Eating too much fish has recently been associated with Mercury toxicity. However, the risks are far outweighed by the nourishment fish provide in the form of Selenium and Omega 3 fish oils.
Television journalism can be a a bit exhausting. One minute something can save your life and the next, it can kill you. Eating fish is now being thrown under the bus because some are said to be high in Mercury. I’m not buying it. Furthermore, eating fish is actually quite good and the source of many essential nutrients that can help you live a longer and healthier life.
There is a website called HARO (Help a Reporter Out). HARO is a website that journalists utilize to locate sources for quotes or general information about articles they write or produce. I’ve been quoted before, which is pretty cool, so I continue to respond to their inquiries.
The most recent query I responded to was from a Journalist for The Daily Meal. The query is below. I found the subject matter interesting, so I decided to elaborate and turn it into the blog you’re reading now.
My Response – I’m assuming you’re questioning something you may have read regarding mercury concentrations in our salt-water or freshwater fish. I’m sorry to say, but the mercury risk, however slight, is a result of journalism and our sensationalist media. If something CAN’T kill you, it’s not worthy of a headline, right? For example, “Is the fish you’re eating KILLING you?” I’ve actually heard that before on one of the 24-hr news networks. The answer is NO!!! Here’s why…
5 Reasons You Should Eat More Fish
Fish, the more oily the better, is a much safer alternative to the factory beef, poultry or pork that we’re fed. Just ask the Inuits. The traditional Inuit diet is extremely high in protein and Omega 3 fat that is found in fish, in addition to seal and whale blubber. The Inuits have almost ZERO incidence of diabetes, cancer, tooth decay and obesity. The reason is selenium. Selenium is a super potent antioxidant found in seafood and some green veggies. It’s undeniable that high-selenium diets have a significantly lower incidence of cancer and other pathological disease.
Fish are not significant sources of PCBs and dioxins when compared to meat, dairy or vegetables. However, fish are high in selenium.
The benefits of eating fish are significantly higher than the risks, which are minimal. The mercury scare is entirely over-exaggerated. The upside in eating a high fish diet is far outweighs any risk of mercury toxicity.
Pregnant mothers and small children should eat 2-3 servings of fish per week. In fact, we should all exchange 2-3 traditional meat meals for fish per week.
It’s worth mentioning again – Fish oils are extremely high in Omega 3s and the antioxidant Selenium.
Why Salmon is among your best fish options
When you’re selecting a type of fish for dinner or lunch, salmon should be at the top of your list. Sure, it’s high in calories, but it’s also high in Selenium and Omega 3 fats. Research is not showing that these healthy fats actually fuel metabolism and weight loss. It’s true. For more about info regarding the nutritional content of Salmon see this blog from Calories Fit.
To summarize, the risks of adding more fish to your diet, which are remote at best, are minimized by the reward in adding the powerful antioxidant selenium to your diet. And don’t forget the Omega 3s.
A lot of this information is contained in my book, HCG 2.0 – Don’t Starve, Eat Smart and Lose; A Modern Adaptation of the Traditional HCG Diet.
Dr. Zach LaBoube