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Shop for fish that meet your standards
Shopping for fish sometimes is a little difficult. The following guide can help you decide what to look for in different fish that is fresh and raised using standards for sustainability that you’re looking for. Fish is an excellent source of lean protein. And some types of fish, particularly cold-water species like salmon, tuna, sardines, tilapia, and trout, are rich in two important omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). One health concern is mercury, but for most people, the benefits of eating fish outweigh the risk from the methylmercury that’s found in varying levels in seafood. In general, the larger (and older) the fish, the higher in mercury it will be (the metal accumulates over time, especially in fish high on the food chain that eats smaller fish). High levels of mercury can cause tingling or numbness in fingers and toes and vision problems and can affect infant brain development. Even consistent, low-level mercury exposure can leave you fatigued or make concentrating difficult. The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines say to eat at least 8 ounces of seafood a week—choosing lower-mercury fish (salmon, shrimp, canned light tuna, tilapia, cod) and some omega-3-rich fish. Follow these guidelines and you should be fine.
Making an eco-friendly choice varies according to the type of fish, where it’s from and whether it’s wild or farmed. At the fish counter, you should see country-of-origin labeling, now required by federal law.