Is Fish or a Can of Tuna REALLY THAT Bad for You? Your Kids?
If you are a 140 lb woman eating 1 6 oz can of Albacore Tuna = you are getting 140% of the EPA limit of Mercury exposure! For a 65 lb. child eating 3 oz. = 150% of the EPA limit of ‘safe’ mercury exposure.
In other words, there is way too much mercury to consider it “SAFE” to eat in my opinion. (Which sucks because I love tuna. And so does my daughter – which was something different to give her besides the daily PB & J.)
So about 4 years ago when I got into eating ‘organic’ & ‘healthy’ foods – I quit buying tuna and most foods from the typical grocery store. I am delighted to see that a lot of stores these days at least have a small section with organic choices, although I look forward to a time when that is how most food is sold!
At first, I thought the can of Tuna on the shelf in the ‘healthy’ whole food store must be OK, Right?
It made me wonder what the difference was. So I did a little searching online.
My first great discovery – a website called GOT MERCURY? – (very cute.. ) It has a ‘Mercury Calculator‘ so you can put in your weight and the type of fish (even differentiating between albacore, yellow fin, and light tuna) to find what your mercury exposure is.
There is even an ‘Advanced Calculator’ for people who consume more than 1 serving a week! Brace yourself – you will be shocked at how much mercury you may be consuming!
Here is what I found for myself and the fish I like -
- Tilapia – 0%
- Salmon – 0%
- Scallop – 20%
- Flounder – 20%
- Crab/Shrimp – 20%
- Cod – 30%
- Light Tuna – 50%
Now the NOT so good list – (I ate occasionally and will now be avoiding!)
- Mahi Mahi – 60%
- Halibut – 90%
- Lobster – 110%
- Yellow fin Tuna – 120%
- Albacore Tuna – 130%
- Orange Roughy – 200%
I did find this interesting the sight about Tuna -
How do I know if my tuna is chunk light or albacore? Most tuna cans are labeled as either albacore or chunk light. Albacore tuna, according to recent testing by the FDA, contains 3 times as much mercury as does chunk light. You should avoid albacore tuna if you wish to keep your blood mercury level low. There are exceptions, however. Some companies sell albacore that is troll-caught. These species are younger fish and therefore contain lower levels of mercury. According to a recent study from Oregon State University, troll-caught albacore mercury levels are similar to chunk light levels (on average. 0.14 parts per million). Data for troll-caught data in the mercury calculator above is from the OSU study. Cans of chunk light tuna typically contain skipjack tuna which is a smaller species of fish and therefore contains lower mercury levels (on average. 0.123 parts per million). You can compare the mercury levels between the two in the mercury calculator above.
For some reason – I always thought Albacore was the good one to get – wow was I wrong!
Then I found in a Dr. Mercola article – that Mercury is NOT the only worry-
Other Contaminants include:
Think that Farm Raised means cleaner healthier fish? Think again!
If you eat fish in a restaurant, it most likely came from a fish farm. Almost half of the salmon, 40 percent of the mollusks, and 65 percent of the freshwater fish consumed today are raised on fish farms. Not surprisingly, fish farming, a multimillion-dollar industry, has become one of the fastest-growing sections of the food production market.
What many people don’t know is that farmed fish face many of the same health issues as factory-farmed animals. In order to be profitable, fish farms must raise large quantities of fish in confined areas, and the overcrowding leads to disease and injuries to the fish. The fish are given antibiotics and chemicals for the parasites like sea lice, skin and gill infections and other diseases that commonly affect them.
The fish are also given drugs and hormones, and sometimes are genetically modified, to accelerate growth and change reproductive behaviors. Farmed salmon are also given chemicals, canthaxanthin and astaxanthin, to turn their flesh pink in order to make them more marketable. Wild salmon eat a diet of shrimp and krill, which contain natural chemicals that make the salmon pink. Farm-raised salmon do not eat a natural diet, so their flesh would be gray if they were not given the additives.
Unfortunately, my fish consumption is rare because of this information which is a shame because it is so good!
I didn’t realize how unhealthy Tuna was so I wanted to share what I’d learned. We all hear that our oceans are contaminated but I was shocked at how badly.
Why this continues to happen? Another blog….
To Your Health!
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