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5 Fish and Seafood with High Mercury Levels and What to Replace Them With

Choosing the right seafood can have a direct impact on the amount of mercury that you consume.

More and more we are learning that what comes from the sea can also come with high levels of mercury. While it may seem harmless, mercury can had adverse effects on the body. It can be detrimental to our nervous system, brain function, and kidneys when consumed in large amounts. Mercury levels in our seafood supply are increasing daily with supply being over harvested and mishandled. Here are 5 Fish and seafood that have mid to high levels of mercury and what to replace them with.

  • Lobster – Lobster is not only high in mercury levels, it is also a higher in cholesterol and sodium. A good replacement to get your shellfish fix would be to have crabs instead. They are not only lower mercury; they are also low in cholesterol and calories.
  • Tuna – Ahi Tuna and other varieties are a mid-level fish in terms of mercury. The tuna used for canned tuna, however, can contain lower levels of mercury than its fresh counterparts. While it is hard to replace the succulence of fresh Ahi Tuna, tilapia can be a great substitute for any other type of tuna.
  • Orange Roughy – This meaty fish has often been touted as the poor man’s lobster with its sweet taste and firm texture, but it is also higher in mercury than most other white fish. Swapping it out with freshwater perch will give you a similar texture and an unbelievable sweetness.
  • Mahi Mahi – Normally this fish is topped with fresh salsas and has a wonderful buttery texture, but with mercury levels being higher than should be consumed, it is not the best choice especially during pregnancy. A wonderful substitute would be a farm raised salmon. High in protein and omega – 3, Salmon is delicious and good for you.
  • Halibut – This firm fish is rich and savory, but fairly high in mercury. A solid substitute, although mild in flavor, would be haddock. It is readily available and sustainable.

Just because a fish or seafood is high in mercury doesn’t mean you can’t indulge occasionally. Having lobster once in a while most likely won’t have an effect on your overall health. That being said, it is important to know that there are good substitutes for when the mood strikes for that mercury-laden meal.

Reference:

  • longevity.about.com/od/lifelongnutrition/a/fish_mercury.htm

Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/robertbanh/6014699929/

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