NYS Certified Nutritionist

The Latest Scoop on Mercury in Fish

Fish, low in contaminants like mercury, can be a low calorie and high protein addition to our diets.  Eating safe fish twice a week could help in the growth and development of children, and reduce the risks of heart attack, stroke, prostate cancer, depression and dementia in adults.  With their vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acid content, fish consumption contributes to the stellar reputations of the traditional Asian and Mediterranean diets.

A good rule of thumb is to select smaller fish because of the lower concentration of contaminants in their flesh.  Large fish eat medium size fish which eat smaller fish.  This chain of events leads the largest fish to have the largest concentration of contaminants, like mercury, in their flesh.  The FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend women who may become pregnant, or who are pregnant or nursing, as well as children, consume up to 12 ounces of low mercury fish per week.

The following are low mercury seafood choices, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council:  anchovy, butterfish, catfish, clam, crab [domestic], crawfish, flounder, herring, oyster, salmon, sardine, scallop, shrimp, sole [Pacific], squid, and tilapia.  Enjoy!