Friday, October 25, 2013

Mercury Levels in Fish

I often get questions about the safety of eating fish several times a week. So when I came across the National Resources Defense Council (www.nrdc.org), chart tht ranks fish based in their level of mercury, I thought it would be great to share. According to the NRDC, most mercury pollution is from coal-fired power plants and other industrial processes. Mercury is harmful to humans, especially pregnant women and children. When mercury enters the body, it acts as a neurotoxin, which means it disrupts our nervous system. 

Do not let the fear of mercury steer you away from fish, or you'll be missing out on a great source of protein and omega-3's. Just be smart about your choices. 

I selected some of the most common fish to present here, but check out www.nrdc.org for the whole chart:

Highest Mercury:

Orange Roughy
Swordfish
Tuna (Ahi)

High Mercury (Eat 3 servings or less per month):

Grouper
Tuna (Albacore, canned)
Tuna (Yellowfin)
Sea bass (Chilean)
Mackeral (Spanish, Gulf)

Moderate Mercury (Eat 6 servings or less per month):

Halibut 
Cod (Alaskan)
Lobster 
Mahi Mahi
Snapper 
Tuna (Chunk Light, canned)
Bass (striped, black)

Least Mercury:

Anchovies
Crab 
Flounder 
Oysters 
Clams
Salmon
Scallop
Shrimp 
Sole 
Tilapia 
Trout 
Sardines