benefits from fish by preparing it without breading or the added calories of a deep fryer. And just in case you were about to think that skipping the fryer meant less flavor, think again: traditional ceviche couldn’t be easier to make at home. Simply toss fish in a marinade of lemon, aromatic garlic, crisp onion and jalapeño with plenty of veggies,  a recipe which makes ceviche a bright, flavorful and delicious dish that’s easy to prepare at home and serve for dinner. Click here for the recipe.

Late summer and early fall is red snapper (a.k.a. pargo in the Caribbean  or huachinango in Mexico) season—and it makes for a tasty, healthy alternative to meat.

Red snapper (a.k.a. pargo in the Caribbean or huachinango in Mexico)  is a tasty, healthy alternative to meat. (Photo/Betty Cortina)

Not a fan of fish? Then give red snapper a try, a fish with a firm “meaty” texture that stands up to plenty of seasoning, like in this roasted snapper recipe that relies on plenty of garlic, cumin, oregano and paprika for its savory criollo flavor. Click here for the recipe.

Chimmichurri fish tacos

Chimichurri fish tacos (Photo/Courtesy Alejandra Ramos)

Fresh fish tacos are a great way to incorporate seafood into your diet, but the health benefits of fish are lost when coated in heavy breading, thrown into the fryer and covered with heavy mayo dressing. But you can still have your tacos, thanks to this recipe by blogger Alejandra Ramos: just dredge the fish in a whole-wheat flour and lightly sauté. And you won’t even miss the mayo when you drizzle a bit of bright cilantro-parsley chimichurri sauce over the fish. Click here for the recipe.

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