ZeroPoint cheat sheet: Fish & seafood

All your top questions about fish and shellfish, answered.
Published 8 November 2021 | Updated 6 June 2024

ZeroPoint foods form the foundation of a healthy pattern of eating. They are nutritional powerhouses that you can reach for frequently and consistently, without weighing, measuring, or tracking them. They were specifically chosen because they are nutrient-, vitamin-, and mineral-packed. Because of that, they’re recommended by national and international guidelines (including the World Health Organization) to be consumed often as part of a healthy pattern of eating.

Every WeightWatchers® member* on the Points Program gets the same list of over 200 ZeroPoint foods including: non-starchy veggies, fruit, eggs, yoghurt & cottage cheese, fish & shellfish, chicken & turkey breast, tofu & tempeh, corn & popcorn, and beans, peas, & lentils.

Fish and shellfish were chosen as ZeroPoint foods because they’re nutrient dense, can be an excellent source of protein (which supports muscle and bone health and can help you feel full longer), and omega-3 fatty acids (which are associated with reduced risk of heart disease and stroke). They also help form the foundation for a healthy pattern of eating

While “zero” usually means “nothing,” at WeightWatchers, ZeroPoint foods are everything! If fish and seafood are a staple in your diet and you’ve got some questions, you’re in the right place.

What’s included in this category exactly?

  • Abalone
  • Barramundi
  • Basa
  • Blue-eye trevalla
  • Bream
  • Caviar
  • Clams
  • Cod
  • Crab
  • Crayfish
  • Dory
  • Eel
  • Fishfish
  • Flathead
  • Flounder
  • Garfish
  • Gemfish
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Hapuka
  • Herring
  • Hoki
  • Kingfish
  • Leather jacket
  • Ling
  • Lobster
  • Mackerel
  • Monkfish
  • Morwong
  • Mullet
  • Mulloway
  • Mussels
  • Octopus
  • Orange roughy
  • Oyster
  • Perch
  • Prawns
  • Red emperor
  • Salmon in springwater
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Sardines in springwater
  • Scallops
  • Seafood marinara mix
  • Sea urchin
  • Shark
  • Skate
  • Snapper
  • Sole
  • Squid
  • Swordfish
  • Tilapia
  • Trevally
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Tuna in springwater
  • Turbot
  • Whitebait
  • Whiting

Why are fish and shellfish ZeroPoint foods?

Fish and seafood are lean sources of protein that are packed with nutrients. On the whole, seafood contains important nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, zinc, and potassium. Some oily varieties of fish—such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines—contain vitamins A and D, as well as omega-3 fatty acids that may support heart health.

Wait, even canned fish?

Yep, canned salmon, canned tuna, canned sardines—any canned fish packed in water (not oil) is a ZeroPoint food. Added bonus: Canned fish with bones, such as salmon and sardines, are a rich source of calcium.

Does it matter if the fish is fresh or frozen?

Nope. Fish and seafood are ZeroPoint foods whether they are fresh or frozen, canned (in water), wild-caught or farm-raised, or cooked or raw.

Does it matter if the fish has skin?

Nope. Fish is a ZeroPoint food whether it has skin or not.

I love seafood, but cooking it can seem intimidating. How best to approach?

So many home cooks are intimidated by cooking seafood, but it can actually be one of the easiest ingredients to work with, since it cooks quickly and doesn’t need much sprucing up. Sometimes all you need is a dash of oil (or oil spray), a hot pan, some fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. But if that still sounds like a bit much, an even easier way to incorporate seafood into your diet is by keeping a stash of frozen precooked prawns in the freezer and cans of seafood in your pantry. Crack these open to add quick and convenient protein to pastas, soups, grain bowls, tacos, wraps, and salads.

How do I avoid overcooking seafood?

Again, one of the best and most convenient things about seafood is that it cooks quickly—but that can also lead to overcooking it. Here are some key tips.

When making salmon, farm-raised salmon is often fattier than wild-caught salmon. Fat = moisture. Keep this in mind when going by the cook times in a recipe.

Seafood like prawns and scallops will get rubbery when overcooked. Be sure to pat them very dry before seasoning and grilling, searing, or sautéing so the outside can brown without the inside getting tough.

*Members living with diabetes will have non-starchy veggies, eggs, fish & shellfish, chicken & turkey breast, tofu & tempeh, and beans, peas, & lentils on their ZeroPoint food list. These categories were carefully selected to consider the combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fibre, and are less likely to impact blood sugar levels. (More information on the diabetes program)