Surprised? Yeah, fish sounds like one of the healthiest foods on the planet. However, some fish foods you should avoid like plague.
Mother Nature loaded fish with important nutrients, such as protein, vitamin D and valuable mineral such as selenium, iodine, magnesium, iron and copper. Fish is also the world’s best source of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are incredibly important to maintain your body healthy and your brain sharp. Content of omega-3 found in fish is very high:
- Atlantic salmon – 1g in grams per 100 grams of serving
- Atlantic herring – 2.0g
- Pacific mackerel, mixed species – 8g
- Atlantic sardine – 0g
- Trout, swordfish, sea bass – 9g
It’s hard to overestimate the health benefits that eating fish gives us. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. Regular consumption of fish by pregnant women plays a crucial role in normal fetal brain and eye development. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.
Canada’s Food Guide, the American Heart Association and many other international health authorities recommend eating fish (particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon) at least 2 times a week.
However, many studies have raised concern about mercury in fish. Fish can accumulate mercury in their muscles through absorption from the surrounding water but mostly from the prey that they eat. This mercury can also concentrate up the food chain. Therefore, predatory fish that eat lots of other fish for food tend to contain higher levels of mercury. These include fresh/frozen tuna, shark, swordfish, marlin, orange roughy and escolar. Generally, younger and smaller fish have significantly less mercury than older fish.
A WORD OF CAUTION:
Today, the vast majority of the fish supply is contaminated with industrial toxins and pollutants, such as heavy metals and radioactive substances.
the highest concentrations of mercury are found in large carnivorous fish like tuna, sea bass, and marlin. Avoid canned tuna – an independent testing by the Mercury Policy Project (http://mercurypolicy.org/ ) found that the average mercury concentration in canned tuna is far over the “safe limits”.
During a testing study, mercury hair levels were measured in over 250 women who eat two or more seafood meals per week. It was found that about 30% of women had mercury content far above the acceptable limit. Tuna was a major source of participant’s mercury exposure (40% of estimated consumption). Overall tuna accounts for 45% of mercury in the US seafood supply. (http://mercurypolicy.org/?p=2188 )
For many, canned tuna, especially canned albacore tuna, is one of the most popular types of fish that you have to be aware of. Canned albacore tuna is also often called canned white tuna, but it is not the same as canned light tuna. Canned light tuna contains other species of tuna such as skipjack, yellowfin, and tongol, which are relatively low in mercury. Canned light tuna also tends to be lower in cost relative to albacore tuna. If you are a canned tuna lover, run low on it.
tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel due to these types of fish are highest in mercury.
It is also important that you avoid farmed salmon, which contains only about half of the omega-3 levels of wild salmon. Do you know that over 60% of the salmon consumed in the USA is farm raised? Farmed salmon is fed unnatural artificial diets and is contaminated with environmental pollutants, harmful metabolic by-products, antibiotics, pesticides, cancer causing dioxins, agrichemical residues of GMO corn- and soy-based feed, and other harmful substances. Moreover, special chemicals are added to the “menu” to make salmon meat that reddish pink colour that should occur naturally but doesn’t because of the diet of chicken litter that they are fed. Due to the fact that fish live in very crowded conditions, it could have 30 times the number of sea lice than wild salmon. While buying salmon, look for labels marked “wild salmon”
It is really an alarming situation that makes eating fish no longer recommended.
Fish and marine animals healthy choices are: wild-caught Alaskan salmon, shrimps, Pollock, catfish, cod, and small fish like sardines are. Go for a pollution-free and highly sustainable source – krill oil, which appears to work at a lower dose resulting in significant money savings.