According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), fish can be an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, zinc, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids. An analysis of 20 studies involving hundreds of thousands of participants found that consuming one or two two-ounce (oz) servings of fatty fish per week reduced the risk of death from heart disease by 36%.
But if you eat too much of certain types, you can increase your risk of mercury poisoning.
According to the FDA, the best fish choices are catfish, plaice, haddock, salmon, scallops, squid, and tilapia. This is because they contain the least amount of mercury. Canned light tuna is also a smart choice – it contains three times less mercury than albacore tuna, according to the FDA. It’s good to have all of these types of fish two to three times a week in a 4 oz serving.
The FDA recommends having other types of fish (those with an average level of mercury), such as blue fish, grouper, monkfish, and halibut, only once a week, again in servings of 4 oz. On the other hand, avoid choices with the highest mercury levels, including king mackerel, shark, marlin, bigeye tuna, orange roughy, tuile and swordfish, the agency advises.
RELATED: 7 foods with more sugar than you think