Fish Sticks are a popular snack for eating at parties and while watching a movie at home. They are kids’ favorite, too, as they are super delicious, crunchy, and fun to eat. But health-conscious people don’t go for taste only.
They want to know what fish sticks are made of and whether they are healthy or not. If you are here, then it means you are also looking for an answer to this question.
Fish Sticks are made of whitefish meat that is coated with bread crumbs (or refined starch). Whether they are healthy or not depends on your choices. They are healthy if you cook them properly and eat them with the right foods. If you don’t, then they are bad for you.
Want to know when fish sticks are healthy and when they cause problems to health? Then stay till the end as I’m discussing everything!
- Fish Sticks or Finger fish are made with whitefish meat that is breaded.
- They are processed and frozen. So, you can get them in the frozen food section.
- Fish sticks are high in calories, protein, Omega-3, Vitamin B-12, and iron.
- The sticks also negatively impact health because of fats, sodium, and lack of fiber.
Let’s see the details!
Fish Stick Ingredients- A Brief Explanation
Whitefish is the priority of food industries/companies to make the finger sticks as its meat is ideal for this product.
These types of whitefish are used to make fish sticks:
The meat of these fish is cut clean and then breaded with refined starch. They are also battered too, which enhances the overall taste. They are processed and frozen; you can get them from the Frozen food section.
The battering and breading over the fish meat is the two main things in the fish sticks, which diversifies the taste. That’s why fish sticks are popular among all age groups. But being tasty does not mean that a product is healthy too. In fact, most healthy foods are unhealthy for humans.
So, what’s the health status of fish sticks? Let’s find out.
Fish Sticks Health Status
Fish sticks or finger fish are both healthy and unhealthy. It all depends on how you cook them, how much you eat, and what foods you eat with them.
If you do everything healthily, then you can enjoy a whole lot of benefits from fish sticks. If you don’t, then you can face health complications like obesity, heart problems, etc.
Let’s have a look at fish sticks’ health benefits first and then the problems with them.
Fish Sticks Health Benefits
Fish Sticks are healthy because they are nutrient-rich. According to USDA, a single fish stick has the following nutrients:
Plus, fish sticks are high in Omega-3, Vitamin B-12, iron, and many other nutrients. Here is what they do to your body:
1. Promote Healthy Weight Loss
As mentioned above, fish sticks are a great source of protein. One serving contains five fish sticks, which means that you will get 15 grams of protein from them.
This protein content promotes a feeling of fullness in the stomach for a long time. As a result, people don’t eat snacks, so fewer calories are consumed. This can lead to healthy weight loss.
2. Lowers Heart Problems
Fish sticks are high in Omega-3 content, which are known to stabilize blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol levels, and unclog the arteries from the fat. All of this reduces the chances of heart disease occurring.
3. Stop Cancer Cells’ Growth
Omega-3 does much more than just improve heart health. It is also a free radical killer (which is the main reason behind cancer).
Free radicals cause mutation and abnormal cell growth and division. Due to this, the cancer spreads. So, killing them is critical, and omega-3 in fish sticks can do this.
4. Builds & Repairs Muscles
Protein, vitamin B, and potassium in fish sticks support muscle growth and repair. So, if you are a gym lover or want to look bulkier, you should go for these sticks.
But not everything is healthy about fish sticks. They have some problematic factors too.
Problems With Fish Sticks
Fish Sticks are not a completely healthy option as it is a processed food that needs to be fried. But there’s more to it.
The health-related problems associated with fish sticks are:
The calorie content is the main factor why health experts suggest people avoid this food. The reason Fish sticks are super high in calories is that they are deep-fried in most recipes.
Wondering how much is it? A serving of five fish sticks contains around 400 calories. If you eat them as a snack between meals, then this content is way too high. For a meal, it is enough.
High Sodium Levels
A serving of fish sticks has more than 550 mg of sodium, which is too high. You should consume around 1500 mg of sodium every day, and consuming one-third of it from a serving of fish sticks only is not good for your health.
Want to know what happens when you eat foods high in sodium?
Well, you face two main health complications:
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
Lack Of Fiber
The third big problem with fish sticks is that they lack fiber content. It is crucial you eat foods rich in fiber because it maintains cholesterol levels, improves digestion, and supports heart health. Unfortunately, the delicious fish sticks don’t have them in high amounts.
In a 100-gram serving, fish sticks only have 1.5 grams of fiber. So, if you regularly eat fish sticks, your body will consume less fiber, and health problems will arise.
Unhealthy For Children
Moms love making fish sticks for the kids as they eat them without complaining. They love the taste and crunchiness. But the problem is that the calories and sodium content can cause health problems in kids from an early age.
Those kids who eat fish sticks have higher chances of becoming obese and face heart problems (like high blood pressure). So, don’t give too many fish sticks to your kids.
Now, the most important part- how can you eat fish sticks and still enjoy good health?
What To Do To Make Fish Sticks Healthy?
If you got disheartened after reading the above “problem” part, then I’ve great news. You can turn the health status of fish sticks from bad to worse if you follow the recommendations I’m now discussing.
Don’t Bread Them
If you are making fish sticks at home, then I suggest you don’t bread them. Instead, broil them.
It is because if you bread them, then you have to fry or deep fry the sticks, which increases the calories, But that’s not the case when you broil them.
Go For Baking
It’s no secret that frying with unhealthy fat/oil is bad for health. Doing this almost doubles the calorie content. Therefore, you should bake them instead of frying them.
A serving of baked fish sticks has 180 calories (way down from 400 calories of a fried fish stick serving).
However, if you still want to fry fish sticks, then use olive oil. It is high in good fatty acids and low in saturated ones.
Go For Such Brands That Offer Less Mercury and Sodium
Another way of eating healthy fish sticks is to go for such brands that offer less mercury and sodium levels. You can compare their ingredients and quantities online and in the supermarket too.
Compare different brands and then decide which ones offer more protein and less bad content.
Prefer Gluten Free Sticks
You should also go for gluten-free fish sticks if you want to avoid any allergic reactions. Plus, they are less in calories and crunchier than the others.
Eat Them In Combination Of Healthy Foods
One of the best ways to make any unhealthy meal healthy is by adding some nourishing and nutritious food items. When you make fish sticks, you should eat them with Mashed Potatoes, brown rice, or vegetables/ salads. These foods are less in calories and high in nutrients (like vitamins and fiber).
So, that’s how you can enjoy both fish sticks and a healthy lifestyle!
Long story short, fish sticks are one of the delicious snacks that are loved by all. They are made up of whitefish meat that is coated with breadcrumbs or refined starch. Generally, food industries use Pollock, Haddock, Tilapia, and Cod.
People often ask whether the fish sticks are healthy or not.
Fish sticks are healthy and unhealthy depending on how you cook and eat them. If you fry them with unhealthy oil, then they will be bad for you.
If you use gluten-free fish sticks, and you bake them instead of frying them, then they will be healthy. Plus, you should eat them with mashed potatoes, salad, and brown rice to increase your nutritional profile.
That’s all about fish sticks!