Researchers, physicians and nutritionists don't agree on how much mercury-contaminated fish can be safely consumed by healthy adults. And contamination levels vary even within species, depending on the size of the fish, its location and how it was raised.
Pregnant women and children are a slightly different story. The FDA recommends that pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children continue to eat a variety of seafood, but eliminate fish with known high levels of methylmercury and limit consumption of other fish, including canned light tuna, to 12 ounces a week and canned Albacore or white tuna to 6 ounces a week. For information, go to www.cfsan.fda.gov/dms/admehg3.html.
Courtesy of LA Times
Bonnie - I have said and will continue to say that we should not overreact over mercury in fish. More importantly, we have to become educated about the type of fish to eat and what to avoid. All fish contain mercury. Some more than others. But fish is still a very important protein source for human beings.
Ingestion of mercury is unavoidable. We breathe in mercury from engine and manufacturing emissions daily. Mercury is in certain vaccinations and our water supply. Let's revisit some foundational rules about eating fish:
- In most cases, the younger and smaller the fish, the less mercury it contains. It has less time and less body mass to build up toxicity. This is why sardines are a wonderful choice. Wild caught salmon and other fatty fish are wise fish choices.
- The older, larger, and more predatory the fish, the more mercury it usually contains. For example, swordfish, shark, certain forms of tuna, contain large amounts of mercury and should be avoided. Sushi grade tuna (with the red color), in particular, should be avoided.
- Fish should be consumed in moderation. Like anything, balance is crucial. I do not advocate eating fish every day of the week, several times daily. Although, it should be in integral part of your weekly protein intake.