Heart Healthy Seafood Lunch with Jackson Doctor

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Another Heart Healthy Lunch: “Seafood Diet”

Remember that old joke: “Yeah, I’m on a seafood diet… I SEE FOOD, and I eat it!”

Well, turns out incorporating some actual seafood (you know – the kind that comes from the sea) can, in fact, be a great way to improve the heart-healthiness of your diet.

Dr. Chris Waterer, interventional cardiologist from the Jackson Heart Clinic

Dr. Chris Waterer, interventional cardiologist from the Jackson Heart Clinic

As part of our ongoing February American Heart Month feature series, Eat Jackson went to lunch with Dr. H Chris Waterer III, an interventional cardiologist from the Jackson Heart Clinic. Dr. Waterer suggested meeting at the relatively new seafood restaurant, The Islander. He brought along his nurse, Belmont Trapp, as well as Ashlee and Brooke from his office.

“Fish, in general, is a heart-healthier protein choice than meat,” Dr. Waterer said, explaining his choice of lunch venue. He’s lived in Jackson since 1981, when he and his wife (also a doctor) moved here for medical school. “Mississippians love coming together over food, but we need to work on making healthier choices about both what we eat, and how much we eat of it.”

Everyone at the table started our meal with a small cup of seafood bisque. Dr. Waterer pointed out that a nice, warm cup of soup can be a good way to feed your craving for something satisfying. “With soup, you do have to watch for salt content, or too much cream, but portion size really helps. A small cup, nice and warm like this, works well.”

HeartHealthy-Islander-BisqueAfter the delicious bisque, we asked Dr. Waterer to help us select our main course. We asked: Okay, so what’s the most heart-healthy way to select our meal?

“Avoid anything fried!” Dr. Waterer cautioned. “And along those lines, keep in mind that preparation and portion size are both important. Sometimes a perfectly healthy food is prepared in a particularly unhealthy way. For example, shrimp is good for you. Fried shrimp, not so good for you. So go with the boiled or grilled options, and you can still eat your favorite foods that way. And if you’re served a large portion, you can also plan to eat half of what’s on your plate, then request a box and take the rest home.”

We all made our selections, and then, while waiting for our food to arrive, began chiming in and sharing our own healthy-eating strategies, like allowing a weekly splurge or sharing a dessert instead of eating a full portion of sweets on our own. Nurse Belmont is also a fan of Juice Plus fruit and vegetable capsules, to make sure that no matter what else she eats, she’s getting her fruits and veggies in for the day. We also talked about the dangers of processed foods, and how “detached” from our food we’ve become – we don’t get eggs from chickens in our backyard as much anymore; we have to go to the store. Dr. Waterer recalled growing up on a farm in the Delta, getting fruits like pears from trees in his grandparents’ yard; heart-healthier choices were easier and almost a default-setting then, in some ways. We have to make an effort now to bring those choices back into our lives. Of course, living in the South, we are lucky to have farmer’s markets and local produce available far more regularly throughout the year than in places up North.

Our food arrived quickly, and since a picture is worth a thousand words, we’ll let the next several pictures speak for themselves. But we’re pretty sure when you see how delicious a heart-healthy seafood lunch can be, you’ll be planning on a seafood diet (or at least, a seafood meal!) sometime soon:

Shrimp Basket with Boiled Shrimp and Sweet Potato Fries

Shrimp Basket with Boiled Shrimp and Sweet Potato Fries

Love a good shrimp basket? Instead of deep-fried, breaded shrimp and oil-soaked French fries, at the Islander, Nurse Belmont was able to order Boiled Shrimp, with heart-healthier Sweet Potato Fries. Yum!


Seared Tuna with a Medley of Vegetables

Two of us opted for this tasty option – seared tuna with a little bit of sesame, served over spring mix, with a small side of rice and steamed vegetables. A generous enough portion that both of us who ordered it took the tip about getting half of our meal packaged to-go!

Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa

Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa

This was Dr. Waterer’s lunch. Tilapia is a good heart-healthy fish choice, he said, and also pointed out the pineapple salsa topping: “You’re seeing more of this, and it’s a good thing – using vegetables to bring some seasoning and flavor, rather than something salty or a heavy cream sauce.”


