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Mackerel With Watercress, Spinach and Rocket Salad

Smoked mackerel with baby leaf salad dressed in olive oil.This is one of my favorite quick and healthy lunches. It contains a good balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and is also rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins, fatty acids and fiber.

It is low in calories and provides enough protein to ensure that you do not experience any muscle wastage when on a low calorie diet.

As the ingredients generally come washed and ready to eat there is no preparation required either. Dress the salad leaves in only olive oil, there is plenty of salt in the fish and the watercress provides a nice pepper flavor.

Lunch Ingredients

  • 2 portions of smoked mackerel
  • baby leaf spinach
  • watercress
  • rocket
  • olive oil dressing

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The method is simple. Take a package of pre-washed salad, put about half on a plate (assuming a 100g package). Put the mackerel on the plate. Drizzle in olive oil. Serve.

Nutritional Information

Mackerel Nutrition

2 smoked mackerel is about 160g in total. So according to the label on the package, this is the nutritional information:

  • 616 calories
  • 30.5g protein
  • 1.9g Carbohydrate
    • 1.9g of which sugars
  • 53.9g Fat
    • 14.2g of which saturates
    • 12.6g mono-unsaturates
    • 24.8g polyunsaturates
    • 8.4g omega 3
  • 0.8g Fibre
  • 3g Salt

nutrition information for smoked mackerel

Rocket, Spinach and Watercress Nutrition

This method of calculating nutrition is not ideal as the packaging does not specify the proportions of each of the rocket, spinach and watercress present. However, it does provide an overall nutrition label, so we have to assume that it is pretty uniform. Half a packet of salad is 50g, so according to the label, this is the nutritional information:

  • 13 calories
  • 1.35g protein
  • 1.25g carbohydrate
    • 0.1g of which sugars
  • 0.3g fat
    • 0.1g of which saturates
  • 1g fiber
  • 0.1g salt

nutrition for rocket, spinach and watercress

Total Nutrition for a Mackerel and Green Baby Leaf Salad

  • 629 calories
  • 31.9g protein
  • 3.1g Carbohydrate
    • 2.0g of which sugars
  • 54.2g Fat
    • 14.3g of which saturates
    • 12.6g mono-unsaturates
    • 24.8g polyunsaturates
    • 8.4g omega 3
  • 1.8g Fibre
  • 3.2g Salt
  • Vitamin A 65% RDA
  • Vitamin C 24% RDA
  • Folic Acid 77% RDA

What does this mean? If you are trying to lose weight and also wish to maintain muscle mass (this is vital to maintain your metabolism and physique) then this lunch will almost provide you with your daily requirements.


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Studies have shown that approximately 0.34g protein per kg of body mass is lost from the body each day. If there is not enough protein in the diet, then proteins in muscle in internal organ cells are broken down by catabolism. Therefore to prevent your muscles wasting away you should ensure that you get at least 0.34g of protein in your diet per kg weight to help balance this.

So a 60kg woman needs around 20.4g of protein a day and a 90kg man needs about 31g of protein a day. This lunch provides just enough for a well built man. Add a couple of eggs for breakfast and you should be receiving adequate protein to prevent muscle wastage while losing body fat.

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