Farmed Catfish: The REAL Chicken of the Sea

December 30, 2008

Copied From Dr. Gabe Mirkin’s Fitness and Health E-Zine
December 28, 2008

Farmed Tilapia and Catfish are More Like Chicken than Fish

       Fish are heart-healthy foods because they usually have
high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and low levels of omega-6’s.
However, researchers at Wake Forest University School of
Medicine show that farm-raised tilapia and catfish contain less
than one-eighth the amount of omega-3’s found in farmed salmon
or trout.  The tilapia and catfish also had much larger amounts of
omega-6 fatty acids than salmon or trout. The ratio of omega-6 to
omega-3 in tilapia and catfish averaged 11 to one, about the same
as that of chicken (Journal of the American Dietetic Association,
December 2008).
       A crucial part of a healthful diet is the ratio of
omega-6s to omega-3s.  Your immunity is supposed to be good for
you by killing gems before they can harm you. However, if your
immunity stays active, it starts to attack your own body to
increase risk for heart attacks, certain cancers and even asthma
and some types of arthritis.  Omega-3 fatty acids produce
prostaglandins that turn down your immunity to help prevent
inflammation and the health problems it can cause.  Omega-6
fatty acids promote inflammation.  A major explanation for the
high heart attack rate in North Americans is the high ratio of
omega-6s to omega-3s in the diet that contains lots of omega-6s
from vegetable oils and low amounts of omega-3’s found in fish
and seeds.
       Few species of fish can grow and thrive on a diet of corn
and plant oils.  Salmon, trout and most other farmed fish must be
fed fish meal and fish oils, which are good sources of omega-3’s.
However, tilapia and catfish can be raised on corn alone. Since
corn-fed tilapia are inexpensive and abundant, they are the fifth
most popular fish in America and are widely used for fish sticks,
fish burgers and artificial crab (surimi). These are perfectly good
foods, but to get the full benefits of seafood, choose fish that
were not raised on corn.  The highest amounts of omega 3’s are
found in oily fish such as salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, anchovies,
mackerel or herring.


One comment

  1. Xcelnt!! What does the various types of cooking methods do to the integrity of the Omega fatty acids?

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