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Fish Questions - Safety, Variety, Health Benefits

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I have lost weight several times very successfully by adding a lot of fish to my diet, but I'm wondering how safe this is.  Right now I eat a lot of tuna, tilapia, and shrimp.  From what I understand shrimp and tilapia are safer than tuna, but if I'm eating all 3 varieties each week, is that safe?  Like maybe tilapia once or twice, shrimp once or twice, and then a can or maybe a can and a half of tuna all in one week?

Also, I hear a lot about the health benefits of eating fish, can anyone tell me what those are?  Oh and any other suggestions for mild yet good tasting fish I could try?  Lol*  Thanks so much!  :)

Edited Jan 14 2012 23:03 by coach_k
Reason: Moved to the Foods Forum as more appropriate
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Predatory fish (fish that eat other fish) are naturally higher in mercury. But seriously, I think this mercury thing gets blown out of proportion. If you like fish, you should eat it. It's like how people make a big deal out of eating beef and red meat...everything in moderation.

Any kind of white fish is pretty mild. Selection probably varies by your location. Do you eat scallops? They are pretty tasty. 

Unless you are eating large, top-of-food-chain fish (tuna, swordfish, etc) several times/week, I would not worry or limit my fish consumption. 

Unless you're pregnant/nursing.  See here: lth/fishmercury.htm ecificinformation/seafood/foodbornepathogensc ontaminants/methylmercury/ucm115662.htm

I would pay attention to sustainability: watch.aspx

And for more species data: ecificinformation/seafood/foodbornepathogensc ontaminants/methylmercury/ucm115644.htm

wild caught fish.  its the way to go.

Oh, totally agree on the "country of origin" issue for farmed fish. Fish and shrimp farmed in some countries - China being a prime case - are raised in filthy ponds and kept alive through constant antibiotics. Or, can be, and there are no effective food safety controls there, so you'll never know. I try to buy US-raised shellfish and finfish, whenever possible.

I just ate a 1/2 pound of Steelhead Trout! It was delicious!! 


Steelhead is very similar to salmon in both flavor and nutrition, it's a great source of omega 3 fats, high quality easily digestible protein, and it's sustainable. I'm not 100% positive but I believe they would be pretty low in mercury too since they are not "huge" fish and spend only part of their lives in the ocean... Oh and did I mention they are delicious too? Really moist, and dripping with good fats, yum!

Trout of all types are really good! You may have to go to a fish monger/specialty fish shop to find them, since not all places carry trout. But they are worth the search!


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In terms of sustainability, shrimp and prawns can be one of the worst things you can eat. If you can find trap caught, that's likely the best, but if can be difficult.

Thank you all so much for the insight, I truly appreciate it!  ;)

Any fish you like, pretty much as much as you like.  If you plan to eat 1-3 lbs/day of great lakes salmon, tuna, etc, every day, for about 70 years, then I'd worry about mercury.  Otherwise, I wouldn't be all that concerned about it.

Make sure you get fish that are fished with ethical practices, i.e, they have concern about the ocean's ecosystem, don't fish dolphins, sharks, and turtles. Many fishers do catch other, larger animals like sharks and turtles, and they fish the ocean dry...

Never, ever, ever get any farmed fish. Bad, bad, bad!!

The source of the fish is so important, so either be concerned about the animals and the ocean or don't eat fish at all.



Too much tuna is probably not the best idea.. I'd keep it to 2 cans/week.. which isn't very much if you think about it lol since I've made tuna salads and eaten a whole can for a meal!! But, try mackerel... i LOVE tilapia, cod, catfish (other white, lean fish) and include salmon once a week for your omegs :) scallops are really great for you too! Cook/Bake them with garlic & herbs and they're high in protein,super low in fat/carbs like shrimp! Hope this helps :) I am a seafood queen haha I would definitely keep eating lean meats (turkey/chicken breast) throughout the week too and don't forget about cottage cheese! 1/2 C is your solid protein serving... egg whites... vary it missy, because the last thing you want to to is develop an intolerance!

Farmed fish can actually be very food environmentally, depending on the species, so to say that farmed fish is always bad is in error. Farmed salmon, for example, at this point is less than ideal. However, the oceans cannot handle fishing at our current rate, so we have to figure out a way to make it work. Farmed tilapia, for example, can be a very good ecological choice. It depends on the type of fish, how it was farmed, and the country of origin. Even with wild fish, you can't always say that one type is "good" because often a species will have several populations which are in different countries at different times of year and are harvested with different methods.
Oops! "Food" should be "good."

Fish has been a favorite for me all my life, and I agree that for the most part it's still fairly healthy for humans to eat--but the oceans are so seriously overfished that I've all but eliminated it from my diet, though I do occasionally indulge in wild-caught salmon and line-caught tuna (which is hard to find and expensive).  It's disturbing to see it promoted so heavily in healthy eating advice everywhere.  I am having a lot of success eating more vegetarian foods, tofu, etc., which I avoided for years, at least as the main element in a dish.  That was silly, since it seems that if I eat, say, a tofu burrito for dinner, I'm guaranteed to be a little bit lighter the next day.  

I seem to be behind on my reading - why is farmed fish 'bad'? Given the depleting of the oceans, I would have thought it was a good alternative. What don't I know about farmed fish?

It has to do with the way it's farmed. Generally speaking, carnivorous fish, such as salmon, can be more harmful than not. More fish are needed to feed them than they produce, so you end up with a net loss of protein. When you put them on a vegetarian diet, they don't do as well, and the meat ends up with nutrient deficiencies. Then there are the issues with the open ocean pens. Often, because they grow faster, Atlantic species are raised in the pacific. We don't know what effect that could have on wild stock. Farmed fish are prone to parasites, and those are affecting wild fish as well.

With something like prawns, the farming techniques absolutely destroy the mangroves, so waste disposal is an issue. Of course, wild ones are usually just as bad, because of the bottom trawling. Of course, it's next to impossible to try and convince restaurants to take them off the menu, because they're often the single most popular item.

Basically, with the state of the oceans, we need to turn to aquaculture. No one working in this field disagrees. But we need to fix the diet, waste disposal methods and other problems for it to be viable.

FISH is my favorite food ever. I tried to go vegan but forget it! I love fish. My favorite is halibut, mahi, shrimp, scallops, crab, tuna- fresh and canned, trout, flounder, catfish, lobster, salmon, ROCK FISH, maceral, sardines- ok, basically any fish- and the tilapia I get- froma Korean market- is unlike any other tilapia I have ever had. BELIEVE ME nothing compares. As far as mercury, well some is worse- I truly love orange roughy but they can live as long as 100 years and the longer they live the more mercury. I like swordfish too but limit that to an ocdasional thing because of mercury. Fish is a fabulous food for weight loss, omega 3's, protein- obviously-control and is tasty!!! 

I love tilapia. I usually have it steamed with garlic. And then I eat it with sweet and spicy salsa where all ingredients are fresh and prepared by me.

How much mercury does Spanish Mackerel have in it? Or Snapper? Those are some of the few fish I will eat ( caught in the ocean here, fresh, not frozen, not farmed) .   I don't really like seafood, but will eat some fish on occasion


Ive heard that catfish and wild cold water caught salmon are the best foods and that they work with cutting down cholesterol and have a lot of good antioxidants to prevent or help against cancers.


Im not a fish person so i take supplents instead. But i only do like lobster, crab and shrimp but ive actually liked catfish lately.

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