Red Snapper Fish Nutrition

Red snapper is a type of delicate white fish with a firm, mild flavored flesh. The skin is red and pink in color. Red snapper is rich in protein, certain B vitamins, several minerals as well as a type of health-promoting unsaturated fatty acids known collectively as omega-3 fats. Because there are so many ways to prepare this fish, you could eat it often and not grow tired of it. In general, red snapper is available year-round at your local market.


Red snapper has a distinctive red and pink skin. Unlike other types of fish, many people enjoy eating its skin, according to the World's Healthiest Foods. There are approximately 185 species of snapper throughout the world and snapper is a member of the Lutjanidae fish family. Red snapper thrives in deeper waters off the Atlantic coast of the United States, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico. Because there is such a high demand for this type of fish, there are imposters on the market. For example, "Pacific red snapper" is not red snapper at all but red rockfish. Thus, be sure to purchase the fish from a reputable fishmonger.


A 4 oz. portion of baked or broiled red snapper, or about 113.4 g, provides 145 calories, 29 g of protein, 2 g of fat, 0 g of saturated fat, 0 g of carbohydrates, 53 mg of cholesterol and 64.5 mg of sodium. Red snapper is particularly rich in vitamins B-6 and B-12, providing 0.52 mg of B-6 or 26 percent of the recommended daily value, or DV, and 3.97 mcg of vitamin B-12, or 66 percent of the DV per 4 oz. cooked portion. Red snapper is also high in certain minerals, such as potassium, phosphorus and selenium. A 4 oz. portion provides 592 mg of potassium, or 17 percent of the DV; 228 mg of phosphorus, or 23 percent of the DV and 55.6 mcg of selenium, or 79 percent of the DV.


Red snapper is an excellent food source of lean protein. Protein is a macronutrient and is needed daily in large quantities. The building blocks of protein, amino acids, are used to form the structure of cells, body tissues, muscles, many hormones, enzymes and all antibodies. Vitamin B-6 is needed to form red blood cells; is important for protein metabolism and breaking down stored glucose, in the form of glycogen in the muscles and liver, into usable energy for the cells. Vitamin B-12 is important for forming DNA and red blood cells, as well as supporting nervous system health. Potassium regulates heartbeat and blood pressure, while phosphorus aids in energy metabolism and is important for forming bones and teeth. Selenium is essential for a healthy immune system and supporting proper thyroid function.


Red snapper, while not a "fatty" fish like salmon, still contains a health-promoting type of essential unsaturated fats known collectively as the omega-3 fatty acids. A 4 oz. cooked portion of red snapper provides 0.36 mg, or 15 percent of the DV for these important fats. Some of the beneficial health effects of omega-3 fatty acids are promoting immunity, reducing inflammation and promoting optimal cognitive function. However, they may be best known for their role in reducing your risk of developing heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, eating two servings weekly of fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids reduces the risk of irregular heart beats or arrhythmia, lowers cholesterol and slightly reduces blood pressure.


While red snapper is a delicious and healthful fish, it is, in general, not sustainably harvested. For sustainability or until this changes, you may wish to choose other types of white fish. such as cod, more often. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, alternatives with better sustainability include long-tailed wild-caught ruby snapper from the northwest Hawaiian Islands or U.S. wild-caught yellowtail snapper.


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