Unfortunately, low-level mercury poisoning from contaminated seafood is a real threat and can lead to devastating effects on health. In fact, the shift to eating more farmed fish like tilapia is leading to highly inflammatory diets, according to a 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
Wake Forest University School of Medicine researchers say tilapia is one of the most widely consumed fish in America. Sustaining high levels of inflammation in the body can worsen symptoms of autoimmune disorders and may be linked to chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
If you must eat this fish, avoid tilapia from China, where farming practices are particularly worrisome. In 2014, Oceana, the largest ocean conservation group in the world, conducted an investigation using data from the National Marine Fisheries Service.
They found that commercial fishermen in the U.S. throw about 2 billion pounds of “by catch” overboard each year. According to the report, if you’ve eaten U.S. halibut, there’s a good chance it came from this damaging fishery.
Without further protection and enforcement of existing efforts, we may forever lose one of the biggest, most interesting fishes in the world. Now common on menus around the U.S., Chilean sea bass overfishing has left this species in serious trouble.
Furthermore, harvesting the fish from Chile is also plagued by poor management and by catch problems. Eel Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch places eel on the “Avoid” list on its sushi guide because it’s slow to mature and has been overfished in many parts of the world, bringing some populations to collapse.
In the Delaware River, for instance, eels are an integral part of spreading mussel populations that serve as natural water filters. Aside from the issues with overfishing, eels tend to readily absorb and store harmful chemicals and contaminants such as poly chlorinated biphenyls (PCs) and flame retardants.
They’re also commonly treated with a broad range of antibiotics, in addition to pesticides and disinfectants. In 2009, Italian researchers discovered that 4-hexylresorcinol, a food additive used to prevent discoloration in shrimp that could reduce sperm count in men and increase breast cancer risk in women.
Shrimp farm ponds are also treated with harmful chemicals and pesticides such as malachite green, rote none and organic compounds, all of which can have detrimental effects on health. Plus, an Associated Press investigation uncovered a slavery network in Thailand dedicated to peeling shrimp sold around the world.
In 2007, Thailand alone exported about $1.24 billion to the United States, according to Food and Water Watch. Although Alaskan king crab legs legally can only be called that if they’re harvested from Alaska, widespread mislabeling is the norm.
Generally known as “slime head” within the scientific community, seafood marketers had other ideas for this fish and gave the species a more appetizing name. Since orange roughly don’t reach sexual maturity until at least 20 years old, they are very slow to recovery.
According to Oceana: “The extremely long lifespan and the late age at maturity imply that a decimated population may take a half century or longer before it can recover.” Beyond that, the orange roughly is also known to have higher mercury levels, which can be dangerous if consumed in large amounts.
But apart from that, most shark species, which are slow to mature and don’t have a lot of offspring, are severely depleted. Often referred to as Hon Mauro on sushi menus, this simply means blue fin tuna, which should be avoided at all costs.
A better sushi choice would be fatso/skip jack tuna caught through Pacific troll or pole and line methods only. However, due to its high demand for sushi, fisheries managers are still allowing commercial fishing to target it.
Sadly, blue fin tuna numbers are at just 2.6 percent of historic population levels. Aside from the obvious population collapse and extinction threat, this is also a large predatory fish that harbors higher levels of mercury.
In fact, the mercury in this fish is so high that the Environmental Defense Fund recommends women and children avoid it altogether. That’s certainly the case with king mackerel, as the Food and Drug Administration warns women and children to outright avoid it.
You may want to avoid Spanish mackerel, too, which has also been shown to harbor elevated mercury levels. Luckily, Atlantic mackerel is high in omega-3s, low in mercury and is rated a top choice in terms of health and sustainability.
In 2015, an investigation found that more than a third of 19 restaurants in Atlanta sold fantasies (also known as “Vietnamese catfish”) as grouper. Testing also found that grouper for sale is actually often king mackerel or white fin weakfish, a cheaper alternative.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, sturgeon are “more critically endangered than any other group of species.” The best fish options are ones that come from sustainable fisheries, are low in contaminants and high in omega 3 fatty acids.
Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch calls this the “Super Green List.” In addition to being rich in heart-healthy fats, salmon is a great source of protein, B vitamins, potassium and selenium.
