The changes corrected data or more properly characterized the species of fish or shellfish sampled. On October 6, 2014, technical changes were made to allow viewers to review the list in order of mercury levels and in alphabetical order by fish species.
List of low and high mercury concentration levels in fish species, includes chart of fish species safe and not safe for pregnant women and public consumption. US government scientists tested fish in 291 streams around the country for mercury contamination.
The U.S. FDA recommends eating 8 – 12 ounces of fish low in mercury per week. Fish contain vital nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals such as iron.
These nutrients are essential, particularly for pregnant moms, as they foster healthy fetal, infant, and childhood development. Mercury is defined as a chemical element with symbol Hg and atomic number 80.
Symptoms typically include sensory impairment (vision, hearing, speech), disturbed sensation and a lack of coordination. The type and degree of symptoms exhibited depend upon the individual toxin, the dose, and the method and duration of exposure.
That is why larger, longer-living predators such as sharks and swordfish tend to have more of the toxin than smaller fish such as sardines, sole, and trout. US government scientists tested fish in 291 streams around the country for mercury contamination.
The presence of mercury in fish can be a particular health concern for women who are or may become pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children. Mercury levels in the Northern Pacific Ocean have risen about 30 percent over the past 20 years and are expected to rise by 50 percent more by 2050 as industrial mercury emissions increase, according to a 2009 study led by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey and Harvard University.
Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Abstract: List of low and high mercury concentration levels in fish species, includes chart of fish species safe and not safe for pregnant women and public consumption.
And even though most freshwater and saltwater fish are generally considered safe to eat, there are some saltwater fish that contain varying levels of contaminants like mercury, PCs, and dioxins, which they acquire from the water they live in and from the food they eat. 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. Whether fresh or canned, Albacore still has mercury levels that are almost three times higher than the smaller skip jack.
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. Because swordfish is up at the very top of the list in terms of mercury content for saltwater fish.
Although most people throw back jacks and refer to them as a “junk fish”, but for those of you that do eat them, be careful! Greater Amber jack South Atlantic grouper (i.e. gag, scamp, red and snowy) Tile fish (also called golden or white snapper) Banded Rudder fish.
We’d love to hear from you… Let us know of any other saltwater fish high in mercury that we missed in the comment section. This is especially dangerous for pregnant and breastfeeding women because fetuses and newborns are very sensitive to mercury.Find out the best fish to eat and in what amounts.
For that reason, women who are planning to become pregnant may want to begin to avoid fish that are higher in mercury before they become pregnant. The effects of methyl mercury poisoning include cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, impaired mental functioning, impaired lung function, growth problems, and having a small head.
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They are central components of some of the healthiest eating patterns, such as the Nordic, Mediterranean, and Japanese diets. But the reality is not all fish are created equal, and there are tremendous differences within this broad category of species.
In this article, we’ll reveal the best and worst fish to eat, and the criteria that sets them apart from one another. After all, there’s good reason health organizations like the American Heart Association urge folks to eat seafood at least 2 – 3 times a week.
For starters, the best seafood choices, which I’ll reveal shortly (patience, my friend), are packed with two super-duper-awesome nutrients: Chances are you’re pretty familiar with these two nutrition all-stars, but if you’d like for me to bore you with details, you can find out more about the benefits of higher-protein diets and omega-3 fatty acids.
In short, higher-protein diets seem to be a linchpin for overall health, appetite management, body composition, recovery from exercise, building/maintaining muscle, healthy aging, and glycemic balance to name a handful of benefits. Meanwhile, omega-3s are essential fatty acids (meaning you need to get them through food and/or supplemental sources) that are mission-critical for cellular health, healthy levels of inflammation, and for supporting the health of your heart, brain, mood, metabolism, eyes, skin, and immune system.
Among its many functions, B12 energizes the brain and nervous system and protects it from the buildup of potentially toxic compounds. Often overlooked, choline is an essential nutrient often grouped with B vitamins, and it is a building block for the neurotransmitter (a scientific name for a chemical that helps the nervous system communicate effectively and efficiently) acetylcholine, which is important for memory, mood, muscle control, and more.
Low selenium has been linked to declining brain health and cognitive function. Having said that, too much iodine can actually be problematic for thyroid function, but only when it’s combined with inadequate levels of selenium.
In a robust review study (a meta-analysis of 12 studies involving 672,389 participants) published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from China found that fish consumption significantly lowered the risk of all-cause mortality, which is science speak for death from all causes. In fact, they found that consuming 60 grams (about 2 ounces) of fish per day was associated with a 12% reduction in all-cause mortality.
In yet another large review study (a meta-analysis of 14 studies involving 911,348 participants) published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, researchers found that fish consumption was significantly and inversely associated (i.e., lowered) with the risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD). For instance, every 20-gram per day (about ¾ of an ounce) increment in fish consumption lowered the risk of CVD mortality by 4%.
