With All the Pollutants In Fish, Is it Still a Good Idea to Eat Them?

Dead whole fish aren't very appealing to many folks

Dead whole fish aren’t very appealing to many folks

Probably so. Mercury is the key pollutant people think about when considering polluted fish. Mercury toxicity isn’t on the list of top 10 killers in the U.S., but heart disease is.

Heart disease is #1 on the list of top causes of death, followed by cancer and chronic lower respiratory tract disease. “Heart disease” is a broad category; the primary killer is heart attacks. (Following heart disease as leading killer is cancer. Sadly, suicide is tenth leading cause of death. If you’re considering it, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline now.)

Eating fish regularly seems to reduce your risk of heart attack. I favor the cold-water fatty fish like salmon, trout, herring, and sardines.

I quote the New York Times:

“Numerous studies have found that people who eat fish on a regular basis are less likely to die of a heart attack than those who don’t eat it or eat it less than once a month, and a 2006 Harvard review concluded that eating one to two servings of fish rich in omega-3s every week cut the risk of dying of a heart attack by one-third.”

Source: Why Is Fish Good for You? Because It Replaces Meat? – The New York Times

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Click for ideas on reducing your risk of cancer.


Filed under Fish

3 responses to “With All the Pollutants In Fish, Is it Still a Good Idea to Eat Them?

  1. Ivan

    I eat fish every week. Perfect health 40 years type1 diabetic.

  2. Sometimes we get so caught up in the small potential health risks that we forget to look at the big picture. There can be no doubt that fish are good for you and offer far more benefits than risks. It’s also possible to choose fish that are likely to have lower levels of mercury.

    • Hi, Vincent. My sense is that the large long-lived fish tend to accumulate more mercury. But there are many other variables I’m sure, such as which body of water they swim in, and what they eat.