What’s the healthiest fish to eat?

Answered by Frank Schwing

When it comes to choosing the healthiest fish to eat, there are several factors to consider. These include the source of the fish, the method of catching or farming, and the nutritional content. Based on these criteria, here are six of the healthiest fish options:

1. Albacore Tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the US or British Columbia):
Albacore tuna is a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It is important to choose troll- or pole-caught tuna from the US or British Columbia, as these methods have lower levels of bycatch and environmental impact compared to other methods like longlining. By opting for sustainably caught albacore tuna, you can enjoy its health benefits while also supporting responsible fishing practices.

2. Salmon (wild-caught, Alaska):
Wild-caught salmon from Alaska is considered one of the healthiest options. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, and essential nutrients like vitamin D. Additionally, wild-caught salmon is generally lower in contaminants compared to farmed salmon. Look for labels indicating the fish is from Alaska to ensure the highest quality and sustainability.

3. Oysters (farmed):
Oysters are a nutritious and sustainable choice. They are low in calories and fat while being rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Oysters are also an excellent source of zinc, which is important for immune function and wound healing. Opt for farmed oysters, as they are cultivated in controlled environments, reducing the risk of contaminants and overfishing.

4. Sardines, Pacific (wild-caught):
Pacific sardines are small, oily fish that are packed with nutrients. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and calcium. Sardines are also low in mercury, making them a safe choice to incorporate into your diet. Their small size also means they are lower on the food chain, reducing the risk of accumulating toxins.

5. Rainbow Trout (farmed):
Rainbow trout is a freshwater fish that is commonly farmed in environmentally controlled systems. This farming method helps to minimize contaminants and parasites. Rainbow trout is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, and essential nutrients such as vitamin B12 and selenium. It is a great alternative to other farmed fish, which may have higher environmental impacts.

6. Freshwater Coho Salmon (farmed in tank systems, from the US):
Farmed freshwater Coho salmon, particularly those raised in tank systems in the US, can be a healthy and sustainable choice. These salmon are raised in closed containment systems, reducing the risk of escapes and interactions with wild populations. They have a similar nutritional profile to wild-caught salmon, including high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.

It’s important to note that the nutritional content of fish can vary depending on various factors, including the specific diet of the fish, its environment, and the methods used for catching or farming. Additionally, individual dietary needs and preferences may also influence the choice of fish. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a nutritionist can provide tailored advice based on your specific needs.

When choosing the healthiest fish to eat, consider options like albacore tuna, wild-caught salmon from Alaska, oysters, Pacific sardines, rainbow trout, and freshwater Coho salmon farmed in tank systems. These choices offer a range of nutritional benefits while also considering sustainability and minimizing environmental impact.