Thursday, 17 September 2015

Is it okay to eat fish every day?

Government dietary guidelines recommend that people eat fish twice a week. And we know that fish are full of omega-3 fatty acids—which can benefit both heart and brain. But is it safe to eat fish every day? “For most individuals it’s fine to eat fish every day,” says Eric Rimm, professor of epidemiology and nutrition, in an August 30 article on, adding that “it’s certainly better to eat fish every day than to eat beef every day.”

While it might be safe to eat fish every day, Rimm says it’s still not clear if there is any added health benefits to that level of consumption. “Most of the science isn’t looking at daily consumption,” he explains. “But many, many studies have shown that those who have it a couple of times a week have a lower rate of fatal heart attacks compared to those who don’t eat any.”

There are some exceptions, Rimm cautions. For example, pregnant woman and children should avoid larger fish with longer lifespans—like swordfish and tuna—because those can have higher levels of toxins, such as mercury. There are also environmental considerations—including the risk of over-fishing certain species. “Even to get people eating fish two times a week we need to ramp up fish farming,” Rimm says, noting that some types of farmed fish can be more nutritious than those caught in the wild.


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