Often I’m asked what people should eat more of or what the best foods are. I love this question because it truly differs for everyone. However, I also love the question because I prefer to focus on the positives as it comes to your nutrition. Instead of focusing on what you can’t have I’d much rather focus on what you CAN have. Well, fish tends to enter the conversation whenever I talk about what would be good to eat more of. However, I recognize fish can be off putting to many. Let’s dig in to why you should eat fish and answer your questions on what is the best fish to eat?!
Great question. It is well known that fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is okay in the short term, it helps us to heal from scraps and cuts but long-term inflammation can be problematic and can lead to things like heart disease. Having a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help to promote overall health for the long-term.
Outside of omega-3 fatty acids, fish are also a decent source of a few other key nutrients. One, being vitamin D, that’s right the happy sun vitamin that most people think only exists if you get sunlight exposure of if you take a supplement. Fatty fish (like salmon) actually contain vitamin D which help with things like supporting immune function, reducing inflammation, and aiding in bone growth. Since you cannot get enough vitamin D through sunlight in most states in the winter, adding in a healthy source of fatty fish is a pretty good solution.
How much Fish?
For most people it is recommend to eat 2 servings of fish (between 4-6 ounces/serving) per week. Ideally you are choosing fish that are low in Mercury (more on that below) and that are safely caught and prepared. If you feel like 2 servings per week is totally unattainable because you currently eat 2 servings of fish per year, start small. Perhaps you start with 1 serving per month and then increase as you feel comfortable and as you find ways to cook your fish that are enjoyable.
What is the Best Fish to Eat?
It depends. First and foremost you want fish that is safe to eat not only from a health safety standpoint but also a personal health standpoint. Some people are allergic or intolerant to fish and we may have to find the nutrients found in fish elsewhere to ensure you are first and foremost safe.
That being said, when choosing what fish to consume, there are a few things to consider:
- Quality of the fish
- Where the fish is coming from
- The mercury level in the fish
- The transparency of the fishermen & co.
- How old the fish is and/or how it was packaged for shelf stability
A few of my favorite types of fish:
- Salmon (many varieties like king, coho, and sockeye)
- Sablefish (Black Cod)
Note: if you are pregnant or breastfeeding it is even more important to consider the type of fish and the safety of the fish you are consuming. Check out mercury containing fish here.
These fish tend to be lower on the mercury scale (see link above to be sure of your source) and can be found from high quality sources. Normally you are looking for a wild-caught variety and from a company that is transparent with their sourcing, fishing, and packaging. See more below about where I like to source my fish from.
What if I’m Allergic or Don’t Like Fish?
That’s ok! I don’t want you to feel shame or guilt for not being able to eat something that is deemed as a health food. We all have different immune systems as well as taste buds and we must honor that. For those of you that are allergic, until we find a cure for that the safest bet is to eliminate and avoid it as your immune system does not need to be tested.
However, for those that do not like fish, I encourage you to find ways to incorporate it to see if perhaps it’s the type of fish and/or the preparation that you don’t like. Challenge yourself, after all it can take up to 20 times for our tastebuds to actually like something, be patient!
If you are allergic a few recommendations on where to look for similar health benefits:
- Flax seed/Flax oil
- Chia seeds
- Egg yolks
You may also want to talk to your doctor about checking on your lab work for hs-CRP (for inflammation) as well as Vitamin D to ensure you are doing the best you can for overall inflammation and Vitamin D.
If you do not love the taste of fish, you may never find the best fish to eat but at least you can find some delicious counterparts to ensure optimal health. You may also want to consider looking into fish oil as there could be some potential benefits for you non-fish loving crew.
Where do I get my fish from?
Great question. I generally get my fish from 3 main sources:
- The grocery store (mainly Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s)
- Local fishmongers (mine is called Fin-your fishmonger)
- Online Delivery (I use Sitka Salmon Shares)
Certainly there are many of other ways to obtain fish, but I prefer the above options because I know that I can get good quality fish from transparent and sustainable sources. If you have never bought fish before I highly recommend going through a local fishmonger or an online provider like Sitka Salmon Shares to really learn the origin of your fish, the quality and how to cook it.
What is Sitka Salmon Shares?
Oh, I should’ve mentioned this before! Sitka Salmon Shares is a boat-to-doorstep seafood delivery service. They are based in Sitka, Alaska and you can bet you are getting some high quality fish from the Pacific Ocean thanks to the fishermen who not only know what they’re doing but have high standards when it comes to fishing and blast freezing the fish. They are focused on quality and traceability and I have been getting their boxes for a few months now and the quality is impeccable. Not to mention, the amount of fish you get in each share is generous and in packs that are reasonable to thaw quickly and have ready for a family dinner.
With Sitka Salmon Shares you sign up for a monthly delivery and then receive the fish that are most abundant and fished in that season. That helps with the freshness of the fish and of course the sustainability. Here’s an example of one of their shares:
Learn more about Sitka Salmon Shares Here and feel free to use my discount code “Sassy” to get a special discount on your order.
Now let me hear it, what are your questions about what is the best fish to eat?!
Pin Now, Fish Later
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Go to Sitka Salmon Shares and use code “Sassy” for your discount!