Do fears about mercury keep you from reeling in the health benefits of fish? If so, you could be missing the love-your-heart boat.
For most people, the healthy fats in fish provide a huge benefit to your heart and overall health -- even with a little mercury. Skeptical? Get this: Eating one to two 6-ounce servings of omega-3-rich fish each week reduces your risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent! And your all-cause mortality rate drops by 17 percent.
Soon-to-be or currently breastfeeding moms need to be especially careful to avoid excess mercury. Still, most people can do their heart and body right by eating one or two servings a week of omega-3-rich fish that is relatively low in mercury. Unfortunately, most fish contain some mercury, thanks to industrial processing. But the less time fish spend simply living in a mercury-laden environment or eating other fish containing mercury, the lower the contamination levels will be. So for low-mercury fish, we're talking small fish that don't eat many other fish (or fish meal) and don't have a long lifespan.
Here are five delicious options in heart-healthy, low-mercury fish:
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- Salmon (wild): one gram of omega-3 fatty acids per two ounces of fish; 0.014 parts per million mercury concentration
- Herring: one gram of omega-3 fatty acids per one ounce of fish; 0.044 parts per million mercury concentration
- Sardines: one gram of omega-3 fatty acids per two to three ounces of fish; 0.016 parts per million mercury concentration
- Trout (freshwater): one gram of omega-3 fatty acids per three to four ounces of fish; 0.072 parts per million mercury concentration
- Pollock: one gram of omega-3 fatty acids per six and a half ounces of fish; 0.041 parts per million mercury concentration