Though jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, dilis should still be consumed in moderation, especially by those who are diagnosed with hypertension, heart disease, gout, or those who have elevated cholesterol levels.
Actually, eating fresh anchovies isn’t really that bad in terms of sodium content. Twenty grams of fresh fillets just contains about 21 mg of sodium. Most anchovies bought in supermarkets, however, are processed and packaged into bottles and cans. The same amount of anchovies that have been prepared for longer shelf life can pack in over 700 mg of sodium! Take note that according to the Institute of Medicine, we should limit our daily intake of sodium to 1,500 mg only.
To ensure you’re not taking in too much salt when eating anchovies, try rinsing or soaking the anchovy fillets in cold water for about 30 minutes before adding them into your salad or viand. Better yet, buy fresh dilis in the market instead of canned or preserved ones. For those who are at risk for gout, better avoid dilis or try to minimize it in the diet as it is rich in purines.
If ever availability of fresh dilis is a problem and you can only buy the preserved ones, use dilis sparingly. If you love snacking on these salted little crispers, place them in a small plate or snack-size plastic containers so you don’t get carried away.
It’s amazing how something so small and inexpensive can bring in so much nutritional value to a meal. Ask any medical expert and they’ll tell you that including this “wonder fish” in your regular diet—whether fried, sun dried, stewed, sautéed, baked, or just plain raw—can give you a slew of health benefits!