Gone Fishin’? There’s Mercury in Your Catch!

Notable News – I love fish. It’s one of those great sources of lean protein that you can eat and really feel like you’re doing something healthy for your body, but when I heard the results of a recent U.S. Geological Survey, the first word that came to mind was “Yikes!”

USGS experts tested fish from freshwater streams across the entire country, and what did they find? Mercury in every single fish—and a quarter of all those fish contained mercury levels above the recommended limit for safe consumption (0.33 parts per million). Holy mackerel!

What really caught my attention though was that the highest levels of mercury were found in the southeast, where I live. North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana were the states with the highest mercury amounts in their freshwater fish.

But fish is so important in our diets, and studies show that the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA found in fish oil are highly reduced in the Standard American Diet (SAD), so what do we do when we hear reports like this? Should we eat fish or not? The answer is yes, but we just have to make sure we’re eating the right kinds of fish.  

Smaller, cold-water fish like sardines are best because they don’t stay in the food chain as long as some larger types of fish like grouper. That means they don’t have a very long time to build up large amounts of mercury in their bodies. If you don’t like sardines, try wild salmon, which is high in beneficial Omega-3s and relatively lower in mercury.

Still not convinced? A high-quality fish oil supplement can help you get your Omega-3s without the worry. High-potency, purified fish oils are sourced from smaller fish like anchovies and sardines—just remember to look for a fish oil that uses the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) certification to ensure freshness, purity and potency.

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