Among their many potential benefits, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic (i.e., blood thinning), and antiarrhythmic (i.e., support normal heart rhythms) properties, improve blood lipids (e.g., triglycerides), and aid in circulation (e.g., vascular relaxation). In addition to these cardio protective effects, research has also shown that fish consumption is beneficial for the prevention of acute coronary syndrome, such as heart attack.
Thanks to their density of macronutrients (e.g., DHA, B12, choline), the right types of seafood are some of the most powerful brain-boosting foods. While seafood may not be a quick-fix smart drug that leaves you feeling limitless within minutes of consumption, multiple studies have shown that higher fish intake is associated with better cognitive function later in life.
In an extensive review study (including a meta-analysis of 26 studies involving 150,278 participants) published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Chinese researchers found that fish consumption was inversely associated with depression. They found men and women who consumed more fish had up to a 17% lower risk of depression.
While all seafood tends to be a good source of protein, the playing field is not quite as equal when it comes to omega-3 content, which is arguably the most compelling reason to eat more fish. These bad boys are so mission-critical that the American Heart Association recommends adults consume at least 500 mg of EPA and DHA (and more is often better).
The following seafood options are the richest in omega-3s (providing at least 500 mg of EPA and DHA per 3-ounce cooked portion): In fact, due to decades of industrial activity and pollution, there are a few potential toxic ants found in seafood we need to keep a very close eye out for.
Fish contain a specific form of mercury called methyl mercury, which is a neurotoxin that causes brain and nervous system damage. While pregnant and nursing mothers are most likely to be warned of the potential dangers of mercury in seafood, methyl mercury affects people of ALL ages.
Like mercury, large predatory, long-living fish tend to end up with the greatest concentration of these toxins as well. There’s also one unsuspecting “healthy” fish you need to be wary of: farmed salmon, which are often raised in conditions riddled with pesticides, feces, bacteria, and parasites.
And while they may be low in mercury, farmed salmon have been shown to contain high concentrations of other potentially health-derailing contaminants, like PCs, dioxins, and chlorinated pesticides. Along those lines, it’s very important to consider the impact your dietary choices have on the ocean and freshwater ecosystems.
The Seafood Watch program, which launched in 1999, provides science-based, peer-reviewed sustainability ratings for commercial fish species. For instance, in a recent study published in the journal Food Research International, researchers examined 203 seafood samples from 12 key species collected from various importers, processing plants, and retailers in Ontario, Canada.
When it comes to seafood fraud, the number one watchdog is Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Oceana recently conducted one of the largest seafood fraud investigations in the world to date, collecting more than 1,200 samples from 674 retail outlets in 21 states to determine if they were honestly labeled.
Mislabeling was found in 27 of the 46 fish types tested (59%) Snapper (87%) and tuna (59%) were the most commonly mislabeled fish Only 7 of the 120 red snapper samples were honestly labeled 84% of the white tuna samples were actually Escobar, a type of fish that can cause serious digestive issues for some folks who eat more than a few ounces 44% of all grocery stores, restaurants, and sushi venues sold mislabeled seafood In Seattle, every snapper sample was mislabeled In Austin, Chicago, Washington, DC, and New York, every sushi venue sold mislabeled fish Southern California had the highest mislabeling rate nationwide Tile fish, a fish on the FDA’s DO NOT EAT list, was sold in place of halibut and red snapper King mackerel, another fish on the DO NOT EAT list, was sold in place of grouper Not only is seafood fraud dishonest, the guilty parties are stealing your hard-earned money, and they’re putting you in harm’s way.
Even though it’s low in mercury and sustainably sourced, tilapia contains a negligible amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Researchers from Wake Forest have gone so far as to say, “For individuals who are eating fish as a method to control inflammation, it is clear from these numbers that tilapia is not a good choice.
All other nutritional content aside, the inflammatory potential of hamburger and pork bacon is lower than the average serving of farmed tilapia.” 16 While there’s no question that most people over consume omega-6 fats (particularly in relationship to omega-3s), this omega imbalance has nothing to do with eating too much tilapia (which only contains about a ½ gram per serving) and everything to do with the ubiquity of highly refined vegetable and seed oils high in omega-6s (e.g., soybean, corn, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, peanut, and canola).
If you take a look back, we’ve put together a heck of a checklist you can use to make great seafood choices, and grouper comes out on the wrong side in all categories. You know it’s a great idea to eat healthy, nutritious, and delicious seafood at least twice a week, and you know the best choices are high in omega-3 fats, which are anti-inflammatory, help boost immunity, and have far-reaching benefits on virtually every aspect of health.
The best choices are also sustainably caught and low in mercury, a toxin that can attack your brain, nervous, system, kidneys, liver, and heart. Please refer to the charts I’ve shared above so you can consistently make the best seafood choices.
If you’d like more information, I encourage you to check out the resources made available by the following incredible organizations: Environmental Working Group, Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, Ocean, and the Environmental Defense Fund.