Monday, February 24, 2014

Fish Facts - Part 1

I seldom eat red meat but do love chicken and seafood/fish so when I ran across an article about there being fish that are bad for you, I immediately had to read.  This is what I found in the article.  It is rather long so I’ll break it down into several parts.

#1 – Unlike other meats, fish’s nutritional value varies wildly by species and habitat, so it’s important to do your research.

#2 – According to registered dietitian and founder of 360 Family Nutrition, Kristen Smith, “not all fish offer the same health benefits.  Be sure to look for varieties that contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.  That is the ‘healthy’ fat source that can help reduce inflammation, prevent heart disease, and improve brain health.”

#3 – She also says “More importantly, you need to know which varieties to avoid.  Because fish live in polluted waters, they often contain dangerous chemicals like mercury and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) which concentrate up the food chain through a process called bioaccumulation.”  PCBs are chlorinated chemicals that were outlawed in the ‘70s, but since they don’t break down easily, they’re still pervasive in our waters.  She goes on to say “Exposure to PCB is associated with a greater risk of neuropsychological impairment.  People over 50 who consume fish contaminated with PCB have a greater risk of decline in memory and increase in depression, which can adversely affect physical health and ability to function.”  With that said, experts in the health community continue to debate the harmful effects of PCBs, some taking the stance that the levels at which we ingest them are too low to be worrisome. 

#4 – Mercury is released into the water form industrial sources burning fossil fuels and solid wastes.  According to certified nutritionist and dietitian Janet Brill, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N. “Nearly all fish contains a small amount of mercury, but contamination becomes a problem when high levels accumulate.  Exposure to too much mercury can damage the nervous system and up your risk of dying from heart disease.

After reading this I had to find out which fish were safe to eat and which weren’t.  I’ll be breaking this down into several segments so continue to follow to see if you’re eating the healthy fish and not the unhealthy.  There are 8 that I’ve found we should avoid and consume in low doses.
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