As a nutritionist and veteran seafood professional I have known all along that seafood was not only delicious but an amazing source of nutrients including Vitamin D, protein, selenium, and Omega-3s. For the past several years as the USDA finessed the updated Dietary Guidelines there were murmurs of seafood getting its long awaited spotlight, earlier this week the guidelines went public and I was excited to see that there was truth in those murmurs. Here’s a quick sum up of what there is to know about upping your seafood intake in accordance to the guidelines that were recently made public earlier this week.

Three different “Eating Patterns” have been created based on the types and proportions of foods typically consumed but in nutrient-dense forms and appropriate amounts:

Healthy U.S. Style Eating Pattern

Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern

Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern

All three were design to not exceed the calorie requirements (based on age, weight, height & activity level) but to meet daily nutrient recommendations also known as the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA).

In the Healthy US-Style Eating Pattern the amount of seafood based on the “Calorie Level of Pattern” (1,000 calories/day to 2,200 calories/day) ranges from 3 ounces per week to 9 ounces per week. In the Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern the range for the amount of seafood in ounces to eat per week is 3 to 16.

In addition to the call out for more seafood as a source of lean protein you will also find seafood dominates the USDA’s list of Food Sources of Vitamin D. You can’t scroll down the list without running into a fish of some sort. The list includes canned sosckeye salmon, trout, swordfish, smoked sturgeon, salmon, mackerel, halibut, herring, rockfish, tilapia, and many others.

During these colder months and fewer days with the greatest (and easiest) source of Vitamin D, Mr. Sun, it is important for us to keep our Vitamin D levels up.

Benefits of Vitamin D

  • Bone healthy: promotes absorption of calcium battling osteoporosis
  • Lowers blood pressure: decreases the production of the hormone renin which plays a role in hypertension
  • Reduces risk of diabetes: stimulates the pancreas to make insulin, regulating immune system
  • Lowers chances heart attacks, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis

Check back with us for more on the new USDA Guidelines and latest studies on the nutritional benefits of Seafood.

Happy New Year and Happy Eating!

Lilani Estacio

Orca Bay Seafoods Inc, Staff Nutritionist


A life-long dancer and athlete, Lilani Estacio translated her passion for health and fitness to a BS in Nutritional Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Lilani has always been passionate about enjoying healthful, delicious meals. As one of five children, Lilani grew up witnessing large meals bringing together her even larger family in the kitchen and beyond. Lilani joined Orca Bay in 2015, after sharpening her marketing skills at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and spending over five years collaborating in a test kitchen on fresh recipes at Dole Food Company. When she is not educating consumers and buyers about the benefits of healthful eating, Lilani can also be found advocating an overall healthy lifestyle by teaching Bar Method, representing Zello PRO athletic clothing and accessories, and volunteering as a nutritionist for Solid Grounds and No Kid Hungry/Cooking Matters and is on the Board of Directors of the City of Hope Pacific Northwest Food Industries Circle.




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