Since keeping with a primarily pescetarian diet, I have begun educating myself on the facts and figures of seafood. There seems to be a lot of myths going around about the safety of eating seafood regularly, so I did some research to get to the bottom of the this very fishy situation.
Tips for Buying Seafood:
-Fresh and Frozen are nutritionally identical (although frozen may not have the same quality of flavor). If you buy frozen, buy “frozen-at-sea” for the freshest taste.
-For salmon, always purchase “wild” over “farmed”. Farmed has higher levels of PCBs or polychlorinated biphenyls, which are potentially carcinogenic. Avoid genetically altered salmon.
-Buy fish that is sustainable. Sustainable seafood can be fished or farmed from sources that maintain or increase production in the future without jeopardizing the environment in which it was acquired. Make sure there is a label that says the seafood is a “certified sustainable food”.
-Eat a variety of seasonally fresh fish from different sources.
-Beware signs that say “organic”, since there is currently no USDA-approved organic label.
The Facts of Mercury:
Seafood is a great source of protein because it has healthy unsaturated fats and is high in omega 3s and amino acids. Seafood is a great option for people looking for proteins that will help lower their cholesterol. Recently, since I have become a pescetarian, people have been telling me to worry about my mercury levels. While that worry is real and mercury poisoning is dangerous, I did some research and found some facts about the different mercury levels in different seafoods. Here’s a table I made that you should try to stick to. Knowing about the nutritional benefits of seafood is important when choosing a dish or shopping at a supermarket. Different seafoods have different levels of Omega 3s and Mercury; some can be eaten daily, others weekly, and others no more than once a month.