BIO 1000 28-10-2014
Benefits and risks of eating fish
Fish can be a great dietary choice; it’s lower in calories and saturated fat than red meat and naturally higher in omega 3 acids. But it also contains mercury and other potentially harmful contaminants, so it is safe to eat fish?
Fish have a lot of benefits; it’s the only food that directly supplies large amounts of omega 3 acids that have been shown to cut the risk of heart attack and stroke. Omega 3s may also elevate mood and help to prevent certain cancer, cognitive decline, and eye disease. Most people can get enough of this acid by consuming fish at least twice a week. Good choices include Salmon and sardines, since they are also low in mercury.
But because of the human industrial activity such as coal fired electricity generation, smelting and the incineration of waste, some fish, such as king mackerel, shark, and swordfish, are consistently high in mercury, which can harm the nervous system, kidneys and liver and can disturb immune processes of a fetus or young child. Other fish including canned tuna are also high in that metal. Experts think that woman who are pregnant, nursing, or may become pregnant as well as young children should take special precautions. The risk posed by mercury in fish to other people is less established, though in general the heavier you are the more fish you can eat. Other contaminants sometimes are found in fish, such dioxins and PCBs, these contaminants have been linked to some cancers and reproductive problems. A