Mercury Content in Fish and Shellfish

How Do I Know if My Fish is Safe to Eat?

   Certain types of fish like predatory fish at the top of the food chain(shark,swordfish,king mackeral, and tilefish) contain significantly higher amounts of methyl mercury.  Methyl mercury can potentially affect unborn and developing children's nervous systems and can also cause damage to other organs such as the kidneys and brain. Women who are pregnant, nursing, or intend to become pregnant should avoid the types of fish listed above. Young children should also avoid thes types of fish.
   Fish that are low in mercury are cod, flounder, sole, haddock,halibut, catfish, salmon, rainbow trout, tilapia, and light canned tuna.(white canned tuna often contains higher levels of mercury.) It is safe for pregnant,nursing women, and young children to eat these types of fish in moderation, up to 12 ounces per week. Fish is a high quality protein source full of vitamins and minerals which should not be avoided entirely. Certain types of fish such as salmon are excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids which can protect the heart, lower triglyceride levels, and may help to reduce the risk of stroke.

Other sources for information on mercury content in fish:

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