Atlantic mackerel This oily fish is also high in health omega-3 fatty acids, along with protein, niacin, selenium and vitamin B12. Keep in mind that mackerel is often sold preserved in tons of salt, so be sure to soak it and rinse well before cooking and eating to reduce sodium levels.
Albacore Tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the U.S. or British Columbia) Sable fish/Black Cod (from Alaska and Canadian Pacific) Finding safer seafood can be challenging and requires you to consider many factors, including sustainability, nutritional value, mercury levels and the risk of contamination with pollutants, pesticides or harmful chemicals.
Finally, when you do eat fish, opt for things like wild-caught Alaskan salmon, Pacific sardines and Atlantic mackerel. Ciguatera toxin is a heat-stable lipid soluble compound, produced by dinoflagellates and concentrated in fish organs, that can cause nausea, pain, cardiac, and neurological symptoms in humans when ingested.
The toxin may be found concentrated in large reef fish, most commonly barracuda, grouper, red snapper, eel, amber jack, sea bass, and Spanish mackerel. The area of concern includes the Caribbean Sea, Hawaii, and coastal Central America.
The toxin has the highest concentrations in fish visceral and sex organs. Ciguatera toxin is harmless to fish, but poisonous to humans.
Eating ciguatera-contaminated tropical or subtropical fish is the main way that humans are exposed to the toxin. The toxin activates voltage-dependent sodium channels causing symptoms in human (and other mammals) gastrointestinal, cardiac, and nerve tissues.
Severe cases of ciguatera poisoning may result in shortness of breath, salivation, tearing, chills, rashes, itching, and paralysis. Some investigators have suggested vomiting should be induced if the victim is awake and alert and has eaten ciguatera toxin-containing fish within the last 3 to 4 hours.
Activated charcoal may absorb the toxin if done 3 to 4 hours after ingestion. Amitriptyline (Email, Ended) and gabapentin (Neurontin, Raise, Horizon) may help reduce neural pain symptoms Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and hydroxyzine (Atari, Vistaril) may help relieve itching.
NSAID's and acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) may reduce pain Avoid alcohol, fish, nuts, and nut oils after exposure to ciguatera toxin because they may trigger recurrent symptoms. Immediate medical attention is necessary for all cases because the symptoms may rapidly progress in a few patients.
Ciguatera fish poisoningOther namesCiguatera, ciguatera food poisoningChemical structure of ciguatoxinSpecialtyInfectious disease Symptoms Diarrhea, vomiting, numbness, itchiness, sensitivity to hot and cold, dizziness, weakness Usual onset30 min to 2 days Duration weeks to months Causes Ciguatoxin and antitoxin within certain reef fish Risk factorsBarracuda, grouper, moray eel, amber jack, sea bass, surgeon fish. Diagnostic method Based on symptoms and recently eating fish Differential diagnosisParalytic shellfish poisoning, neurotoxic shellfish poisoning, rhomboid food poisoning, puffer fish poisoning Treatment Mannitol, gabapentin, amitriptyline PrognosisRisk of death < 0.1% Frequency50,000 per year Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP), also known simply as ciguatera, is a foodborne illness caused by eating reef fish whose flesh is contaminated with certain toxins.
Symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting, numbness, itchiness, sensitivity to hot and cold, dizziness, and weakness. The onset of symptoms varies with the amount of toxin eaten from half an hour to up to two days.
Some symptoms typically remain for a few weeks to months. Ciguatoxin has no taste or smell, and cannot be destroyed by conventional cooking.
There is no specific treatment for ciguatera fish poisoning once it occurs. Mannitol may be considered, but the evidence supporting its use is not very strong.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that around 50,000 cases occur globally each year. The risk of the condition appears to be increasing due to coral reef deterioration and increasing trade in seafood.
Hallmark symptoms of ciguatera in humans include gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and neurological effects. Gastrointestinal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, usually followed by neurological symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, paresthesia, numbness of extremities, mouth and lips, reversal of hot and cold sensation, ataxia, vertigo, and hallucinations.
Severe cases of ciguatera can also result in cold alloying, which is a burning sensation on contact with cold. Neurological symptoms can persist and ciguatera poisoning is occasionally misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis.
Cardiovascular symptoms include bradycardia, tachycardia, hypotension, hypertension, orthostatic tachycardia, exercise intolerance, and rhythm disorders. Death from the condition can occur, but is very rare.
