Despite being packed with great nutrients like omega-3, B-vitamins, and lean protein, fish may also have fish mercury. And, that presents a great concern. Mercury levels in fish can affect the nervous system and its development. If you've been eating fish and have little to no knowledge about fish mercury, read this article.
Here's What you Need to Know About Fish Mercury Levels!
In This Article:
- Fish Consumption
- What Types of Fish to Avoid
- Mercury Levels in Fish
- Tuna Mercury Levels and Consumption
The FDA has guidelines for children, pregnant women, and women who are trying to get pregnant. The guidelines advise a weekly consumption of no more than 12 ounces of low-mercury fish and shellfish. They also state avoiding highest-level-mercury fish and keeping high-level-mercury fish to three 6-ounce servings per month.
What Types of Fish to Avoid!
Fish contains healthy nutrients essential for growth and development, especially in pregnancy. But, these 4 types of fish should be avoided due to high levels of mercury as per the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
- King mackerel
Mercury Levels in Fish!
To further know the specific types of fish you should avoid eating, we've prepared a list below.
Highest Mercury: Avoid eating.
- Orange roughy
- Mackerel (King)
- Tuna (Bigeye, Ahi)
High Mercury: Eat no more than three 6-ounce servings per month.
- Sea Bass (Chilean)
- Mackerel (Spanish, Gulf)
- Tuna (Canned, White Albacore) See Tuna Chart Below
- Tuna (Yellowfin)
Lower Mercury: Eat no more than six 6-ounce servings per month.
- Bass (Striped, Black)
- Cod (Alaskan)
- Croaker (White Pacific)
- Halibut (Pacific and Atlantic), Jacksmelt (Silverside)
- Mahi Mahi
- Perch (Freshwater)
- Sea trout (Weakfish)
- Tuna (Canned, Chunk Light)
- Tuna (Skipjack)
Lowest Mercury: Enjoy two 6-ounce servings per week.
- Crab (Domestic)
- Mackerel (North Atlantic, Chub)
- Perch (Ocean)
- Salmon (Canned, Fresh)
- Shad (American)
- Squid (Calamari)
- Trout (Freshwater)
Tuna Mercury Levels and Consumption!
Tuna mercury levels can differ based on the type of tuna and where it was caught. The NRDC created the chart below as a guideline to how much tuna children, pregnant women, or women wanting to conceive can eat, based on their weight.
(Chart from the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC); Data obtained by the FDA and the EPA)
|Weight in Pounds||Frequency|
|White Albacore||Chunk Light|
|20 lbs||1 Can/10 Weeks||1 Can/3 Weeks|
|30 lbs||1 Can/6 Weeks||1 Can/2 Weeks|
|40 lbs||1 Can/5 Weeks||1 Can/11 Days|
|50 lbs||1 Can/4 Weeks||1 Can/9 Days|
|60 lbs||1 Can/3 Weeks||1 Can/7 Days|
|70 lbs||1 Can/3 Weeks||1 Can/6 Days|
|80 lbs||1 Can/2 Weeks||1 Can/ 6 Days|
|90 lbs||1 can/2 Weeks||1 Can/5 Days|
|100 lbs||1 Can/2 Weeks||1 Can/5 Days|
|110 lbs||1 Can/12 Days||1 Can/4 Days|
|120 lbs||1 Can/11 Days||1 Can/4 Days|
|130 lbs||1 Can/10 Days||1 Can/4 Days|
|140 lbs||1 Can/10 Days||1 Can/3 Days|
|150 lbs +||1 Can/9 Days||1 Can/3 Days|
Find out how mercury gets into fish by watching this video from Seeker's channel:
What does this all mean for us, especially for pregnant women and children? Moderate consumption is what. Recent information found in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine says that fish should not be cut out of the human diet.
How much fish do you include in your diet? Share it with us in the comments section below!
Article Source: We have not modified the factual content about mercury levels in fish from the source. This content is syndicated news that can be used for your research, and we hope it can help your productivity. This content is strictly for educational purposes and is not made for any kind of the commercial purpose of this blog.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the nutritional products mentioned are intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure, or Prevent Any Disease.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on January 4, 2016, and has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.