The challenge in eating the right fish, is knowing where the fish is caught. More often than not, you don’t get this kind of disclosure form restaurants. If you are buying your own fish, then you should look for labels that state mercury free, or wild fish. Looking for the blue eco label also helps.
Here are 3 Fish to Eat and 3 fish not to!
3 Great Fish to Eat include…
1. Tuna (wild)
Many tuna are high in mercury but albacore tuna does not. These fish have much lower mercury and contaminant ratings and those caught in colder northern waters often have higher omega-3 levels too.
2. Salmon (wild, Alaska)
Alaska’s wild-caught salmon are both healthier (they pack 1210 mg of omega-3s per 3-ounce serving and carry few contaminants) and more sustainable than just about any other salmon fishery.
3. Sardines (wild Pacific)
The tiny, inexpensive sardine is making it onto many lists of superfoods and for good reason. It packs more omega-3s (1950 mg) per 3-ounce serving than salmon, tuna or just about any other food! Also high in vitamin D.
Now.. 3 Fish to Avoid..
A number of environmental organizations have also advocated taking many fish off the menu – the popular ones might be depleted and, in many cases, carry higher levels of mercury andPCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls).
PCBs used to be extensively used as coolants and lubricants in transformers and other industrial equipment – these chemicals were favored because of their resistance to degradation by heat and other chemicals. Often PCBs outlasted the equipment in which they were used. Most human and animal exposures occur through the food supply. Fish, such as Atlantic farmed salmon, fatty meats, and dairy products are common foods in the western diet and often contain PCBs. Another exposure source is inhalation of indoor air in older buildings that contain equipment that still uses PCBs.
So, the 3 Fish to avoid include..
1. Bluefin Tuna
In 2009 bluefin tuna made it on the list of threatened species, alongside the giant panda, tigers and leatherback turtles. Stop eating bluefin tuna! There are so many other fish to eat. Also, Bluefin have high levels of mercury and their PCBs are so high that environmental organizations recommend not eating this fish at all.
This strange fish resembles a catfish in that it has whiskers and is a bottom dweller, but its light, fresh taste made it a staple for gourmets. The fish is recovering some after being depleted, but the trawlers that drag for it also threaten the habitat where it lives.
3. Salmon (farmed)
Most farmed salmon (and all salmon labeled “Atlantic salmon” is farmed) are raised in tightly packed, open-net pens often rife with parasites and diseases. Farmed salmon are fed fishmeal, given antibiotics to combat diseases and have high levels of PCBs. If you can, always verify the source of the salmon you are buying.