- Patient Education
Fish is both an incredible source of good nutrition and also a potential source of dietary toxins. Fish is the richest source of anti-inflammatory brain-building essential fatty acids, but certain species have toxic levels of mercury, PCBs or other environmental contaminants. Mercury exposure is particularly hazardous because it crosses the blood-brain barrier and is a known neurotoxin. By becoming educated in safer fish choices, it’s not hard to get the benefits of fish without the risks. The benefits of eating fish clearly exceed the risks, as long as the fish consumed are mostly low in mercury.
Which fish are the best to eat and which fish should be avoided?
Best Fish Choices (high in omega 3s, low in mercury and other environmental contaminants):
Fish to Avoid (highest level of mercury contamination):
There are many fish in the sea (not all could be listed here)! For more information to help you make healthy choices, use a mercury content calculator, or visit with Dr. Bates, the IMSMP’s Naturopathic Doctor.
Rule of thumb: If an entire fish, from head to tail, fits on your dinner plate, it is probably a low mercury fish.