Top 10 Fish to Avoid Eating

Posted by on 12th Jun 2014

Typically, we think of fish as a healthy source of protein, but not all fish is as healthy for you as you might believe. Many weight loss programs, including the Skinny Jane Challenges recommend eating fish, so you should be aware of what fish to avoid. There are various reasons to avoid certain fish, not always due to their health content if you are wanting to lose weight and have that guaranteed weight loss, so here is a list of fish to avoid eating:

  1. Imported Catfish. About 90% of catfish imported the United States comes from Vietnam, where they use many of the antibiotics banned from the U.S. The catfish imported is also not technically catfish, so it isn't held to the same inspection rules. Instead, stick with domestic, farm raised catfish.
  2. Atlantic Cod. This fish is not necessarily unhealthy for you, but the stocks of Atlantic Cod are becoming very low (so low in fact, that they are almost endangered), so instead, opt for Pacific Cod, which there is no shortage on. 
  3. American Eel. Eel is coming from fisheries that are suffering from pollution and overharvesting and is usually highly contaminated with PCBs and mercury. Instead, try Atlantic or Pacific - caught squid.
  4. Imported Shrimp. Imported shrimp can be contaminated with antibiotics, residues from chemicals, mouse and rat hair, pieces of insects and even E. Coli. Opt for domestic shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico or Pink Shrimp from Oregon instead.
  5. Atlantic Flatfish. Another fish that is suffering from overfishing, but also tends to be a victim of heavy contamination. Pacific halibut and other white fish such as tilapia and catfish that are domestically raised or much better choices.
  6. Atlantic Salmon. Wild Salmon in this area are actually declining in numbers due to the escape of farm raised salmon competing for the same food. Farm-raised salmon is also very susceptible to disease and parasite and are thus full of antibiotics and pesticides. Instead, stick to Wild Alaskan Salmon.
  7. Imported King Crab. Most imported king crab is sold as Alaskan King Crab, which is a completely different species than the imported crab that comes from Russia, where the limits on harvest are not enforced. Make sure when you shop for crab in the store, ask if it is imported or comes from Alaska, no matter what the label says.
  8. Shark. Not only is shark high in mercury which is dangerous to humans, it also throws off the food chain in the ocean and ends up decreasing the numbers of other fish that are commonly eaten in the U.S. In place of shark try Pacific Halibut or Atlantic Mackerel. 
  9. Orange Roughy. This fish is not only high in mercury, but can take between 20 and 40 years to mature fully, making it easy to be over harvested. Opt from yellow snapper or domestic catfish instead.
  10. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna. This type of tuna has the highest level of mercury compared to other types of tuna and are severely over harvested, almost to extinction. Try switching to Alaska wild-caught salmon instead or if you must stick to tuna, try American, Canadian or Albacore tuna. 

As you can see, there are different reasons to avoid each of these fish, but since fish is usually seen as healthy, it is important to understand what types of fish are subject to contamination or just victims of overfishing are and nearing endangerment. So make sure to be careful when selecting fish at the store. 

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