Tilapia to Fuel Muscle Growth

September 17, 2011 · 4 comments

This is a guest post by Greg Hayes.

If you’re exercising on a regular basis, you need to ensure that you’re getting enough protein to build muscle mass. While there are lots of options out there, some protein-rich foods offer more health benefits (and cost benefits) than others. That’s why you should consider turning to tilapia for nutrition.

Tilapia, which averages about 26 grams of protein per 100 gram serving, has been growing in popularity, both in the U.S. and around the world, as a high-quality source of protein. Unlike beef, it contains little fat, and unlike many other fish, its mercury levels are extremely low. Tilapia also tends to be cheap and readily available in supermarkets.

Tilapia also has a light, delicate flavor—nothing too salty—which means that it can be prepared in numerous ways to suit different palates. Even people who usually avoid fish can find a tilapia recipe that’s as creamy, spicy, or savory as they desire.

Obviously there are less than healthy ways to prepare tilapia, e.g. breading and frying it. Even baking tilapia can add unwanted calories. So if you want to watch your fat count, grill your tilapia instead. Not only will this reduce your use of butter and oil in cooking, but it will retain the muted flavor of the fish.

Once your tilapia is cooked, you’ve got even more options ahead of you. You can easily turn tilapia into one of several healthy snacks, a spicy dish or you can garnish it with a variety of fruit: peaches, pineapple, mangos, and lemon come to mind. Avocados, another great food loaded with healthy fats and potassium, also make a delicious accompaniment, and are commonly used in Mexican fare.

Not interested in preparing rubs, sauces, or garnishes from scratch? Cooking the fish doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming: you can buy frozen tilapia fillets already covered in sauce, then bake them in the oven without even defrosting them first. Just remember to look for sauces with low sodium content—you don’t want to gain in one area while losing in another!

The simple decision to start eating more tilapia brings the potential of great variety to your diet. Even better, one fillet will supply you with much of the protein you desperately need. When you eat tilapia to supplement your workouts, you’ll be fueling muscle growth in a delicious, low-fat way.

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Carlos September 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm

A good recipe and really simple I use. Best with a small personal oven - makes for 1 person.

Preheat oven to 350
Chop onions, black olives and separately chop spinach
Cook 1/4 cup quinoa on the stovetop (1/4 quinoa, 1/2 water, 10 minutes on soft boil until water is gone)
Oven is pre-heated, get on a thick coat of olive oil on the fillet using a MISTO oil sprayer (best buy i made for the kitchen)
Place tilapia into oven (make sure to coat under the tilapia as well)
10 minutes in, place onions and black olives on top of the fillet (apply more olive oil using the sprayer)
Another 10 minutes, removed and place on top of chopped spinach.

Prep and cook time 30 minutes.

Diane@ NYC Personal Trainer September 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I absolutely love tilapia. It does taste great without the fat like cod. I was actually surprised how cod tasted super greasy. I like my tilapia simple. Pan fried with a little Bragg’s Aminos and then some lemon squirted after prepared.

Me, Exactly weight loss blog September 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I love Tilapia but wasn’t sure of its exact health benifits. thanx for the nifty info! it’s easy to prepare too! just a 5-10 min in a 400 degree oven and presto, dinner. thanx for the article

Greg October 1, 2011 at 9:25 pm

We’ve become fans in our house. Not only is it healthful and tasty, but its quick and easy, too. Great combination.

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