The Best Fish to Eat and Some Ideas for Cooking It

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Fish is very healthy food. You hear this all the time. Still, there are some types of fish it’s better you avoid. But today we’re talking about the best fish to eat. You don’t know how to cook it? No worries, we have a few ideas!

We all know fish is a healthy food important especially for its omega-3 fatty acids, which are good fats that humans don’t produce on their own.

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna, which are high in omega-3s, at least two times a week. So, fish has a rightful place in a well-balanced diet.

While there are types of fish it’s better to avoid – especially by children and pregnant women – like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, because of potential mercury contaminants, the best fish to eat is lower in mercury and healthier.

10 best fish to eat

1. Alaskan salmon

There’s a debate about whether wild salmon or farmed salmon is the better option. While farmed salmon is significantly cheaper, it contains less omega-3 fats, fewer vitamins and minerals, and more saturated fat and calories per serving. Wild salmon is more expensive, but better.

Succulent, delicious, and nutritious, salmon is one of America’s most popular fish. Overall, salmon is a great option for your diet, but if your budget allows, opt for the wild variety. You can cook it in many ways: add it to pastries, in pasta, pies or quiches, or more or less classic, like this Provencal. Or try something special like this baked salmon with pistachio and herbs:

2. Cod

Cod is among the five most popular fish eaten in the United States. The flesh is firm, white, and mild in flavor, and this very lean fish can be cooked by almost any method. Cod is a great source of phosphorus, niacin, and vitamin B-12. Try it broiled, baked with tomato sauce, or in a piccata. It’s also good for fish and chips.

3. Herring

This family of fish has over 100 varieties. Small young herring are commonly sold as sardines. Herring is especially good smoked. Smoked fish is packed with sodium though, so consume it in moderation. You can also fry it and serve it as is or in different combos.

4. Sardines

Also an oily fish, sardines are rich in many vitamins. Fresh sardines are occasionally available, but sardines are more commonly found salted, smoked, or canned in oil, tomato sauce, or mustard sauce. Some are packed whole, while others are skinned, boned, and sold as fillets. It’s actually more nutritious to eat the entire fish, including bones and skin. You can serve them as a salad topping, or in pasta.

5. Mackerel

As opposed to leaner white fish, mackerel is an oily fish rich in healthy fats. There are varieties that have a stronger, oilier flavor than other fish.

Be careful at king mackerel, which is a high mercury fish, so opt for the lower mercury Spanish or smaller mackerel! You can fry it, add it to fish stews, or marinate it. If you don’t want to cook much, buy smoked mackerel and add it to your potato salad.

6. Perch

Another white fish, perch can come from the ocean or fresh water. This fish has firm, flaky white flesh and is sold whole, dressed, and as fillets. Small perch is most commonly sautéed, but can also be baked, broiled, or poached.

7. Tuna

Whether fresh or canned, tuna is a favorite option. Americans eat more tuna than any other fish or shellfish. About 95 percent of the tuna we eat is canned. When picking fresh tuna, choose a piece that’s glossy and smells ocean-fresh. It’s easy to prepare.

For canned tuna, you can try salads, pasta, in sandwiches, or casseroles.

8. Rainbow trout

Rainbow trout is sold fresh or frozen. It is popular and one of the best fish to eat. Only farm-raised rainbows are sold commercially. In fact, farmed rainbow trout is a safer option than wild, as it’s raised protected from contaminants.

9. Wild pollock

Pollock is one of the top 10 fish in the American diet. Atlantic pollock, a different species, is richer and more flavorful. It’s also a high-protein, low-fat fish with a mild flavor and a flaky texture. It is definitely a healthy choice. You can bake it, broil it, poach, sauté, or use it in stews and soups.

10. Striped bass

The striped bass, also called striper or rockfish, is a large fish with firm, well-flavored flesh. Wild striped bass has become much rarer and the fish farms, where bass are harvested year-round, are now the principal source of this fish.

Keep in mind that names of fish often vary with the region. A well-balanced diet should contain fish several times a week. Pay attention at fish that contains mercury.

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