Dyspareunia and other ciguatera symptoms have developed in otherwise healthy males and females following sexual intercourse with partners suffering ciguatera poisoning, signifying that the toxin may be sexually transmitted. Diarrhea and facial rashes have been reported in breastfed infants of poisoned mothers, suggesting that ciguatera toxins migrate into breast milk.
Most people do recover slowly over time. The reversal of hot and cold sensations is an occasional symptom of CFP that may help differentiate it from intestinal “flu”.
Mannitol was once used for poisoning after one study reported symptom reversal. Follow-up studies in animals and case reports in humans also found benefit from mannitol.
However, a randomized, double-blindclinical trial found no difference between mannitol and normal saline. The current estimated global incidence annually is 20,000 to 50,000 people, though many cases are believed to go unreported.
Due to the limited habitats of ciguatoxin-producing microorganisms, ciguatera is common only in subtropical and tropical waters, particularly the Pacific and Caribbean, and usually is associated with fish caught in tropical reef waters. Exportation of reef fish, as well as tourism, often account for cases that develop in other regions.
Ciguatoxin is found in over 400 species of reef fish. Imported fish served in restaurants may contain the toxin and produce illness which often goes unexplained by physicians unfamiliar with the symptoms of a tropical toxin.
Furthermore, species substitution, labeling a reef fish as a non-reef fish at restaurants and retail, can complicate efforts by consumers to avoid ciguatera. In 1994, Nobel Prize winning novelist Saul Bellow nearly died from Ciguatera after eating red snapper on vacation in St. Martin, fictionalized in his last novel Ravel stein.
The FDA advised seafood processors that ciguatera poisoning was reasonably likely to occur from eating several species of fish caught as far as 50 miles (80 km) from the sanctuary. From August 2010 to July 2011, there were eight outbreaks of Ciguatera fish poisoning in New York City.
Outbreaks were linked to barracuda and grouper purchased at a fish market in Queens, New York. In the first quarter of 2012, two restaurants in Lanzarote, Canary Islands are thought to have been the source of ciguatera poisoning, leading to new fishing regulations issued 18 April 2012.
Diners suffered with vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain several hours after eating amber jack. The second case was in early April affecting six people who live in Lanzarote and had all eaten amber jack at a local restaurant.
In March 2014, nine people were hospitalized near Marysville, New South Wales, Australia after a recreational fisherman caught a 55 lb Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus common) off Scott's Head (NSW) and then shared it among his friends and family. In April 2015, fourteen crew members of a potash ship were hospitalized in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada after consuming tropical fish obtained from international waters.
After the incident, Marine Catering Services issued a reminder to seafarers that the UK Food Act makes it illegal for crews to fish for food from their vessels. In September 2016, a British holidaymaker died while on honeymoon in Mexico after consuming fish contaminated with the algae that causes ciguatera poisoning.
During October 2016, more than 100 people suffered from ciguatera poisoning after eating fish heads supplied by an export firm in Mangalore, India. In Northern Australia, where ciguatera is a common problem, two different folk science methods are widely believed to detect whether fish harbor significant ciguatoxin.
The first method is that flies are supposed not to land on contaminated fish. A third, less common testing method involves putting a silver coin under the scales of the suspect fish.
If the coin turns black, according to the theory, it is contaminated. On Grand Cayman and other islands the locals will test barracuda by placing a piece of the fish on the ground and allowing ants to crawl on it.
If the ants do not avoid the flesh and will eat it, then the fish is deemed safe. In the Dominican Republic, another common belief is that during months whose names do not include the letter “R” (May through August), it is not recommended eating certain kinds of fish, because they are more likely to be infected by the ciguatera toxin.
The validity of many of these tests has been scientifically rejected. An account of ciguatera poisoning from a linguistics researcher living on Malala island, Vanuatu, indicates the local treatment: “We had to go with what local people told us: avoid salt and any seafood.
And they gave us a tea made from the roots of ferns growing on tree trunks. I don't know if any of that helped, but after a few weeks, the symptoms faded away”.
Various Caribbean folk and ritualistic treatments originated in Cuba and nearby islands. The most common old-time remedy involves bed rest after a Ghanaian juice enema.
In Puerto Rico, natives drink a tea made from mangrove buttons, purportedly high in B vitamins, to flush the toxic symptoms from the system. There has never been a funded study of these treatments.
