5 Of The Healthiest Fish To Eat And 3 To Avoid Completely

Fish To Eat And Which Ones To Avoid

We all know we need at least 2 servings of fish a week, but the kind of fish we choose to eat is equally important. Fish is high in protein, healthy fats and in some cases, mercury. Mercury is extremely harmful for humans, so it’s important that you know which varieties of fish have the highest mercury levels. But apart from mercury, some fish are farmed in ways that are not sustainable for the environment. To keep yourself and the planet healthy, make sure you eat more of these five fish.

Five Fish To Eat More Of

1. Alaskan Or Wild-Caught Salmon

Alaskan Fisheries Are Better Regulated

Salmon is hands-down the winner when it comes to healthy proteins. It’s a lean source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. When you buy salmon, always make sure it’s Alaskan salmon or is wild-caught. Farmer varieties of salmon have very high levels of mercury, which completely negates its health benefits. Alaskan fish farms on the other hand, are closely monitored by biologists to ensure that the water is completely free of mercury and that the fish are healthy. Wild-caught salmon also have low mercury levels because the ocean is far less polluted than farms are.

2. Farmed Rainbow Trout

 Farmed Trout Has Less Mercury

When it comes to rainbow trout, the exact opposite is true. Wild rainbow trout are found in small lakes and ponds, where the presence of pollutants like mercury is much higher. Farmed trout are raised in hatcheries that are a lot cleaner, leading to healthier fish. Most rainbow trout that is packaged and sold come from fish farms, making them a safe option to eat.

3. Pacific, Wild-Caught Sardines

Sardines Are Found In Abundance

Sardines aren’t just one of the cheapest fish on the market, they’re also one of the healthiest. They might be tiny, but they pack a huge amount of protein and omega-3 within them. What truly makes sardines stand out is that they’re one of the few food sources of vitamin D. Sardines are found in plenty because they reproduce so quickly. This lowers the risk of them being overfarmed and their population dwindling. Unlike tuna, sardines are much hardier and can adjust to change with more ease. This is why eating a lot of them probably won’t make too much of an impact on their overall numbers.

4. Farmed Oysters

 Oysters Improve The Water Ecosystem

Apart from their famed qualities as an aphrodisiac, oysters also contain an impressive amount of iron and omega-3. Eating more oysters isn’t just beneficial for you though, it’s also good for the ecosystem. Oysters feed on algae and other organisms that might otherwise pollute water bodies. They also act as temporary reefs for baby fish to live and grow in. An increase in demand for oysters will lead to more oysters being introduced into farms, allowing underwater ecosystems to thrive.

5. Canned Tuna

 Canned Tuna Has Lower Mercury Levels

Canned tuna is actually different from the kind of tuna you otherwise get. They’re usually made from smaller, albacore varieties of tuna. The smaller the fish, the younger it is. This means it would have accumulated far less mercury in its lifetime than larger, older fish. So if you love tuna but aren’t a fan of all the mercury in it, sticking to canned varieties is generally a safe option.

Three Fish That Shouldn’t Be On Your Plate

1. Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin Tuna Is Endangered And High In Mercury

Bluefin tuna is one of the most endangered species of fish out there today. Overfishing has led to an alarming drop in their numbers. Due to a growing demand for tuna, these fish are caught before they have had a chance to reproduce. They simply cannot multiply fast enough to outrun the fishing trawlers that are trying to catch them. Apart from this, bluefin tuna has one of the highest levels of mercury. So it’s really in both your interests to abstain from eating this fish.

2. Monkfish

Monkfish Is Caught In Destructive Ways

Monkfish might just be the ugliest thing to ever land on your plate, but it’s becoming prized for its flavorful meat. These fish are bottom crawlers, living and eating off the ocean floor. The danger in eating monkfish is not because of the fish itself, but the methods that are used to catch it. Huge trawlers scrape the ocean floor, catching not just the fish, but also coral reefs, fish eggs and baby fish. This completely destroys the natural ecosystem that has been in place for thousands of years.

3. Chilean Sea Bass

Sea Bass Is Dying Out Very Quickly

Chilean sea bass is adored by fish-lovers everywhere because of its soft flesh, but it’s about time you gave it up. Sea bass takes a very long time to grow, with most young fish being caught before even getting a chance to lay eggs. Apart from this, the trawlers that are used to catch them destroy the ocean floor and even kill several seabirds in the process.