Fish is not a health food, according to Dr. Furhman, a board-certified family physician, NY Times best-selling author, nutritional researcher, and an internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing. He maintains, “If you eat fish regularly, your body is undoubtedly high in mercury, which can damage the heart and brain. Pregnant women may compromise their babies’ brain development by mercury exposure associated with eating fish, and eating more fish is also associated with increased breast cancer risk.” He recommends to either avoid fish or eat it no more than once a week and choose those lowest in mercury such as flounder, scallops, trout, sole, squid, wild salmon or sardines.
Fish is a healthy and delicious alternative to meat and obviously some choices are safer than others. Still, reading Dr. Furhman’s report is jarring. I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website, which helps consumers and businesses make choices for healthy oceans and for consuming safe fish, to read their recommendations.
The Seafood Watch program categorizes fish into “Best Choices”, “Good Alternatives”, and which ones to “Avoid”.
Their Super Green or “Best Choices” lists seafood that meets the following three criteria:
- Has low levels of mercury
- Provides at least 250 milligrams per day (mg/d) of omega-3s
- Is classified as a Seafood Watch “Best Choice” (green)
Best Choice List includes:
- Atlantic Mackerel (purse seine from Canada and the U.S.)
- Freshwater Coho Salmon (farmed in tank systems, from the U.S.)
- Pacific Sardines (wild-caught)
- Salmon (wild-caught, from Alaska)
- Salmon, Canned (wild-caught, from Alaska)
Next Best choices:
- Albacore Tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the U.S. or British Columbia)
- Sablefish/Black Cod (from Alaska and Canadian Pacific)
Click here for the “Good Alternatives” and “Avoid” list, as well as a seafood search for detailed information regarding specific fish. You can actually download seafood watch lists for your region of the country.
The “Best Choices” list isn’t very long. Sadly, eating safe, nutritious food is getting harder. Staying informed by reading information from trusted sources is one solution, eating local, organically grown whole food is another.
For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.
Information compiled from: peacefuldaily.com and