Grilled Oysters

Though Brooke, who ordered the oysters, joked that she was the “bad example” and got the “unhealthy option,” it really wasn’t so bad – some parmesan cheese was broiled atop the oysters, but they weren’t breaded or fried.

Remember, now and then a little taste of something richer is okay – as Dr. Waterer says, “Even donuts are okay as a treat, once in awhile. Just don’t eat them every day for breakfast!”

If you’re eating a healthy breakfast like oatmeal most mornings, and also getting your share of heart-healthy seafood for some lunches and dinners, you’ll be doing yourself – and your heart – a real favor; and with local dining options like those at the Islander, you can even do that favor with some real flavor.

What’s your favorite heart-healthy fish dish?

Jackson HeartEditor’s Note: The Eat Jackson February sponsor is Jackson Heart Clinic. For more information, visit their website at jacksonheartclinic.comlike Jackson Heart Clinic on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @JacksonHeartMS.

Islander Seafood and Oyster House on Urbanspoon
Islander Seafood and Oyster House
1220 East Northside Dr #100
Jackson, MS 39211
(601) 366-5441
Price: $$

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73 Responses to Another Heart Healthy Lunch: “Seafood Diet”

  1. hrmajsty February 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Everything in the pics looks great, especially Dr Waterer’s. I just wish my husband the heart patient (complete with defibrillator) would eat this stuff. Fried catfish is the ONLY thing he will eat that comes from the water. Maybe my son will take me to tr

  2. hrmajsty February 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    y it out. 🙂

  3. Peter Chase February 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Seared Tuna and tilapia with pineapple salsa are two of my favorite dishes. It’s a nice extra bonus that they are healthy.

  4. Danielle February 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    I have got to get to Islander to try it – everything looks great!

  5. Katherine February 22, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Love their oysters!

  6. Matthew February 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    I’m always skeptical about buying seafood at restaurants away from any coast. From the pictures, it looks like the Islander may call for an exception.

  7. Ginnie Clingen February 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    This is great to know when you are always eating healthy. Putting on my go to restaurants

  8. Marissa February 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    The Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa sounds amazing. Can’t wait to try out the Islander to sample it!! Thanks, Eatjackson!

  9. Dustin February 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    The seared tuna looks great!

  10. Ann S February 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    The grilled oysters look fabulous !!

    • Ann S February 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

      and seared tuna

  11. Betsy Ward February 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    I love tuna and it is a wonderful food for you! Thanks for the tips!

  12. erica February 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    everything looked great. i will have to try the islander

  13. Becky February 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    I think we’ll go there tonight!

  14. Jordan Mason February 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Looks great!

  15. Joey K February 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    This looks so good!

  16. Ellen V. Yeates February 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    They all look good. The seared Tuna and the Tilapia really look delicious! I’m trying to stay away from processed foods and I feel so much better!

  17. Nathan February 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm #


  18. Jamie February 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    I had not heard of the Islander, thanks for posting the article! We will have to try it…looks yummy!

  19. Bill Shearer February 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    It’s speckled trout season. Do your heart a favor and go to the Mayflower!

    That tuna looks really well prepared and I like the asparagus pairing. It’s something I’ve done at home on occasion and it works.

  20. Peter February 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Looks wonderful! I’ll have to give it a try.

  21. Danielle Ginn February 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Been dying to try it!

  22. David February 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    I have to try the Islander, those dishes looked great.

  23. Ryan February 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    Wow that seared tuna looks fantastic. I might have to get some tonight.

  24. Tyler February 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Looks great!

  25. Ashten February 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    The tuna looks amazing!!

  26. Amy February 22, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    Looks great!

  27. Liz February 22, 2013 at 2:10 pm #


  28. Christa Fuerst February 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    Everything discussed in this article is so helpful in transitioning to a healthier diet. I love seafood and knowing how to make better eating choices is always beneficial 🙂

  29. TJ Harvey February 22, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    It all looks great and the Islander has great atmospher. Eat healthy have fun!

  30. Charlie February 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    Wow. That seared tuna picture could make a grown man cry.

