Have you ever wondered how healthy the fish are at your local supermarket? Just last week, I went to the grocery store and as surveyed the fish counter, a thought struck me – I wonder how much my readers know about the benefits… AND the potential dangers of fish.
Sure, we’ve heard for years from health experts about how important it is to add fish into your diet and get those valuable Omega 3’s, but I’m never seen one of those “experts” even mention that some kinds of fish can do more damage than good.
And that’s why I thought it would be a good idea to write to you today…
It’s true that the right fish can help immensely to improve your heart health. However, you have to know which are the right kinds of fish and which kind… are better for the trashcan.
Dangerous Fish For Your Heart Health
Now, I don’t know how much fish you eat on a regular basis or your current heart situation, but what I can tell you is this – if you’re eating the following fish on a regular basis, you may be in for a shock…
Because these dangerous fish are not only not helping your heart – they’re putting you at risk for all kinds of heart issues.
But don’t worry – it’s not all doom and gloom.
I love fish and eat it at least twice a week with my wife. And at the end of this article, I’ll let you know exactly which fish you should be buying for the best possible heart health.
Yet, before we get there, it’s good to first know which fish you should be avoiding…
Beware the Orange Roughy!
It’s hard to have good things to say about a fish whose nickname is slimehead…
And to be honest, I don’t. In my professional opinion, Orange Roughy shouldn’t even be sold on the market.
That’s because there’s a peculiar trait about this fish – what makes it special is that it can live up to 150 years!
Now, that’s great for the Orange Roughy, but not so great for you, and I’ll tell you why…
Fish that live a long time build up enormous stores of mercury that can be 10x higher than average fish mercury levels. That mercury doesn’t go away when you cook the fish either – it’s absorbed directly into your body.
And there’s really no way to tell if the fish you’re buying is 1 year old or 100.
Unlike fish, we as humans don’t tolerate mercury very well and mercury poisoning can lead to… yep, you guessed it – high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attacks.
And if you needed another reason, Orange Roughy doesn’t even provide much in the way of heart-healthy Omega 3’s.
So, if heart health is one of your top priorities, then Orange Roughy is out…
No Tilapia On The Table!
You may not see many fish commercials on the T.V., but that doesn’t mean the fish industry isn’t using sneaky tactics to get you to buy their dangerous fish.
And one of the best tricks fish marketers use is to give subpar fish a fancy name – like tilapia.
Behind this exotic name (which sounds like an ocean fish), is a freshwater farmed fish that’s all about a fishery’s bottom line. It grows extremely quickly, it tolerates being packed in with other fish in a farm, and it thrives in many different climates.
Which means that it’s extremely profitable – that’s why you probably noticed tilapia appearing out of nowhere and showing up on menus at nearly every restaurant you visit now.
But dishonest marketing isn’t the reason why I never recommend tilapia. It’s something far more sinister – it’s what this dangerous fish does to your body.
Tilapia doesn’t have many Omega 3’s, but what it does have is Omega 6’s. And there’s a big difference between the two.
While Omega 3’s help your heart, Omega 6’s do the exact opposite, increasing inflammation in your body and putting you at a higher risk of… you guessed it again… heart disease.
The most frustrating part about it is that this problem with tilapia is well-known in the medical community, but there’s little we can do to stop the profit train from chugging along.
All we can do is let you know that tilapia is a terrible fish and one that should be avoided completely.
At the same time, tilapia is not even the worst offender of fish being passed off as “healthy” in the supermarket.
No, that honor goes to…
Purge Pangasius From Your Shopping List!
Just like tilapia, Pangasius has an exotic-sounding name, but the name is the best thing about this dangerous fish. And it’s all downhill from there…
Taking the worst from both worlds, Pangasius has many of the same problems as Orange Roughy and Tilapia combined into a single fish.
For starters, there’s the mercury issue. Like Orange Roughy, you never really know what you’re getting with Pangasius and a Brazilian study found levels of mercury that exceed World Health Organization recommendations in over 50% of cases.
So, you’re flipping a coin as to whether you’ll get too much mercury or not. Is that a risk you want to take?
Still, there’s more not to love about Pangasius.
Nearly all the Pangasius at your local store comes from fish farms in Vietnam, which have lower standards for sanitation and common overuse of antibiotics to keep the fish growing.
And that still doesn’t stop bacterial infections. One Polish study discovered that 70-80% of all imported Pangasius was contaminated with a microbe that causes food poisoning.
Essentially, these farms want to pack in as many fish as possible to increase their profit, just like with tilapia.
And somehow, it’s worked. Pangasius is currently the 6th most sold fish in the U.S., no matter how unhealthy it is.
Now, remember when I said it’s not all doom and gloom?
That’s because there’s plenty of great fish out there and chances are high that your supermarket stocks all three of these…
Best Fish to Eat for a Healthy Heart
My top picks for heart-healthy fish are pretty easy to pick out – they’re the ones with low mercury counts, high Omega 3’s and low Omega 6’s. And they’re fish that are either wild-caught or farmed sustainably…
And to top it all off, they all taste amazing!
Probably my favorite fish in the world, it’s hard to beat a grilled salmon steak. Especially when you know it’s packed to the gills with Omega 3’s, calcium and other heart-boosting nutrients.
For freshwater fish, an excellent option is rainbow trout. Notoriously hard to catch, these wrigglers give you a healthy dose of Omega 3’s, DHA, and even some physical exercise if you’re trying to catch them yourself!
Canned or in steak form, tuna brings heart-healthy Vitamin D, protein, and selenium to the table. And it’s incredibly affordable as well – we stock up on top quality tuna every time our grocery store runs a sale and use it for quick sandwiches and salads.
It’s no secret that fish is great for your heart – but you have to know which ones to choose. And I hope this article helps you see the difference between the good and bad.
I recommend bumping up your intake to eat fish twice a week in addition to a well-rounded diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables for the best possible benefits.
Add in a dash of exercise and you’ll have the perfect recipe for a healthy heart that’s built to last.