Monday, November 13, 2023

Should I Avoid Seafood Because It’s High In Mercury?

Seafood is a very healthy food, but because of industrial pollution, there is a legitimate concern of mercury contamination in the fish we consume. So, just where does seafood fit into a healthy diet?

Benefits of Seafood

Seafood contains a lot of healthy nutrients. It is high in Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D. It is also a great source of protein that is low in saturated fat.

Omega 3 fatty acids from seafood have been shown in the research literature to have a nice impact on arrhythmias, triglycerides, inflammation, blood pressure, heart rate and vascular function. This all translates to a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular for those that regularly consume seafood.

Risk of Mercury Consumption

High levels of mercury can harm nerves in adults and have a negative impact on the development of the nervous system and brains of children. Mercury may also increase risk of cardiovascular disease.

What I Tell My Clients

The benefits of seafood consumption are undeniable, but you don’t want to go overboard and load up on mercury either. The goal is to strike a balance by following 2 guidelines:

1) Stick to 3 servings of seafood per week. 

2) Avoid seafood species with the highest levels of mercury: Swordfish, Shark, King Mackerel, Tilefish, Orange Roughy, Marlin and Albacore-, Bigeye- or Yellow-fin tuna.

If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or nursing, talk to your doctor about the amount of seafood that is right for you.

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