Including a variety of fish and shellfish into a well-balanced diet can contribute to a healthy heart, help prevent arthritis and contribute to healthy brain function. So you should include fish or shellfish in your diet due to its nutritional benefits.
The benefits of fish and shellfish are:
However, nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury, and the risk from mercury is not a major health concern for most. But some fish and shellfish containing high levels of mercury may harm an unborn baby or young child’s developing nervous system.
This risk concern depends on the amount of fish and shellfish eaten and the levels of mercury in the fish and shellfish. Therefore, avoiding some types of fish, and eating fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury is advised.
In order to reduce your exposure to the harmful effects of mercury:
- eat only 2 12 ounce servings of lower mercury containing fish & shellfish per week
- avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish ~ contain high levels of mercury
- check local mercury safety advisories for fish you caught ~ not available, limit consumption to 6 ounces
Five of the lowest in mercury commonly eaten fish and shellfish are:
- canned light tuna
Albacore tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna, so limit this tuna to 6 ounces per week.
If you eat a lot of fish one week, cut back for the next week or two.