Fish as a food product has been under the scrutiny of doctors and journalists over the past few decades. The reason is simple - ecology.
News headlines are full of information about the contamination of fish and seafood with chemical toxins and mercury - the results of human industrial activities, and amateur videos from YouTube reveal unpleasant and shocking facts for everyone about the content of parasites in herring, pike, crucian carp and even ocean salmon.
How dangerous is this fish? Does the risk of harm from consuming all this variety of unpleasant substances and creatures outweigh the risk of NOT using it as a source of valuable vitamins, minerals, and incredibly beneficial omega-3 fatty acids?
The PROmusculus.ru team, a project whose mission is to scientifically research the benefits and harms of various foods and food additives, the feasibility and uselessness of various popular ideas in the world of dietetics, studied more than 40 scientific studies and authoritative sources to understand the issue of benefits and harms fish for humans.
Our main conclusions are as follows.
Fish is really an incredibly healthy product:
- it is a source of dietary protein, which is highly regarded in fitness and bodybuilding for gaining muscle mass, and is also recommended by nutritionists for weight loss. - It contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals, among which vitamin D, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids occupy a special place, the risk of deficiency of which is very high throughout the world. Their content in different types of fish can differ significantly: there is more vitamin D and omega-3 in fatty types of fish. - The health benefits of fish are mainly due to its high content of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which have numerous health benefits. - Regular consumption of fish reduces the risk of heart disease and death from all cardiovascular diseases, it is good for the brain, reduces the risk of depression and other mental illness, slows down the neurodegenerative processes of aging, is good for vision, etc.
If you and I lived a hundred years ago, then we could finish this and go to fry salmon ... The 20th and 21st centuries have left their fat mark on planet Earth, adding a hefty fly in the ointment to everything that was laid down in nature for the good of man.
Fish dangers facts:
- One of the main and widely discussed in the media causes of harm to fish is the content of mercury in it. Today the entire world ocean is polluted with this metal, which tends to accumulate in the tissues of living organisms, including fish and humans. - The potential harm of fish to humans is also explained by the accumulation of dioxins and PCBs in it - highly toxic chemicals, the source of which is human industrial activity. The longer a fish lives and the more predatory it is, the more toxins it contains. - Antibiotics are used to treat and protect fish from various diseases. Among them there are both safe for humans and those that pose potential harm. - Parasites (worms) are present in almost every fish. The likelihood of their presence in raw fish, salted, pickled, smoked, dried fish is very high. They are destroyed by deep freezing and heat treatment.
Scientists are convinced that the benefits of eating fish outweigh the harms of NOT eating fish, despite the risks associated with chemical toxins, parasites and antibiotics.
Can the risk of harm be minimized?
The mercury content of different fish species differs. This is determined by how long it lives, what size it reaches, the nature of its diet (much more in predators) and the region of its habitat.
Fish species with relatively low fish content: haddock, salmon, cod, anchovies, sardines, herring, Pacific mackerel.
Fish with high mercury content: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, sea bass.
At the same time, if we consider that the main beneficial properties of fish are explained by the content of omega-3 fatty acids in it, then it is obvious that taking pharmacy omega-3 preparations can get all the health benefits associated with them even without eating fish, thereby minimizing the risks harm from toxins, antibiotics, worms, etc.
According to the omega-3 rating compiled by the PROmusculus.ru researchers, the best omega-3s are from arctic krill oil.
But even in the manufacture of omega-3 preparations from fish oil, the raw materials, as a rule, undergo a thorough purification, during which all chemical contaminants are removed from it.