What Is the Best Fish to Eat? Here’s Our Top 5
Best fish to eat
Is fish friend or foe? Well, that depends on the type of fish that you eat. Generally, fish is a healthy source of animal protein and omega-3 fatty acids, also known as “good fats” that your body can’t produce itself.
Omega-3 fatty acids have numerous health benefits such as reducing inflammation in your body, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, promoting prenatal and postnatal neurological development, and preventing mental decline in older people.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), we should eat fish at least twice a week (especially fatty fish) if we want to enjoy their health benefits.
Here’s our top 5 best fish to eat – high in omega-3s, low in contaminants such as mercury and lead and healthy for you and for the environment:
Wild-caught salmon provides more than 1,500 mg of omega-3s per serving and, because it comes from fisheries with strict rules, it is sustainable and exceptionally low in environmental contaminants. If your budget allows it, don’t hesitate to go for the wild salmon instead of the farmed one which might contain fewer vitamins and omega-3s.
“Most people I see with diabetes have heard me strongly suggest salmon be part of their diet once a week because salmon nutrition helps in the prevention of macular degeneration,” says UnityPoint Health dietitian Elaine Kay Mitchell.
Try the delicious baked salmon dinner recipe in our 14-Day Paleo Meal Plan!
The tiny sardines have made in onto our superstar fish list for packing around 1200 mg of omega-3s per serving and for being extremely rich in vitamin D. They’re also naturally high in calcium, providing more than 30 percent of your daily needs per serving.
Canned sardines are also a good and nutritious option, not to mention, much easier to find. “Since sardines are more likely to be sustainably caught, they’re a safe choice for pregnant and nursing women,” said registered dietitian Julia Zumpano, RD, LD.
Tuna is among the world’s most popular fish due to its versatility, nutritional profile (rich in protein, low in fat and calories) and taste. In fact, canned tuna is the second most popular seafood product in the United States after shrimp.
However, not every type of tuna is good for you. Experts recommend chunk, light tuna such as skipjack instead of yellowfin or ahi tuna which contain more mercury. Skipjack tuna is considered to be healthy, strong and sustainability fished worldwide.
Rainbow trout is a great option, especially if it’s US farm-raised in compliance with strict rules. In fact, according to the Environmental Defense Fund, farmed trout is one of the best fish to eat in relation to the impact on the environment.
Rainbow trout (wild or farmed) includes significant levels of protein and omega-3 fats and, potassium, selenium and vitamin B6. The farmed variety is extremely low in environmental contaminants. If you’re more into wild trout, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommends lake trout caught in Lake Superior in Minnesota.
Packed with omega-3, antioxidants and protein, this oily fish is rapidly becoming a seafood superstar due to its multiple health benefits. “There are very few foods that provide Vitamin D, and fatty fish like mackerel is one of them,” registered dietitian nutritionist Amy Gorin said.
The US Food & Drug Administration recommends limiting the consumption of King Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel due to their relatively high levels of mercury and eat more Atlantic mackerel. This type of fish contains a compound called coenzyme which can boost your metabolism and help you burn more fat.