Fish, especially some types, contains high amounts of high-quality protein, making it a good source of this macronutrient while also providing essential minerals and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Fish proteins are referred to as high biological value peptides (VB = 78), as they contain a mapping of essential amino acids (AAE) very similar to that of human proteins; however, it is important to limit the intake of larger fish such as swordfish, as they can contain high levels of mercury. According to nutrition experts, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein for adult women is 46 grams, while for adult men it is 56 grams. In addition to fish, other foods that are excellent sources of dietary protein include cheese, lean red meats, seeds, poultry, yeast extract, and legumes.
Tuna: the most protein
Of all the fish with a high protein content, tuna is undoubtedly the one that boasts the greatest wealth of this macronutrient. Bluefin and yellowfin tuna species are particularly high in protein, with bluefin tuna offering 29,91 grams of protein per 100 grams of cooked fish, and yellowfin tuna providing 29,15 grams. Canned light tuna, usually made from a blend of yellowfin and skipjack tuna, is also an excellent source of protein, providing 29,13 grams of protein per 100 grams.
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Benefits of fish proteins
Fish proteins have been, and still are, the subject of numerous nutritional and medical studies. The most corroborated thesis sees the consumption of fish, in particular of its fats and proteins, beneficial and able to promote a reduction in the incidence of overweight and an improvement in metabolic parameters (blood pressure, cholesterolemia, triglyceridemia, systemic inflammation, overall cardiovascular risk).
While lipidemia seems to greatly benefit from the nutritional intake of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega-3 series, present in fish, fish proteins intervene by reducing systemic inflammation (in particular, C reactive protein) and improving sensitivity to insulin; both of these characteristics make fish proteins an important protection factor against type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Furthermore, fish proteins would have beneficial effects on the bio-regulatory metabolism, contributing to a greater sense of satiety thus reducing the consumption of food. This could be attributed to the ability of fish proteins to stimulate the secretion of gastrointestinal mediators responsible for satiety: cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon peptide-1 (GPL-1). The result is therefore constituted by a physiological improvement in the regulation of body weight.
To build muscle, it's best to eat protein at breakfast.