Other folk treatments range from directly porting and bleeding the gastrointestinal tract to “cleansing” the diseased with a dove during a Santeria ritual. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Friedman, MA; Fernandez, M; Backer, LC; Dickey, Raw; Bernstein, J; Shrank, K; Killer, S; Stephan, W; Gribble, MO; Painting, P; Bowen, RE; Degrade, S; Flores Quinton, HA; Offer, CR; Tasman, R; Blythe, D; Berkeley, E; Year, R; Clarkson-Townsend, D; Swabian, K; Banner, R; Brewer, T; Fleming, LE (14 March 2017).
This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. ^ a b c d e f g h “Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP)”.
^ Patel, Ryan; Brice, Nicola L.; Lewis, Richard J.; Dickinson, Anthony H. (December 2015). “Ionic mechanisms of spinal neuronal cold hypersensitivity in ciguatera”.
^ Better, Irina; Topeka, Filip; Hess, Andreas; Lindsay, Rachel; Settler, Simon; Lambert, Angelika; Sergejeva, Marina; Sharon, Anastasia; Collins, London S (2012-10-03). “Ciguatoxins activate specific cold pain pathways to elicit burning pain from cooling”.
“Ciguatera poisoning: a global issue with common management problems” (PDF). Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis.
^ “Newlywed bride dies 10 days after wedding from heart attack believed to have been caused by 'contaminated fish “. “Can ciguatera be a sexually transmitted disease?”.
“Mother's milk turns toxic following fish feast”. Occurrence, clinical features, pathophysiology and management”.
Smithsonian Institution, Contributions from the United States National Her barium. ^ National Office for Harmful Algal Blooms, Ciguatera Fish Poisoning.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. ^ National Office for Harmful Algal Blooms, Ciguatera Fish Poisoning: Causative organisms:.
^ Fleming L. “Ciguatera Fish Poisoning”. “Symptomatic improvement with amitriptyline in ciguatera fish poisoning”.
^ Paradox N, Jain L, Piano A, Quick T, Williams R, Schatz I (1988). “Successful treatment of ciguatera fish poisoning with intravenous mannitol”.
^ Matter C, Solo J, Marquis M, Vernon J, Benoit E (1999). “Hyperosmolar D-mannitol reverses the increased membrane excitability and the nodal swelling caused by the Caribbean ciguatoxin-1 in single frog mediated axons”.
“Ciguatera and mannitol: a successful treatment”. “Ciguatera fish poisoning: a double-blind randomized trial of mannitol therapy”.
^ Marcus, Erin N., Ciguatera fish poisoning, retrieved 6 April 2015 ^ a b Schlep LA, Slaughter RJ, Temple WA, Beasley DM (2010). “Ciguatera poisoning: an increasing occurrence in New Zealand”.
“Ciguatera fish poisoning in San Francisco, California, caused by imported barracuda”. “The ciguatera poisoning syndrome from farm-raised salmon”.
^ Leader, Zachary, The Life of Saul Bellow: Love and Strife 1965-2005, p. 528. ^ “Bizarre fish poisoning sparks alarm”.
^ “FDA Advises Seafood Processors About Ciguatera Fish Poisoning in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Near the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary” (Press release). ^ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2013).
“Isolated Cases of Ciguatera Poisoning in Lanzarote”. ^ “Ciguatera poisoning from Spanish Mackerel caught off Scott's Head”.
^ “Balsa 85 ID'd as ship in Saint John whose crew was hit by food poisoning”. The illness was first described in 1774 by a surgeon's mate on the crew of Captain Cook's South Pacific exploration aboard HMS Resolution.
^ “Did fish poisoning drive Polynesian colonization of the Pacific?” “Evaluation of methods for assessing ciguatera toxins in fish”.
^ Rossi, Fanny; Julian, Valerie; Pawlowiez, Ralph; Kumar-Roiné, Ships; Haddad, Mohamed; Darius, H. Tatiana; Gaertner-Mazouni, Manila; Chin ain, Miracle; Laurent, Dominique (2012). “Protective effect of Heliotrope foertherianum (Boraginaceae) folk remedy and its active compound, Rosmarie acid, against a Pacific ciguatoxin”.