  31. Shivalika S February 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    I’ve always loved seafood! It’s good to know its healthy too!

  32. Mandy Kate February 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    That tuna looks yummy!

  33. S. Martin February 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    I don’t hate it!

  34. Lynne February 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    Glad to hear about a different seafood restaurant to try!

  35. Em February 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    great suggestions!! healthy living is a good thing!!

  36. Katy February 22, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    AS someone who is dieting, I love the healthy food tips. Keep them coming 🙂

  37. Laura James February 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Yum, seared tuna! This article has really made me crave some fish tonight.

  38. JB February 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    These pictures look delicious and are giving me dinner ideas!

  39. AMitra February 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    Pineapple salsa on tilapia is sooo tempting!!

  40. Tam February 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Broiled Oysters!! Yum!

  41. Jeff Brown February 22, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    The pineapple salsa on that tilapia looks really good.

  42. Hollie Torrence February 22, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    Yummy! Will have to check out Islander.

  43. Jackie February 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    Yum! Maybe I will go there tonight!

  44. Megan February 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    Looks delicious!

  45. Jan February 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Looks yummy!

  46. Jake February 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Their Fish Tacos are the bomb too! Glad to have a fresh seafood restaurant to go to. This place is great!

  47. Jan February 22, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    The tuna looks great.

  48. Debbie February 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Looks healthy and delicious!

  49. Phyllis February 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    After reading this article I will definitely try eating at the Islander! The seafood looks delicious!

  50. Jeri Lyn February 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Everything looks delicious! I try to eliminate fried foods but sometimes it doesn’t quite work out. My husband and I love raw sushi.

  51. Allison Pace February 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Love all these heart healthy suggestions around town!!! Keep them coming!

  52. C. Burns February 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    I think that the Epicureans had it right when they said, “Everything within measure.” It’s ok to splurge once in awhile on dishes like those above. Live would be so boring without great food every once in awhile. The choices above aren’t THAT bad for you… and they’re probably good for you in that they are healthier alternatives, and you can indulge you sense of taste without feeling remorseful.

    I would go for the oysters, personally. Add some Tabasco (pepper sauce is actually good for you, as long as not laden with salt) and some saltine crackers (got to have saltines…sorry!) and I would be in hog heaven.

  53. james bowley February 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    every pic looks delicious!
    i love the sear tuna salad at julep!

  54. Tom Willard February 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Tilapia is the tofu of fish. It has no taste of its own. Why with the Gulf’s bounty would one choose a tasteless farm- raised carp.

  55. lucy February 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    I’m all about the healthier options!! Another option that my husband and I are really into – SPLITTING entrees!!! We walk away from the table feeling much better about what we just ate.. and it saves money!! Win~ Win~

  56. Shelia February 22, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    I love seafood! All this sounds & looks great! Will have to try Islander!

  57. David Kimball February 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    The oysters look wonderful!

  58. Carole February 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    The tilapia looks great! Can’t wait to try it.

  59. Lauren February 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    I’ve been wanting to try Islander. Those grilled oysters look fantastic!

  60. susan February 22, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    so glad you posted this! been wanting to try them out-looks like lunch is a winner!

  61. azileretsis February 22, 2013 at 5:33 pm #


  62. Elysa MacLellan February 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    As someone who loves to eat out but also likes healthy, light options, I’d love to see more articles like this one!

  63. Kate Elaine February 23, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    I love sweet potato fries!! I think this will be a great meal to get while trying to be on the healthy side of things.

  64. Christina March 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Hadn’t heard of The Islander! Sounds yummy and looks so good.

  65. weiss March 1, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    I was scared of tuna until Jackson night out , now I love it ,but I can’t remember who had the excellent smoked tuna there

  66. Nyssa March 6, 2013 at 9:24 am #


  67. Jody Donald March 6, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Fits into my way of eating perfectly…seafood and veggies!!!

  68. Pamela March 6, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    We are regulars at the Islander’s oyster bar!!

  69. Nikki March 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    The shrimp & scallop dish is also pretty tasty and heart healthy!

  70. Meg March 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    I’m in the mood for some seafood! 🙂


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