Choosing Which Fish to Fry
Fish is one of those foods that sits on both sides of the healthy food scale. On the one hand, it is filled with all things good, and on the other it is a source of concern due to high mercury levels in many fish and the environmental impacts of modern fish farming. I always recommend fish to people as an ideal protein. Yet if you are consuming fish or seafood a few times per week, the question of which ones you want to eat and which ones to avoid becomes more important.
Let’s start with the nutritional benefits. Aside from being a complete protein and rating 0 on the glycemic scale, fish provides high amounts of omega-3 fats (especially the fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring, and pickerel), iron, potassium, and zinc, along with Vitamins A, B12, and D. The fat content in fish will vary significantly, but since it’s all good fat, this is never a bad thing. A 100 gram serving of fish will range from 100 calories to 250 calories. With a heaping side of vegetables, you will rarely go over 400 calories from a meal containing fish, as long as you leave out the dense grains.
There was an article in the Globe this weekend that discussed fish from an environmental and ecological perspective. You can see how confusing it can get, knowing what to buy and what to blatantly banish from your grocery bag. Even for those who don’t claim to be environmentalists, you can’t overlook the disturbing research on the damage that overfishing and harmful forms of fishing has on the fish, the fauna, the flora, and the oceans themselves.
The following is a list of recommended fish and seafood for both the health of your body and the health of the planet:
-oysters, mussels, clams (from the maritimes)
-article char, rainbow trout
-lake whitefish (from Superior, Michigan, and Huron)
-pickerel, yellowfish (from Eerie)
In general, the fish from the Pacific ocean are not as overfished, and those on the lower end of the food chain are more plentiful.