Ciguatera fish poisoning CDC Friedman, M. A.; Fernandez, M.; Backer, L. C.; Dickey, R. W.; Bernstein, J.; Shrank, K.; Killer, S.; Stephan, W.; Gribble, M. O.; Painting, P.; Bowen, R. E.; Degrade, S.; Flores Quinton, H. A.; Offer, C. R.; Tasman, R.; Blythe, D.; Berkeley, E.; Year, R.; Clarkson-Townsend, D.; Swabian, K.; Banner, R.; Brewer, T.; Fleming, L. E. (2017). “An Updated Review of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning: Clinical, Epidemiological, Environmental, and Public Health Management”.
But a more likely threat to your health is something that you can't see: tiny toxins found on algae called ciguatoxins. Researchers are Florida Gulf Coast University in Ester have been taking a close look at ciguatoxins, which can make you sick, and in rare cases be deadly.
FGC Marine Science professor Dr. Michael Parsons tells 4 In Your Corner he's done a theoretical calculation to give an idea of just how toxic we're talking. But that's purely theoretical, so don't worry about ciguatoxins becoming the world's next biological weapon anytime soon.
“Ciguatera is a form of seafood poisoning that's caused by toxins that accumulate in fish,” says Dr. Parsons. The Florida Department of Health's website has this to say about ciguatera: “Over 400 known fish species have been classified as potential ciguatoxin carriers.
“It's a neurotoxin, so it'll affect neurons in your brain,” says FGC marine science researcher Adam Caucasus. Another bizarre symptom is known as “temperature reversal”, where your brain and body mistake hot for cold and vice versa.
Dr. Parsons says he gets emails and calls from people who've been struggling with the symptoms long after they ate infected fish. Says Dr. Parsons who explains some patients notice the symptoms disappear and then reappear when triggered by something as simple as a glass of wine.
Last year, a British woman's case of ciguatera made national headlines after she died just ten minutes after being taken to the hospital. “Based on the survey results, they determined about a 1000 people a year in Florida get sick with Ciguatera,” says Dr. Parsons.
“A fish that (can be) caught in Fiji and be served in a restaurant here in Fort Myers or Naples,” says Dr. Parsons. Fox 4 asked Dr. Parsons if it's possible to catch fish with ciguatoxins off the coast of Southwest Florida.
“If the fish is bigger and older, it's been in the food web longer, and it's been able to accumulate more toxin,” says Caucasus whose friend made a video of some spearfishing adventures in which they catch fish and cut open their bellies to check for the presence of the algae (known as Gambierdiscus) that may contain the toxins. Dr. Parsons says there's one fish that often poses risk and has been linked to numerous cases of sickness and even death.
And though the chances of poisoning are lower in other common species, there's quite a list of those known to cause problems. Dr. Parsons says many of the reported Florida cases of ciguatera were linked to grouper -- not because it's more toxic, but rather because it's so widely eaten.
The team definitely advises against eating fish organs which tend to have concentrated toxins. But the researchers are say they don't want to be “the boy scientists who cried wolf,” as Dr. Parsons put it, and were careful to let local fish eaters they shouldn't panic.
The majority of media and political attention is focused on red snapper, but there are several other reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico that are of commercial and recreational importance. Fishermen are putting our heads together to independently address this issue instead of waiting for politics and management to catch up.
Are we catching less red grouper because the red snapper population has expanded as it recovers? Thanks to successful management under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, red snapper populations are rebounding and their range is expanding.
Solving the problem of a declining of red grouper population is not going to be an easy task, but I have confidence that our collaboration between industry, scientists, and managers, together with the best-available science mandated by Magnuson-Stevens, can successfully recover the red grouper fishery. Paul Lough ridge is a commercial fisherman and owner of four boats out of Crystal River, Florida.
I discovered three recipes in the Dominican Republic that I wanted to share with you, one of which I never will. Within 20 minutes I was affected, and within 6 hours I was sick as the proverbial dog.
The burning, itchy rash did not appear till the next morning…by that time the upset stomach part was subsiding, but these other problems…what was going on? As to the other bizarre symptoms, he said that he had no idea and that I should concentrate on stopping the diarrhea.
The reason that my doc had no idea is that this is a fairly unknown disease in the U.S. except for South Florida, BUT, it’s getting more prevalent in our country as more fish species are being imported and waters around the world are becoming warmer. Other culprits besides black, yellow fin and dusty grouper are: barracuda, amber jack, king mackerel, cuber snapper, dog snapper and hog fish.
