Is eating fish worth the risks?

The problem with fish is it is an animal protein which can contribute negatively to your health.  The other reality in this day and age is the over-fishing which is depleting stocks and putting species (either the fish themselves or the animals that rely on them for food) on the endangered list.  Not to mention the maiming of certain animals that are only harvested for specific parts and all the other fish that get injured and wasted when they are caught by accident. Then there is the reality of toxins in the water ingested by the larger and longer-living fish that not only affect their health but then end up inside our bodies when we eat them.

And last but not least…

Avoid the following seafood:

  • BLUEFIN TUNA (called “Toro” as sushi) has high levels of mercury; choose Pole & Line Albacore or Yellowfin Tuna
  • CHILEAN SEA BASS is overfished and methods are damaging to the environment; choose Sable Fish or Pacific Halibut instead
  • FARMED SALMON as they contain wild feed & antibiotics, buy only wild salmon
    • May 19/16 ALERT: Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency approved for human and livestock consumption the world’s first GMO fish, “Aqua-Advantage salmon”.  There will be no labelling of the fish and a new risk of these fish escaping into the wild and interacting with other salmon.
  • IMPORTED SHRIMP contain chemicals & drugs: choose only Canadian or US shrimp and prawns

So, although fish are a good source of Omega 3’s, there’s way more cons than pros for eating them.  So try to keep your consumption to a minimum and consider some of the following guidelines when purchasing:

  • “Ocean Wise” & “Sea Choice” offer safe choices
  • oysters are rich in zinc
  • sardines are loaded with Omega 3, selenium, calcium & Vit.D, and because they are small and low on the food chain, they don’t soak up high amounts of toxins like the bigger fish do
  • Shellfish are low in Saturated Fats and contain high levels of Omega 3, protein, iron, zinc, copper and Vit. B12.
  • Wild Salmon are less fatty and have higher Omega 3, have 20% more protein and less of the inflammatory Omega 6 than other fish:
    • Wild Alaskan Salmon is your best option
    • Rainbow Trout and Arctic Char are also safer choices

You can also buy meatless fish options like Gardein’s “fish-free Golden filet” which makes a great alternative for “Fish’n Chips” (with baked yam or sweet potato fries instead of french fries, of course!)