For those who choose to eat meat, fish is one of the healthiest choices available. Adding seafood to your diet can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, improve brain function, and strengthen your immune system. However, there are concerns about the sustainability of fisheries, and the damage done to the oceans. In response, some people choose to avoid seafood altogether, but sustainable options exist that give all the health benefits without the damaging environmental impact.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) keeps track of all global fisheries and determines which species are sustainable. You may have noticed the blue MSC tick on fish products while you are shopping. This seal of approval indicates the seafood is sustainably caught and is an environmentally friendly option. So, which of the MSC approved fish are best for your health?
You have probably heard lots of fantastic things about eating salmon. The good thing is they are mostly correct! Salmon is one of the healthiest fish there is, and the great news is you can eat it with a clear conscience. Wild salmon is almost always sustainable, while farmed salmon is a cheaper option for those on a budget. It is true there are a few concerns about the use of antibiotics at some farms, but this is not always the case, with farmed New Zealand salmon now considered one of the most environmentally-friendly choices a shopper can make.
Mahi-mahi, also known as the dolphin-fish or dorado, is another excellent choice for those looking to buy sustainably. The white meat of the mahi-mahi is known for its slightly sweet taste and is considered a delicacy in many regions. The fish live in tropical areas, so, depending on where you live, it may or may not be readily available.
Just like any other saltwater fish, snapper have a lot of good benefits for the body. The contents inside the fish are capable of supplying good nutrients that are able to maintain and overcome certain health issues. Some of the many health benefits of snapper includes maintaining bone health, decrease hypertension, and maintaining eye health. This is because there are a lot of nutrition contained inside of the fish. The nutrient contents inside each 100 gram of snapper fish contains:
- Energy 92 kcal
- Protein 20 gram
- Fat 0,7 gram
- Phosphor 200mg
- Iron 1 mg
- Vitamin A 30 IU
- Vitamin B1 0,05 mg
The humble mackerel is not a single type of fish, but the name of around 30 different pelagic species. Packed with omega-3 and low in mercury, mackerel is an excellent choice for the health conscious, as well as being environmentally-friendly. There were concerns as recently as 2016 about stock levels, but it has now regained its MSC status and can be considered a sustainable choice. Just remember to look for the blue tick.
Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi)
Ahi tuna comes loaded with protein. Each 6-ounce serving of tuna offers an impressive 41.5 grams of protein. Your body digests the protein in tuna to give rise to individual amino acids, and then uses them to make proteins needed for tissue strength, as well as hormones and enzymes that govern cell function. The selenium in tuna helps activate several of these enzymes, and getting enough selenium in your diet controls new cell growth, maintains proper blood vessel function and plays an important role in sperm production. A 6-ounce portion of ahi tuna contains 154 micrograms of selenium, which is almost three times your daily intake requirements. Hawaii yellowfin tuna are being fished sustainably. Overfishing is not occurring in the Hawaii fishery or in the western and central Pacific.
Sardines sometimes get a bad rap, but they are one of the most nutritious fish you can buy. They are also one of the few sources of dietary vitamin D and have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Sardine stocks have maintained high levels throughout the world, and are considered highly sustainable, meaning you can get all the health benefits guilt-free.
Hoki, or blue grenadier, live in the waters off of New Zealand and South America. While it is rare to see fresh fillets in the supermarkets outside of Oceania, it is in lots of frozen products throughout the world. There is some debate around the sustainability of the hoki fisheries, so it is crucial to keep your eyes out for the MSC blue tick when buying hoki products.
Making an informed decision on the seafood you buy means you can get all the health benefits of eating fish without worrying about the environmental impact. More sustainable options are needed to preserve fish stocks and provide further choice to the consumer. In the meantime, if you stick with the options mentioned, and look for the MSC blue tick, you can be happy you are staying healthy without damaging the oceans.