Fish is a great protein to include in a healthy diet. Often they’re low in saturated fats and contain a lot of healthy fats like omega-3. They’re also fast and easy to cook. However, you may have concerns over what is safe to eat thanks to reports of mercury poisoning in fish and high levels of toxic chemicals. Here’s our lowdown on whats okay to put on your dinner plate.
Healthiest Fish You Can Eat
Canned tuna is a great product to have on hand for a quick salad or sandwich. Depending on how it’s packed it can be quite healthy. Make sure it’s not packed in oil, and choose tuna in water rather than brine. Whether you buy fresh or canned, skipjack tuna is best, especially when compared to albacore tuna which may have up to 3 times more mercury.1 Tuna is rich in vitamins B12 and D, calcium and iron, all while being low fat.2
Wild Atlantic salmon is just as healthy as farmed salmon. If you choose to buy farmed salmon, choose salmon produced in closed tanks. It is usually the most sustainable. Thanks to the fact that they have no access to wild water, it prevents any disease contaminating the wild populations of salmon. It’s still just as nutritious as wild caught salmon but also contains fewer amounts of mercury than wild salmon. Salmon packs a punch in the nutrition arena with omega-3 fatty acids.3
They also provide a low-fat protein that is rich in omega-3s.4 You can safely enjoy oysters two to three times a week thanks to their generally low mercury content. Raw oysters pose a risk, however, because they have the possibility of being contaminated with a certain kind of bacteria. It is advised that people with immunodeficiency disorders stay away from them.Those with alcohol induced liver disease, diabetes, cancer, stomach disease, and iron overload disease should also avoid raw oysters. The only way to properly get rid of the bacteria is to cook the oysters with heat.5
Sardines are not likely to carry much of a mercury content because of how small they are.6 If you are enjoying them out of a can, try to look for low sodium options because the usual brine can add a lot of sodium to your diet. Sardines are also rich in omega-3s, calcium, vitamin D and several B-vitamins.7
Not only are shrimp delicious, they are low in calories and can be easily added to healthy dishes for a burst of flavor. They are rich in iodine as well.8 They can also be cooked a variety of ways. Just make sure that it’s not deep-fried, or served with copious amounts of melted butter.
Most kinds of freshwater trout are safe to eat and low in mercury content.9 Trout is great, prepared a number of ways. Grilling and baking keep it the healthiest. Trout is also a great source of heart healthy omega-3 fats.10
There’s no reason to exclude these fish from your diet. If you’re not sure that the fish you are buying is sustainable in your locality, ask your authorities or even your fishmonger. Thanks to all the heart healthy fats in these fish, your heart will be thankful to you for choosing them.
|↑1||With concerns about mercury poisoning, is it safe to give canned tuna to cats as a treat? Tufts University|
|↑2||Basic Report: 15123, Fish, tuna, fresh, skipjack, raw. United States Department Of Agriculture.|
|↑3||Farmed Salmon vs. Wild Salmon. Washington State Department Of Health|
|↑4||Basic Report: 15231, Mollusks, oyster, Pacific, cooked, moist heat. United States Department Of Agriculture.|
|↑5||The Danger of Eating Contaminated Raw Oysters. U.S. Food & Drug Administration|
|↑6||Make smart seafood choices to minimize mercury intake. Harvard Health Publications.|
|↑7||Basic Report: 15088, Fish, sardine, Atlantic, canned in oil, drained solids with bone. United States Department Of Agriculture.|
|↑8||Iodine. Oregon State University|
|↑9||Lake Trout are Heart-Friendly. Seagrant.University of Minnesota|
|↑10||Healing Foods Pyramid™. Fish And Seafood. The University of Michigan Health System.|