Raw Fish: How Much Is Too Much to Eat?

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Would you eat a sushi platter every night? I am very tempted to say that yes, of course I would, they’re absolutely amazing. But when it comes to raw fish, overdoing it might not be the best of ideas. 

These days, we have so many options for eating great food, right at our fingertips. And with all of the food delivery services out there, you can satisfy your craving every single night. And of course, supermarkets are stocked with everything you might need, picking up a pre-packaged tray from the aisle and putting it in your cart is simple and accessible.

That can be a problem. On the topic of raw fish, the variety is astounding even. You have sashimi, nigiri, sushi, maki rolls, poke bowls and so many others. Tuna tartare? Yes, please! A platter of ceviche? Once again, an enthusiastic, resounding yes! So should you indulge in them whenever you feel like it? We investigate a little so that you know what is the healthiest way to go about things.

The nutrients in raw fish

Of course, omega-3 fatty acids are the bomb. They have plenty of health benefits like supporting the health of your heart and brain, keeping type-2 diabetes away and lowering the risk of certain cancers. You can load up on them after you work out because they are chock full of protein. So is eating raw fish better than cooking it? It would appear so because exposure to heat might reduce the levels of healthy fats in your food.

At the same time, if a healthier diet is your goal, make sure to know what other ingredients are in your sushi rolls – mayonnaise, sodium bomb soy sauce, and so on.

Want to make a poke bowl? Try this one!

Are there health risks?

Unfortunately, yes. Raw fish can sometimes have bacteria and parasites. Be more mindful if you live in Europe, North America, and Asia, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

So how do you prevent infections? Always check out the restaurants you’re about to eat in or order from. They should have “A” health inspection ratings. And don’t forget to read reviews on Yelp, Google Maps and any other sources you might have. If you see even one negative review, run the other way. Even when there, make sure to ask questions to the staff about how they prepare the food. Be as mindful as possible.

And of course, there are demographic groups who should stay away from raw fish altogether: small children, older adults, people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women. Check with your doctor first, if you know that you are in one of those categories.

The other reason you probably shouldn’t eat raw fish every day is mercury. It is a naturally-occurring mineral that can be toxic at high levels. The types of fish most likely to be high in mercury (and thus you should avoid) are tuna, swordfish, and king mackerel. Go instead for salmon and shrimp.

The American Heart Association recommends having two average meals of low-mercury seafood per week, about 12 ounces (340 grams). If you’re having high in mercury fish, then eat even less!

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