If you would like to read more information about ciguatera written in a more scientific way, you can read this from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and also this warning from the World Health Organization. Here is a very comprehensive essay by Professor J. Learn, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Australia on the neurology of ciguatera.
Sunday Supper Easy Vegetarian Chili Recipe THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (Health Day News) -- People who eat large, tropical predatory reef fish such as barracuda and grouper may be at risk for a form of food poisoning called ciguatera fish poisoning, U.S. health officials reported Thursday.
Illness occurs when people eat fish that contain toxins produced by a marine alga called Gambierdiscus toxic us, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC report said there was a significant increase in ciguatera poisoning cases in New York City among people who ate locally purchased barracuda or grouper in 2010 and 2011.
During the period August 2010 through July 2011, city health officials received reports of six outbreaks and one single case of ciguatera fish poisoning, involving a total of 28 people. After the start of symptoms, he had trouble walking that lasted for several months, the CDC report said.
Though the amount of mercury in fish greatly varies depending on the type of fish, their size, weight, and age, it is still noteworthy to learn how these pollutants may pose potential health risks among us as consumers if we eat too much of it. So as my wife and I were doing some research in hopes of promoting a solid diet and healthier lifestyle (and because she is pregnant right now), here is the list of those saltwater fish species that could do more harm than good to you and your health if eaten out of moderation.
Strong Angler Cameron Parsons with a nice king fish FDA warns children, pregnant women and lactating moms to NOT eat any king mackerel due to their very high mercury content. Eliminating these fish species in your diet can definitely reduce your chances of getting exposed to the harmful effects of mercury and other existing contaminants.
Health advocates encourage children as well as pregnant and nursing mothers to only consume three to six-ounce portions of white tuna in a month. According to a CNN report, this type of fish has extremely high levels of metal mercury that can eventually cause coordination loss, blindness and even death, depending on the amount or portion ingested.
Scientists believed that such increased mercury content was due to the accumulation of certain contaminants in their body as they eat lots of smaller fish. “What we found for our 124 sharks that we sampled was that about one-third of them came in with mercury levels that were over the Food and Drug Administration’s action level of one part per million,” Robert Hunter, director of Mote Marine Laboratory’s Center for Shark Research in Sarasota, said in a statement.
The cobra is a delicious saltwater fish that sadly can soak up a lot of mercury. Strong Angler Tina Corrode with what’s left of her swordfish you like catching daytime or nighttime swordfish, you might want to be careful how much of it you eat.
Strong Angler Cindy Dillard with an evening bluefishBluefish are fun to catch, will hit pretty much anything you drag through the water, and can really rip some line out on light tackle. Strong Angler Matt Slack with a nice red grouper Certainly one of the most popular (and delicious) saltwater fish to eat at restaurants, sadly the grouper is pretty high in mercury levels.
Greater Amber jack South Atlantic grouper (i.e. gag, scamp, red and snowy) Tile fish (also called golden or white snapper) Banded Rudder fish. Needless to say, it’s basically what you know (i.e. lowering your mercury risk exposure) that can really help you keep a healthy mind and body.
That’s because eating it during pregnancy may lower the risk of high blood pressure disorders and preterm birth, and lead to better brain development, language, and communication skills in children, says the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s 2020 Scientific Report. The Sabina Center, an ecology-focused non-profit organization, also offers a listing of sustainability ratings and detailed information on specific fish, while the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) provides up-to-date mercury notices.
We took safety (in the form of mercury) and the environment into consideration, too, when building this list of the best fish to eat. They can also act as natural reefs, attracting and providing food for other fish.
One important health note: Be cautious when eating raw oysters, especially those from warmer waters, as they may contain bacteria that can cause serious illnesses. A single serving delivers at least 1,000 milligrams, plus it’s a good source of most of the B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Plus, it’s readily available at grocery stores, and restaurants, making it that much easier to incorporate into your diet. A 3-ounce serving has less than 100 calories, about 18 grams protein (that’s more than a third of your daily needs), is practically fat-free, and chock-full of selenium.
What’s more, rainbow trout are a great way to add more omega-3s into your diet (a single serving delivers at least 1,000 milligrams), plus they’re low in mercury. Stick to albacore and skip jack (caught via trolls, pole, and lines) as they’re all “Best Choices” for the environment according to Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Skip jack is smaller and thus lower in mercury, particularly when compared to canned albacore. Factoring in safety and sustainability here are fish to avoid adding to your meal plan.