Should You Eat More Fish? Unveiling the Health Benefits and Nutritional Advantages
Should you eat more fish? The western diet specifically lacks fish. I've met so many people who don't eat any fish by any means. If I ever travel to Europe or other places, fish is the main staple in their diet though. I personally grew to like fish more and more throughout my adulthood and now I try to have at least 1 meal that includes fish a day (usually a can of tuna, but it's something!).
Not being a staple in an ordinary Western diet can cause issues, but also like anything too much of something good can be a bad thing as well. We'll go into the benefits and dangers of fish and what might be the sweet spot for you.
Benefits of Fish in Your Diet
Great Source of Protein
It's very easy to lack protein in an ordinary diet. Eating fish is a great source of protein and can also be a relatively cheap option for protein as well. 4oz of Salmon cooked has about 25g of protein. 1 can of Tuna Fish contains about 20g of protein.
Fish has many important factors too, this all comes from the macro and micronutrients the fish contains. Different fish will have different macro and micronutrients but one of the staples of fish is the fact that it has omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help with many risk factors in your life. This can include, lowering blood pressure, raise your HDL cholesterol level (good) inflammation, and even blood clots.
I've had many issues with joint pain in the past and any time I've either started consuming more fish or taking omega-3 or krill oil supplements, the issues seem to have subsides and any joint-related injuries tend to have dissipated. Now, that's just my account. This doesn't mean the same will apply to you. However, if you're having joint issues and don't have any issues with eating fish or taking supplements, it doesn't hurt to try.
Cons of Too Much Fish
As we know, too much of a good thing can always be a bad thing. Even though most of us probably don't intake enough fish, let's also go over the detrimental factors of eating too much fish can have on us.
Too Much Fish Oil
Too much fish oil / omega-3s is can have negative effects on your health. It can cause many things like acid reflux, hypotension (low blood pressure), diarrhea, nose bleeds, and even high blood sugar.
Ideally, you would want to consume a maximum of 5,000mg of omega-3s per day. Anything over that (unless prescribed by a doctor) won't really benefit you in many ways.
Depending on the type of fish you're eating, you would need to look out for mercury poisoning. Some fish sources are high in mercury and others, not so much. Here is a chart that describes fishes and their mercury level
As you can see, some of the common fish most eat is on the medium to the low side. However, it's still something to keep a note of.
I personally eat canned tuna fish about 4-5 days a week. I've gotten my mercury levels tested and they were in the normal range.
Final Thoughts on Should You Eat More Fish:
So, should you eat more fish? Fish is not the most common food source in most people's diets, especially in a western diet. Fish can have many benefits it that can overall improve your quality of life. I would highly recommend if you're not eating fish to start doing so (unless you're not eating for medical reasons). If you're someone who doesn't eat fish due to the 'fishy' taste, you can always find recipes and ways to cook fish that will make it taste much better.
As mentioned above, I love canned tuna fish. My favorite brand of tuna is the Rio Mare brand (affiliated link). It's a bit on the expensive side, but it's so good and probably the best-canned tuna I ever had. I've even had people try it who hate tuna fish and still love this brand. Sardines are another cheap and great fish option that you can incorporate into your diet.
Of course, eating too much fish can cause issues too. So be cautious of how much you're actually intaking.
If you're still not interested in eating fish, I would recommend getting an Omega-3 supplement. Supplementing may be worth it if you're not eating the actual food itself.
Looking for a Fish oil supplement? Check out the Jocko Krill Oil Review.