Should We Eat Fish?

Fish has many nutritional benefits. It is high in protein, low in saturated fat, and contains the valuable omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are very helpful in decreasing inflammation levels and are integral in brain and heart health. The lower calorie, higher nutrient content may be a big proponent in influencing you to choose fish over red meat.

However, there is one problem: nearly all fish contains traces of mercury, some more than others. Even most fish oil supplements you find on the shelves contains some levels.

Mercury accumulates in fish when polluted water goes through the gills, so generally the longer the fish lives, the more mercury it accumulates. Since many large fish eat smaller fish, their levels increase even more from a combination of what they have come into contact with and the levels that their food contains.

When we consume too much mercury it accumulates in our tissues, and can stay there for decades. The more fish you eat, the more likely you are to have elevated mercury levels.

Higher levels of this element in humans can result in brain damage, memory impairment, and an increased incidence toward dementia. Fish higher in mercury content should be eaten sparingly. That includes:

* shark
* swordfish
* tuna
* snapper
* grouper
* orange roughy
* mackerel
* sea bass
* and snapper

Fish lower in mercury are a safer bet. That includes:
* flounder
* tilapia
* haddock
* scallops
* fresh water trout
* sardines
* anchovies
* wild salmon
* hake
* shrimp
* scallops
* or squid.

You can also obtain healthy amounts of omega 3 fats from flaxseeds, walnuts, and a high quality fish oil supplement containing both EPA and DHA that is free of mercury and other environmental toxins. Heavy metal testing and detoxification programs are available at any of our office locations to evaluate and treat any higher mercury levels you may have.