Sea foods are probably one of the best food options that we have; vast choices, full of vitamins and minerals, and, best of all, very flexible and easy to prepare. Speaking of vitamins and minerals, fishes alone can already provide us with the essential fatty acids that help prolong our lives. Our body isn’t capable of producing these fatty acids, which are vital in the fighting against the premature aging of cells, reduction of cardiovascular woes, diminish of inflammatory conditions, management of diabetes, decrease of depression, and many others. Aside from that fishes, we also have lobsters, sea urchins, crabs, sea weeds, and many other kinds of sea foods that provide us with calories and protein, beneficial fats and cholesterol, and a long list of vitamins and minerals including B and A and B complex, zinc, selenium, Vitamin D, iron, and iodine. Conversely, of the numerous sea foods that we have, fishes are of abundance. Hence, it is no wonder that we often have fishes on our dining table instead of lobsters and king crabs’ mouth-watering legs. But did you know that not all fishes are good for our health and good for our environment? Here’s a list of sea foods that you could eat and those that you should NEVER eat.
The Good Catch
Catfish – The main reason for it being good for your health, aside from pairing it with hot sauce, is the fact that it’s vegetarian and lives in freshwater. But, let me specify that it should be the US farmed catfish and not the imported ones since these are raised plentifully and safely. Most imported catfishes are sourced from Vietnam where the use of fish antibiotics is prevalent. On the one hand, there catfishes are called Swai and Basa, so better be cautious about it. Catfishes labeled with Product of China should be avoided and look specifically for catfishes labeled with US Farm Raised Catfish.
Asian carp – It is another freshwater fish that feeds on algae and plankton. It’s high in protein and very low in mercury because it does not prey on other fishes. Apart from that, its tender flesh doesn’t smell fishy, making it best when stuffed with spices, herbs, and sauces when cooking.
Flounder – This type of fish is usually found in the bottom of the ocean, which makes it quite a challenging catch. Anyway, it has high amounts of protein and other essential amino acids and it also has the popular Omega 3 content with lower triglyceride levels. Because of this, The American Heart Association advises people on a healthy heart diet to include flounder and any fishes with the same level of triglyceride levels and protein in their diet at least twice a week. In addition to that, it’s one of the great tasting fishes out there with its sumptuous flavor present in its every flesh whether it’s grilled or fried. However, pregnant women and children are not advisable to consume high amounts of flounder because of its slight mercury content.
Salmon – Salmon is always the best choice, especially when it’s a wild catch from Alaska because they’re controlled and well-managed by biologists in the area who are posting themselves in the mouths of the river. Furthermore, the assigned biologists also ensure the safety and quality of the water where these fishes thrive, making them tastier, cleaner, and more appropriate to be on our plates. Salmons are mainly caught using traditional methods and are low in polychlorinated biphenyls though quite moderate in mercury.
Tuna – Tuna and salmon are two of the most popular fishes on Earth. They both contain high amounts of essential amino and fatty acids and are best when grilled or fried, too. Conversely, we’re not just talking about any tuna here – we’re talking about Albacore tuna, which is the safest of all types of tunas in the ocean. Albacore tuna is the ones used in canning and are usually harvested by troll or pole caught as long line harvesting tend to include bigger tunas, which have the tendency to contain higher amounts of mercury. One way of determining such aspect is to buy tunas with the label Marine Stewardship Council.
The Bad Catch
Bluefin Tuna – Firstly, bluefin tunas are included in the list of the top endangered underwater species last 2009, making it vulnerable to extinction when continued harvesting for their kind is tolerated. Aside from that, this fish contains high levels of mercury and PCBs, which is apparently the opposite of its sister, Albacore tuna.
Imported Shrimps – Dubbed as the dirtiest underwater food, imported shrimps are stuffed with a long list of toxins including antibiotics, contaminants, dirty residues like pieces of hair, mouse hair, and many others. Apart from that, most imported shrimps have been detected with E coli. As an alternative, go for domestic shrimps from the Gulf of Mexico and those pink shrimps from Oregon.
All other imported sea foods, especially those that come from China are unhealthy and contaminated. Make sure to do your research and grab only the best fish choices for your family and loved ones.