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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Diet and Weight Loss >>  The Best and Worst Fishes

Fish decreases blood pressure

Fish is a wonderful source of high biological value protein. Fish oil is commonly used as a supplement for vitamin A, especially in children. Fish is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, which in turn helps in decreasing the risk of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and so on. The omega 3 fatty acids also prove helpful to the brain. They decrease the risk of blood clots and enhance the health of the arteries.

There is also a decrease in the risk of cancer associated with the oesophagus, ovary, breast, colon, prostate and oral cavity. Fish is beneficial in a weight loss diet, though oily fish are not preferred. Fish oil supplements are also effective against blisters caused by burns. It is useful in children, who are picky eaters and fail to eat a balanced diet.

The protein in fish is of high quality, as they have a high biological value, and comprises of all the essential amino acids. Certain amino acids that are not produced by the body are taken in the dietary form. Fish protein helps in increasing the metabolic rate, thereby contributing to weight loss. The conversion of protein to fat is less. Haddock and shark contributes to 24 gm of protein, whereas lobster contains 27 grams of protein in 100 grams of the food.  Fish protein is also available commercially in the form of powder. These act as substitutes for soy powders and are easily digestible.

Fish calories depend on the type of fish, just like meat and poultry. White fish has fewer calories, in comparison to 'oily' fish. Salmon, tuna and mackerel are oily fish, whereas haddock, plaice and cod fish are white fish. The type of cooking also determines calories in fish. For instance fried cod contributes to thrice the amount of calories that steamed cod provides.

Three ounces of striped bass provides 82 calories, whereas fried cat fish provides 195 calories. Cod liver oil, as the name indicates, is a type of oil derived from the liver of cod fish. It is a good source of vitamins D and A. It also provides eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosa hexaenoic acid (DHA) and omega 3 fatty acids. It is a natural supplement, which is often recommended for arthritis. Calories from fish chips are very high. Fish and chips are a bad combination, especially if the former is also deep fried. A small portion contributes to anything between 300 and 600 calories. 

Fish is a great diet food as it is high in protein and omega-3-fatty acids and is low in calories and saturated fat. But some fish are contaminated with high levels of methyl mercury. Pregnant or nursing mothers should limit their consumption of fish to 12ounces of fish per week.

The best fish with lowest levels of mercury are –
  1. Crab, sole, cod, catfish and flounder.
  2. Lobster, herring, haddock and gropes.
  3. Salmon, rainbow trout, ocean perch and oysters.
  4. Farm-raised trout scallops and sardines.

The Worst fish that contain highest levels of mercury are –
  1. Shark, tilefish, swordfish and mackerel.
  2. Fresh or frozen tuna contains more mercury then canned tuna. And smaller varieties of tuna fish are canned so prefer them.
  3. Don’t buy fish-oil, capsules that have not mentioned mercury levels on the label.
Submitted on January 16, 2014