Healthy Seafood Buyer’s Guide

Tips for choosing popular fish and seafood at the supermarket.

Do your body good—eat fish! Fish (and all seafood) is an excellent source of lean protein and is healthy for your heart because it contains so little saturated fat—the type of fat associated with heart disease. In addition, some types of fish, particularly cold-water species like salmon, tuna, sardines and trout, are rich in omega-3 fats docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Studies show that these omega-3 fats may reduce the risk of heart disease and may also provide other health benefits, such as helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and boost your mood.

Pregnancy and Fish Consumption

Research suggests that eating fish during pregnancy and while breastfeeding may benefit babies’ brains. Fish offers not only low-fat protein, a nutrient for which pregnant women’s needs increase slightly, but also good amounts of DHA, the omega-3 fat that is crucial for a fetus’s brain and nervous system development. The EPA and FDA recommend that pregnant women should not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury and that pregnant women should eat up to 12 ounces of other fish each week. Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish. Albacore (white) tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna—pregnant women should eat no more than 6 ounces of albacore tuna per week.

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