The Problem of Mercury in Fish

Modern day challenges you need to know
January 17, 2013

There are so many reasons to eat fish. It is one of the healthiest things on this planet you could consume. Fish includes high amounts of unsaturated fats, iodine, and omega-3 oils. 
All of these things are so important to a healthy diet. 

However, there is a problem with fish in the modern day. Some fish contain higher levels of mercury, which can be extremely dangerous to the human body. People who eat fish on a regular basis, and pregnant women, have to be extremely careful about mercury consumption. It is sort of a dilemma since fish is both healthy and dangerous at the same time.

Fish that are High in Mercury

The fish that you need to avoid eating on a regular basis, especially if you are pregnant, include the following:

  • Orange Roughy
  • Tilefish
  • Marlin
  • Tuna (Albacore, Bigeye, Ahi)
  • Mackerel
  • Bluefish
  • Sea Bass
  • Grouper
  • Swordfish
  • Shark

These fish are known to have the highest amounts of mercury. They should be avoided altogether or only eaten about once a month.

Fish that are Lower in Mercury

Unfortunately, all fish are contaminated with mercury to some level. However, some of them have lower amounts. These fish can be consumed more often:

  • Bass
  • Lobster
  • Halibut
  • Cod
  • Carp
  • Snapper
  • Perch
  • Tuna (Chunk Light, Skipjack)
  • Anchovies
  • Clam
  • Flounder
  • Herring
  • Mullet
  • Salmon
  • Shad
  • Whitefish
  • Whiting

You can find more information about high and low mercury fish content on AmericanPregnancy.org.

Mercury poisoning can be very dangerous for anyone, especially a pregnant woman. Because of this, you need to be aware of mercury levels in fish. However, since fish is so healthy for you, you should not completely remove it from your diet. You will be missing out on some very helpful benefits of the food if you cut it out completely. Be sure you understand which fish are safe and which are not.