Low-Cholesterol Baked Tilapia Recipes

Baked Tilapia Preparation Ideas

woman preparing tilapia
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Try Tilapia for a Heart-Healthy Change of Pace

Think salmon and tuna are the only heart-healthy fish on the block? Think again. High-protein tilapia (and baked tilapia, in particular) is another delicious, cholesterol-friendly fish that makes a great addition to your diet.

Although not as high in omega-3 fat as salmon or tuna, tilapia is still considered heart-healthy. It is low in saturated fat and has only 30 calories per ounce.

Hank Shaw, Fish & Seafood Cooking Expert, says, "tilapia are native to Africa, where they were first farmed -- possibly by the ancient Egyptians."

Now most tilapia are farmed in Latin America, China, Indonesia and in the U.S. South.

A Non-Fishy Fish

Tilapia is a great choice for those who don't like the taste of fish, as it is mild, very lean, very white and has almost no flavor of its own. 

Preparation Tips

Having no discernible flavor of its own, tilapia easily takes on the flavor of the ingredients it is prepared with. Try tilapia with citrus (lemon, lime, oranges), savory (tarragon, dill) or spicy (chili peppers, chili sauce) toppings, or Asian flavors. Tilapia is delicate, so it's best fried, steamed, baked or broiled. Do not eat it raw, and do not grill it. For low cholesterol, steaming, baking or broiling are the best choices.

What to Look for When Buying Fresh Fillets

  • Look for vibrant-colored flesh. 

  • Smell it. The fillets should have no pungent aromas.

  • If there is liquid on the flesh, it should be clear, not milky. Milky liquid on a fillet is the first stage of rot.

  • If possible, press the fish flesh with your finger. It should be resilient enough so your indentation disappears. If your fingerprint remains, move on.

    Tilapia Nutrition Facts Information

    Per 3-ounce baked serving of tilapia: 109 calories, 20 calories from fat, 2.2 g total fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 0.8 g monounsaturated fat, 46 mg cholesterol, 48 mg sodium, 323 mg potassium, 0 g carbohydrates, 0 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugars, 22.2 g protein, 1% calcium, 3% iron

    Is tilapia a low-mercury fish?

    Shereen Lehman, MS, the Nutrition Expert, says, "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency test and monitor mercury levels in all the fish and seafood that are sold commercially here in the U.S., and [tilapia is one of the species] among the lowest in mercury, and can be consumed freely."

    The other 14 fish lowest in mercury are:

    1. Anchovies
    2. Atlantic Mackerel
    3. Catfish
    4. Clams
    5. Crab
    6. Crawfish
    7. Freshwater Trout
    8. Haddock
    9. Herring
    10. Oysters
    11. Pollock
    12. Salmon
    13. Scallops
    14. Shrimp

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