A new study did show, from DNA testing, that more than a third of all us fish are not what we think they are. Often red snapper was substituted with Tilapia and Grouper was actually catfish. Often fish is marketed as â??wild caughtâ?? fish when it is actually farmed fish. This is very hard to regulate since 90 percent of the fish sold in the US is imported.
Question: Some of us think Fish is Fish, why does it matter?
Answer: Well, I think that we just deserve honest representation in what we are being sold. There are two major instances where it comes into play.
Pregnant and Breast Feeding Women
The mercury content of different fish varies from species to species
Mercury is especially harmful to the developing fetus or young infant
Fish is healthy while pregnant, but you need to avoid some fish. FDA recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women limit fish intake to low mercury containing fish, and to only have 2-3 servings per week.
Low Mercury Containing Fish:
Higher Mercury Containing Fish
Healthier Omega 3 Fish
Fish is a great source of Protein
Key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, which many studies are showing the best results with long term health.
Fish is a great source of healthier fats, especially the Omega-3
So tell us more about why Omega 3s are good for us?
Think about Omega 3 as being anti-inflammatory
They are an essential fatty acid, because they are necessary for life, and the body can not make them on its own.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been studied and shown to have a positive impact on Heart Disease, Cancers, and even mood disorders, just to name a few
Omega-3â??s found in fish contain both EPA and DHA, long chain amino acids which are healthy, not that short ALA Omega 3s that are found in plant sources like flax seed.
So what about Fish Oil Supplements?
They are often a great source of Omega-3. Get a reputable brand that is independently tested. You want to insure that it is free of mercury and other contaminants.
They should serve to supplement fish in the diet, but are better than nothing.
Literally hundreds of studies show benefits to fish oil, but one recent study questioned their benefit. At this point, Iâ??m going with the bulk of the data that says they are good. The study only suggested they might not be quite as good as we thought, but there was no ill effects of supplementing omega 3.
Question: So knowing what you have presented on Mercury content and Omega-3, when you are at the fish counter, what do you typically reach for?
Answer: Obviously Iâ??m looking for something lower in mercury and higher in Omega 3. Salmon is at the top of my list. Itâ??s easily available, even in a can. Mackerel is also a great choice and is available. I also enjoy trout, remember wild lake caught is better than brook or farmed. Also I take 2 fish oil capsules each day; Iâ??d recommend that to nearly anyone.
Complete Family Medicine
Dr. Justin Puckett, D.O.
1611 S. Baltimore St.
Kirksville, MO. 63501