When you think of eating low-fat underwater proteins that contain omega-3 fatty acids, you tend to associate eating fish with a healthier way to satisfy your stomach. I mean, who doesn't love sushi or a good seafood stew?
The truth is, times have changed, and the days of antibiotic-free, pollution-free bodies of water and fish are long gone. Mercury is released into the atmosphere by burning coal, oil and natural gas, metropolitan and medical waste, forest fires, among many other sources.
Now, many toxins have seeped into our only fresh and salt water sources, contaminating marine life and our bodies when we eat them.
To keep mercury toxicity at bay, limit your seafood intake to 2 to 3 servings per week, which works out to about 8 to 12 ounces. Opt for organic, farm-raised seafood that contains lower amounts of mercury, such as wild Alaskan salmon, eel, crab, shrimp, and catfish.
Remember that the younger and smaller the fish, the safer it will be, as the amount of mercury increases each time a larger fish eats a small fish.
These figures are measured in micrograms of mercury per 4 ounces of cooked fish (one serving for adults). If you feel like you are at risk for mercury poisoning, see a doctor for a blood test and try to detox naturally.
Here are the fish with the highest amounts of mercury:
- Losas (Gulf of Mexico): With an average of 219 micrograms of mercury, the tile fish native to the Gulf of Mexico tops the list of shellfish contaminated with mercury.
- Shark - 151 micrograms of mercury
- Swordfish - 147 micrograms of mercury
- King Mackerel - 110 micrograms of mercury
- Orange wrinkled fish - 80 micrograms of mercury
- Marlin - 69 micrograms of mercury
- Tuna (bluefin, bigeye, and albacore) - 54 - 58 micrograms of mercury
- Tuna (Canned White Albacore) - 40 micrograms of mercury
- Tuna (Skipjack & Yellowfin) - 31 - 49 micrograms of mercury
- Light Canned Tuna - 13 micrograms of mercury
- American Lobster - 47 micrograms of mercury
- Cod (Atlantic and Pacific) - 14 micrograms of mercury
- Spanish Mackerel (Atlantic and Pacific) - 8 - 13 micrograms of mercury