Nutrition: Mercury Content in Fish

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With the barbeque season in full swing many of us fish consumers tend to wonder which fish are safe to eat based on mercury content.

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Why is mercury a concern?
High levels of mercury can damage our nervous systems and inhibit brain development

Do fish contain mercury?
Most fish do contain trace amounts of mercury. Large predatory fish tend to have higher levels compared to non-predatory fish.

Which parts of the fish should be consumed?
Your best bet is to stick to the skinless, boneless dorsal fillets of fish such as salmon, trout and carp. Containments are more concentrated in the fattest parts of the fish i.e. the organs.
 
Are fish worth eating despite the mercury content?
Studies have shown that the benefits far outweigh the risks. Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to be beneficial to cardiovascular health. A 2008 study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that eating moderate amounts of fish (approximately 80 grams of salmon) reduced the risk of death from coronary heart disease by 36%.
 
How should I prepare my fish?
Before cooking your fish, trim off the fatty areas and throw away the flesh around the belly area. Allow fat to drip away while cooking.
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