There are lots of compelling health-related reasons
to eat more fish. Read about the health benefits of Omega3 fatty
acids, found in salmon, at Alaska
Did you know? What you know about mercury in tuna
may be wrong. According to Oregon State University, comparing
Pacific Albacore tuna to other tunas in the Atlantic and Western
Pacific is misleading. You can download
this PDF document for more information.
Confused about how safe seafood
is these days? Here are four reasons to stop worrying and start
1. Bountiful Benefits
If you're shying away from seafood because of worries about the
health dangers of mercury and PCBs, here's news you should know:
The FDA and EPA report that, for most of us, fish and shellfish
are just fine to eat. In fact, the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis
found that their benefits far outweigh the risk of contaminants.
"'It's not eating seafood that can hurt you'" says Linda
Chaves, senior advisor at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration Fisheries Service. Why? Recent findings are linking
lower fish consumption to a greater risk of illnesses like heart
disease and stroke. What's more, new research in rats suggests
that selenium, found in ocean fish, and vitamin E, may reduce
the mercury's harmful effects.
2. Protein Punch
Fish and seafood are packed with protein, but not nasty saturated
fat. A 3-ounce piece of broiled salmon delivers 19 grams of protein
and 10 grams of fat, with just 2 grams of them saturated.
Also, seafood (especially oily fish such as salmon and tuna) is
a crucial source of omega-3 fatty acids-good fats that lower the
risk of heart disease and help protect against stroke, inflammatory
diseases, bowel disorders, Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit/hyperactivity
disorder, and depression.
3. Brainpower Boost
A Harvard Medical School study found that pregnant women who eat
a diet rich in safe seafood may be giving their growing babies
a brain boost. The study of 135 mothers and their infants found
that the mothers who ate the most lower-in-mercury fish during
their 2nd trimester did better on a standard test of mental development.
Another study, in the Archives of Neurology, found that elderly
people who ate fish at least once a week did better on tests of
memory over time. The seniors who ate fish regularly also showed
a 10% slower decline in mental skills each year.
4. Simple, Low-Cal Meals
Seafood is wonderfully versatile and perfect for light meals:
just marinate, rub it with spices, and grill. There's an ocean
of choices, from wild salmon to buttery halibut and on.
(Health Magazine, June 2006)
Can't decide? Ask H&H for
the freshest catch of the day and cooking suggestions. That's
what we're here for.
According to the EPA,
here is what you need to know about mercury in fish and shellfish:
Fish and shellfish are an important part of a healthy diet. Fish
and shellfish contain high-quality protein and other essential
nutrients, are low in saturated fat, and contain omega-3 fatty
acids. A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fish and
shellfish can contribute to heart health and children's proper
growth and development. So, women and young children in particular
should include fish or shellfish in their diets due to the many
However, nearly all fish and
shellfish contain traces of mercury. For most people, the risk
from mercury by eating fish and shellfish is not a health concern.
Yet, some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury
that may harm an unborn baby or young child's developing nervous
system. The risks from mercury in fish and shellfish depend on
the amount of fish and shellfish eaten and the levels of mercury
in the fish and shellfish.
Therefore, the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
are advising women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing
mothers, and young children to avoid some types of fish, and to
eat fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.
By following these three recommendations
for selecting and eating fish or shellfish, women and young children
will receive the benefits of eating fish and shellfish and be
confident that they have reduced their exposure to the harmful
effects of mercury.
1. Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish because
they contain high levels of mercury.
2. Eat up to 12 ounces (2 average
meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower
Five of the most commonly eaten
fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon,
pollock, and catfish.
Another commonly eaten fish,
albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned
light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish,
you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna
3. Check local advisories about
the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local
lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. If no advice is available, eat
up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from
local waters, but don't consume any other fish during that week.