Q: I’ve heard so much in the news about the dangers of eating certain fish. What are the types of fish to avoid?
A: This is a good question as there are definitely fish we should all avoid eating. At the top of the list is farmed salmon which is what you’ll find in the majority of restaurants, supermarkets and fish markets. While less expensive than wild salmon (the type I recommend) farmed salmon has a less favorable ratio of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats to inflammation-promoting omega 6 fats and may contain residues of antibiotics and other drugs used to treat diseases in fish farming pens. In addition, farmed salmon has been found to contain much higher levels of PCB’s and other contaminants than wild salmon. Another fish type to avoid is farm-raised tilapia (one of the most popular fish in America) as it contains much more of the potentially detrimental omega 6 fats and less of the beneficial omega 3 fats. Omega 6 fats are known to be pro-inflammatory and inflammation is known to cause damage in blood vessels, heart and lung tissue. In addition, avoid large predatory fish like swordfish, king mackerel and white (albacore) tuna as these fish often have high mercury levels. If you must consume fish from this last category, try to consume them no more than twice per month (and not at all if you’re pregnant).