Fish: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

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Fish is another controversial subject!

There are approximately 32,000 different kinds of fish that live today in our waters. Ancient people learned to catch and eat fish in very early days of a human race. The oldest fishhook ever found is 42,000 years old! Fish is known to be a great source of beneficial, anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids. But be careful!  When fish is farm-raised, in most cases it is unknown what it is being fed with, and when the fish is a wild catch the water quality of the area where it was caught may be not the greatest.

Why do we need more Omega-3? Healthy ratio is when Omega-3 and Omega-6 are present in equal amounts. Today we get much more Omega-6 from our diet. It comes from refined oils, snacks, cookies and baked goods.

Our body constructs hormones from both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These hormones have opposite effects. Hormones from omega-6 fatty acids increase inflammation, while those from Omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation. Both families of hormones must be in balance to maintain optimum health. To get the balance back we should reduce Omega-6 consumption and increase Omega-3 intake.

But not all fish types are equally rich in Omega-3. For example, farm-raised tilapia contains more Omega-6 than Omega-3. Consuming farm-raised tilapia causes an even greater  imbalance in Omega-3:Omega-6 ratio, which may cause inflammation.

So what is Fish Oil, Omega-3, why it is so important and what fish is rich in Omega-3?

Fish oil is a rich source of the two essential omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA.

EPA supports heart health and DHA plays an important role in normal brain function.

Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for good physical and mental health. It can increase good cholesterol, reduces inflammation and keeps blood vessels healthy.

Beware ladies: Even though most brands of lipstick contain fish scales, lipstick alone will not get you right amount of Omega-3! So you need to consume fish and fish oil products!

The best sources of Omega-3 are wild Alaskan salmon, canned sockeye salmon, sardines, herring and black cod.

There are some important factors to consider when buying the fish:

  • Avoid farm-raised fish
  • Check where the fish was caught. Canada (west coast), Peru, Norway, and Spain are considered countries with clean water
  • Good quality canned fish may be an option if the smell of the cooking fish is an issue
  • Not all fish is even a fish. Starfish are not fish. Neither are jellyfish ☺

And one tip for your fish recipes: When cooking, try to lower sodium intake, do not use salt excessively. Most fish have some salt in their bodies. And sharks actually are as salty as waters they live in.

If for some reasons you cannot eat fish then get a good fish oil supplement. If you are not sure what “good” means I have a product recommendation section on my site and you can read it here.

 

  2Comments

  1. Elena   •  

    Goldy,

    I read your article about small company in BC which producing a canned fish. Could you please forward to me more information about this company and how I can order there products.

    Best regards,
    Elena

    • goldy   •     Author

      Hi Elena,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Where do you live?
      I assume not in Toronto, as otherwise you can just fill the spreadsheet with your order and send it to me.

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