Healthy eating Gisela Carrilho

Is it better to eat sardine than eating salmon?

We all know that fish is good, especially the richest in omega-3. But there is another side, which we also have to speak about: the risks. And these are mainly related to contaminants. Not all fish have the same levels of contaminants, including methylmercury.

Those with higher levels are at the top of the food chain, which means those that eat other fish and crustaceans that had held methylmercury that, in turn, had ingested the phytoplankton and zooplankton.

And at the top are fishes such as black scabbard fish, sharks, rays, swordfish, and "to a lesser extent," tuna.
If absorbed in high amounts, methylmercury affects the neurological system. And above all, can have very negative consequences on the fetus in pregnant women or also during lactation.

According to the researcher José Luis Domingo there are three key things to consider when choosing a fish:

Variety: do not always consume the same species.

Avoid consuming large amounts of a type of fish in one meal.

The consumption of fish in Portugal tells us that the frequency of consumption of cod and sardines (fresh and canned) is higher among elderly; and salmon is most consumed among younger age groups.
The point is that salmon is indeed a fish that has omega 3, but also much omega-6, and we have in our diet many other sources of omega-6. In the cases of aquaculture salmon, these are fed largely with plant based foods, and these contribute to increased levels of omega 6 fatty acids.

We should therefore focus on fish species which give the omega-3 without excessively increasing our consumption of omega-6 fatty acids, which have a negative pro-inflammatory effect in a large number of diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. And that's not what happens to salmon.

So it is better to choose sardines - which is a fish of the sea, not artificially fed, and is abundant in the Portuguese coast. Other fishes are also a good opton: the horse mackerel, mackerel, Atlantic bonito (sarda sarda). The cooking methods also have implications.

The product may have certain contaminants, but if it is cooked in a certain way, these contaminants will be absorbed by the body with greater or lesser extent. The same applies to the nutrients.

What we have to do every time you eat fish is to find the balance between the risks and benefits.
People have the right to select the fish they eat and how to cook it. There is no cause for alarm because we are not to exceeding the limits. But the perfection would be that all we had zero contamination levels. And, ideally, we could fight and end the contamination causes.

So we let a note: "foods do not come from Mars, they are from our land and we are the ones who contaminate them." We must be aware and be healthy and conscious consumers.

BluEmerald - for a healthy, conscious and sustainable life.



Leave your comment

replying to