The Paleo Diet.Eating the way we were meant to eat.

Fish and mercury contamination

Posted in Health, Real Food by eatingpaleo on August 14, 2009

If I were to make a top 3 healthy foods, fish (and seafood) would definitely be in it.

I love fish, the fattier, the better. I’m sure you all know about the health benefits, but just to make sure, just to name a few: reduces the LDL(the evil) while simultaneously increases the HDL, lowers the risk of heart attacks, stroke, type 2 diabetes, all those delicious omega3`s and so on.

As any other thing that looks too good to be true, we have the same situation here. You see.. there’s a downside, and the fish isn’t the one to blame, it’s the environment.

You have to admit it looks kind of creepy

You have to admit it looks kind of creepy

Fish and seafood are often contaminated with heavy metals, particularly mercury, by polychlorinated biphenyls, and by pesticides (Wo-Ho!!) It’s not the companies who dump their waste into oceans, rivers, lakes fault.. the fish (which just happens to live there) was in their way.. damn fish..

Seriously now, it’s a serious problem, but the good news is that most of the time, the amount of mercury we get from fish is quite small. This fact still stands though! It worries me to see that we live in a polluted world and most of us are exposed to a host of toxic compounds.

Now… here are a few ways you can minimize your risk of eating contaminated fish:

  • Avoid fish taken from lakes and rivers, especially those close to the city;
  • Choose fish that comes from cleaner waters, like Alaska
  • Smaller fish, who are not predators, are better.

(The big fish eats the smaller fish who eats the smallest fish, chances are higher for the big fish to be contaminated. And, they live longer, which gives them more time to accumulate more mercury)

  • Bigger fish, eat them sparingly (eg. tuna, shark..)

Please don’t use this as an excuse for not eating your fish. They’re one of the best things you could ever eat, enjoy!

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