Fish is one of the best low-fat high-quality proteins out there. It is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals from vitamin D, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and more. In fact, it is so good for you that the American Heart Association is telling everyone to eat it at least two servings a week. However, there is always a catch, right?
Some species of fish are considered harmful in large quantities and to certain individuals due to mercury levels, PCBs (polyclorinated biphenyls), dioxins, and other environment contaminants. Levels of these substances are typically greatest in older, larger, predatory fish and marine mammals. The FDA recommends that:
- Children and pregnant women avoid eating fish with the potential for the highest contamination (shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish)
- A variety of fish is eaten to minimize any potentially adverse effects due to environmental pollutants
- Check for local fish advisories, if you are catching your own fish
- Everyone follow the healthy fish guide below purchasing any fish
- Serve 1 to 2 servings of fish per week to children starting at age 2