Healthiest Fish to Eat, According to Experts – Forbes Health
The healthiest fish to eat are those that contain plenty of nutrients, while containing little to no mercury, a potential risk with certain types of fish.
“Think SMASH—sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon and herring—when choosing the healthiest fish to eat,” says Amanda Sauceda, a registered dietician and founder of The Mindful Gut, a nutritional guidance company in Long Beach, California.
To help you choose, below are seven of the healthiest fish to eat, according to experts.
“Sardines are one of the healthiest fish to eat because they’re very high in omega-3s,” says Gomer. “Sardines are eaten with the bone in, so they have calcium, and because they’re so little, they haven’t had a chance to acquire mercury,” she adds. Sardines are inexpensive and can be purchased in a tin in water or olive oil, with or without salt, says Gomer.
Mackerel is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, says Sauceda. As an oily fish, mackerel is also a good source of vitamin D. Fried mackerel is higher in carbohydrates and sugars but lower in protein than canned, grilled, baked or broiled mackerel, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Anchovies are another type of fatty fish that are high in omega-3s. Anchovies provide large amounts of calcium, phosphorus (a mineral needed to make energy in the body) and potassium.
A popular oily fish, salmon is chock-full of nutrients including omega-3s, protein, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin E and several B vitamins. Tinned salmon contains bones, which is an added source of calcium and phosphorus.
Herring is another oily fish that is an excellent source of omega-3s and vitamin D, as well as selenium and vitamin B12, a vitamin essential for the body’s central nervous system health and for making white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. “The advantage of herring is that it is a wild caught fish (not farmed),” says Gomer. “The other huge advantage is that the issue of wild caught fish with mercury is much less of a problem in small fish (like sardines and herring).”
Trout is another oily fish that’s high in omega-3s and a good source of vitamin D, as well as potassium and phosphorous. Fried trout has higher levels of fat and carbohydrates and less protein than when grilled or steamed.
Although not an oily fish, tuna is still a healthy choice thanks to the omega-3s, iodine and taurine (an amino acid that contributes to cellular structure, controls bleeding, reduces blood pressure and more) this fish contains.
The healthiest version of tuna is canned light, including skipjack tuna. Albacore and yellowfin tuna are also good choices, but it’s recommended to avoid bigeye tuna due to high mercury level risk, according to the FDA.