RFTH Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout

Real Foods that Heal
volume 3, #10
November 2, 2008

Rainbow Trout

This week, Real Foods that Heal introduces another healthy fish to add to your diet. The mention of rainbow trout brings to mind images of fishermen in hip-high waders casting a line in the middle of a mountain stream, but such idyllic settings can be clouded by worries over toxic contaminants so common now in streams and rivers, so many people are hesitant to eat fish. But we have good news to bring about rainbow trout, specifically farmed rainbow trout. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, the farmed rainbow trout which we find in markets in the US is a very healthy choice because of extremely low contaminant levels and is also not harming the watersheds or oceans. This fish is widespread in nature, not endangered, and can also be found by the name of steelhead (the type of rainbow trout that inhabits coastal oceans).

Why is this fish a healthy choice? When you eat fish twice weekly, you are substituting it for other protein sources such as meats with higher saturated fat content. And because this fish is an abundant source of polyunsaturated fats, specifically omega-3 fats, it is very anti-inflammatory. A 6 ounce serving contains nearly 2 grams of omega 3’s. Years ago, Dr. Walter Willet, the Harvard nutrition scientist who wroteEat Drink and Be Healthy, turned the food pyramid on its head and put healthy fats at the base of the pyramid, the foundation of a healthy diet. Many of us are still suffering from the “fat phobia” of the 1970’s and 80’s, and think of a low-fat food as a healthy snack or meal. I’d much rather you concentrate on making your snacks low in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Maintaining a high level of omega-3 fats in the diet through having a fish meal twice a week has the potential to stave off many of the chronic degenerative diseases which we associate with aging in this country. Eating fish as part of an anti-inflammatory diet has the potential to reduce your chances of arthritis, heart disease and stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, many cancers, and chronic pain.

Now in your weekly commitment to make fish a part of your healthy diet, you have yet another good choice for fish, in addition to the Alaskan Salmon, sardines, and Atlantic Mackerel we have already discussed. Get to know and love fish, find some good recipes on your own (or use the suggestion here), and enjoy some creative time in the kitchen creating good health for you and your family!

Broiled Rainbow Trout with herbs and olive oil


Because the “how to” of cooking fish is daunting for many of us, I recommend investing in a good cookbook solely devoted to fish. The best is probably Fish Without a Doubt, by Rick Moonen, from which the idea for this recipe was adapted.

First, plan to use a cast iron griddle as your broiling pan, and place it under the broiler for 15 minutes to get it extremely hot before placing the fish on it.

Take 4 trout fillets, skin on or off, and dip in extra virgin olive oil in a shallow bowl. Then make a mixture of ¼ cup fresh chopped green onions, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro. Lay the fish out on a working surface and sprinkle the herb mix over them, followed by 3 teaspoons of bread crumbs, and pat the coating onto the fish. Season with fresh ground pepper if desired, then lay the fish carefully on the hot griddle, skin side down if your fillets have skins. Place under the broiler for 3 minutes only, then remove from the griddle and the heat, for perfectly done fillets.

To your health,



Robert Pendergrast, MD



DISCLAIMER: The contents of this bulletin are for informational purposes only and do not render medical or psychological advice, opinion, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided through this Web site should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a medical or psychological problem, you should consult your appropriate health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Web site. Links on this Web site are provided only as an informational resource, and it should not be implied that we recommend, endorse or approve of any of the content at the linked sites, nor are we responsible for their availability, accuracy or content. 

Return to Holistic Medicine MD Home Page.