How Healthy is Fish?

Fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are considered healthy. But experts warn of overfishing, pesticide residues, and contaminated fish feed. As a rule, sea fish is healthier than freshwater fish. But as with meat, it depends on how the fish grew up and what it ate.

Nutrients in fish

  • Protein: Fish contains particularly high-quality protein, is easier to digest than meat, and even has better bioavailability than protein from dairy products.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Oily sea fish in particular contains many healthy fatty acids. For example, the so-called EPA and DHA acids are said to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and disorders in lipid metabolism. The fattier the fish, the higher it’s the content of valuable unsaturated fatty acids. Fish from aquaculture usually contains significantly less omega-3 fatty acids than wild fish because of the predominantly plant-based feed. Fish with the ASC and MSC seals come from sustainable aquaculture with species-appropriate feeding.
  • Trace elements: Fish contains large amounts of iodine and selenium – good for the thyroid gland.
  • Vitamins: The water-soluble vitamins B6 and B12, which are abundantly contained in fish, are important for the nervous system.

Antibiotics and pesticides in fish

  • Antibiotics: There are practically no residues left in fish from Europe, especially from aquaculture in Norway. Because the fish are vaccinated against the most important diseases. Fish that were bred outside of Europe can contain antibiotic residues but are rarely offered in Germany.
  • Pesticides: For fish from non-EU countries, the plant-based feed is treated with the pesticide ethoxyquin, which is carcinogenic in humans and accumulates in the fish. This chemical is to be banned in the EU from 2020. Until then, consumers should rely on organic products that may not contain any Exothyquin.

Recognize fresh fish when buying

When purchased, the fish should have clear, shiny eyes, firm flesh, and no bruises. And it shouldn’t smell like fish. The gills should be moist, shiny, and red. The best thing to do is to ask the retailer where the fish comes from: aquaculture or wild-caught? From which country? How was he raised?

Prepare fish properly

When stewing and steaming, many nutrients are retained in the fish. Both cooking methods are low in calories. When frying, the fish should be juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Do not heat above 60 degrees, otherwise, protein may escape and the fish will dry out.

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