By fish can be quite the task. It is very highly advisable not to go for any sort of fish that you find. The U.S Food and Drug Administration have pointed out a number of guidelines which we must or at least should consciously make the effort of following before buying fish. Considering how the health risks associated with seafood have been receiving a lot of attention over the recent years due to the discovery of ill effects of high mercury levels on health and the overall polluted and gruesome condition fish are being bred in these days, it is recommended that we follow these guidelines as staunchly as possible.
The three primary guidelines which should be followed as far as possible to distinguish between unhealthy seafood options and healthier options include the following:
The first and foremost guideline in making sure you don’t end up choosing seafood options that are unhealthy seafood options is to know your source. Try and buy your fish from a retailer who is reputable in the business, is working under proper hygienic conditions and whose source of supply is reliable and can be traced back. Make sure that the fish you are buying has been kept under optimal conditions, that is, it is laid on a bed of ice that is solid and not melting and is refrigerated properly. Furthermore, if the fish is covered in some kind of a wrapping or a case, it is always for the health qualities of the fish ultimately consumed.
Another two clues as to identify whether what you are consuming are healthy seafood options or not, is to look up the fish in terms of how it seems and how it smells. In order to make sure you are not consuming unhealthy seafood and that it is not spoilt is to check for how it smells. If it does not smell mild, and instead smells sour and has ammonia like pungent smell, it is an evident sign that the fish has gone bad. You can also tell whether the fish you are buying is a healthy seafood option or not by checking its eyes. A healthy fish will have bulging clear eyes, except those fish which naturally have cloudy eyes. If the fish has been cut and has been made into filets and pieces already then it is essential to see whether the filets are glossy and firm. If they aren’t and there is discoloration in the skin of the fish, that is a sign that the fish may be spoilt. However, frozen fish may not be as shiny as fresh, but frozen fish is safe to consume as long as the gills are not slimy and the skin of the fish is not mushy in texture.
High levels of mercury in the diet can have a ripple of ill effects on an individual’s general health. High levels of mercury in the diet or exposure to high levels of mercury in the environment can pose a threat to the nervous system health, digestive system health, and health of the respiratory system and can also cause kidney injuries and skin conditions. Fish with high levels of mercury include mackerel, swordfish, shark and tilefish. While most fish do contain certain levels of mercury, canned light tuna, salmon, catfish, shrimp and Pollock have very little amounts and are safer to consume as healthy seafood options. Albacore is a type of tuna that has a higher amount of mercury than the canned light tuna and hence, dieticians and scientists recommend not exceeding the 6oz limit a week in consumption of Albacore.