Fish has been marketed as a health food for a long time. Its fat contains much Omega 3 fat – more than any other food on the planet per serve.
Many health issues arise when people are short on Omega 3 fats (also called DHA and EPA).
Some of these health problems are:
- vision problems
- brain and neurological (nervous system) – development of a baby’s brain, ADHD, major depression, Parkinson’s, bipolar, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia
- heart disease
- inflammatory diseases – arthritis, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, asthma
- Type 2 diabetes, elevated triglyceride levels
- kidney disease
With Omega 3 fats having such a huge effect, why would we not eat its richest source – fish oils?
Here are the four reasons I avoid eating fish:
1) Fish contain heavy metals.
Not some fish from some places – all ocean fish from all places. This is an accepted fact. Even in the cleanest water areas of the world, fish swimming from other areas carry heavy metals in their flesh. Catching them in clean water makes little difference. The bigger the fish, the worse the contamination. Canadian Indian women have heavy metal levels in their breast milk way higher than American women, due to eating a diet heavy in this apparently ‘clean’ fish from pristine rivers.
2) Fish contain a lot of fat.
A LOT of fat. I’ve cut and pasted just a few of the nutrition facts about mackerel – a popular oily fish:
First, you can see in Image 1 that more than ⅓ of the calories in a serve of mackerel is fat. (White fish like ling has a lot less fat, but next to no Omega 3 fats either – if you want Omega 3 fats, they come with a lot of other fats.)
Image 2 shows the breakdown of calories more clearly for mackerel:
But is this high fat food those good Omega 3 fats? Image 3 shows the fatty acid breakdown for mackerel:
Omega 3 fats are polyunsaturated fats. As you can see at the top of the chart, polyunsaturated fats are there – in lesser quantities to monounsaturated fats (as with most fish), but in equal quantities to saturated fats.
It doesn’t matter how you get saturated fats – in red meat, in chicken or in fish – it still has the same damaging effect on hormones and health. And in oily fish you are getting just as much as you are getting of the essential fatty acids, the Omega 3s.
Is it worth it?
I don’t think it is worth taking in all these other fats in order to obtain the valuable Omega 3 fats.
Because we do not need to eat saturated fats or mono-unsaturated fats in order to supply them for use in our bodies.
I know you may have heard that we need saturated fats to build cell walls and that monounsaturated fats do good things in our bodies. This is all totally true. Our bodies do need them.
But you know why we don’t need to eat them? Because our body makes them – in the amounts we actually need.
ONLY Omega 3s and 6s (both polyunsaturated fats) are ESSENTIAL fats. Our bodies make the other fats by assembling it from any fat eaten of any sort, AND by breaking it down from the stored fat on our bodies. Omega 3s and 6s are the only fats we need to EAT.
Most Westerners are carrying too much body fat. Eating fatty foods (like fish) means the fat on your body will not be burned to make fats your body can build with – because there is too much circulating in your blood already. If you say ‘No’ to fish, your body will turn to adipose tissue (stored fat) and use it to build needed body-building fats, and you will find it easier to lose excess weight.
3) Fish are very high in the amino acid methionine.
Methionine is one of the amino acid alphabet that we build proteins in our bodies with. The problem with methionine is that cancer cells need methionine to grow. Normal cells do not. Normal cells grow without methionine. If cancer cells are deprived of methionine, they cease multiplying and growing.
It might surprise you but the two foods containing WAY and above the methionine levels of all other foods are, firstly, fish and secondly, chicken.
Other meats are much lower, and plant foods are very low in methionine.
A growing number of reputable peer-reviewed studies link runaway cancer with high methionine levels. ‘Peer-reviewed’ means that a lot of people with science degrees have looked at how the studies were done and agreed they are the real deal, not just a well-marketed nutritional scam. Eating foods high in methionine (such as fish) does promote the growth of cancer cells.
4) Over 50% of Australian fish are from fish farming operations.
Almost all of the salmon, most of the barramundi, and many other popular eating fish.
The 30 most popular wild species of eating fish in the world are already 90% decimated by mass fishing operations.
It is estimated that by 2048, these 30 popular fish species will be extinct in the wild – thus we have fish farming.
Fish farming is where fish are placed in pools where they have restricted room to move and, in the absence of much natural food for such numbers of fish, are fed processed fish foods, with dyes where necessary, to turn their meat pink. Their refuse (poo) contaminates the pools and many fish die of disease. Of course, methods are devised to attempt to keep them cleaner, but in the absence of their natural environment, problems arise, as with all factory farming. Many people ask their fishmonger the country their fish purchase comes from – but few ask the method of farming. You may be surprised if you ask.
These 4 reasons –
- the contaminants
- the fat loading
- the cancer/methionine link
- the dirty practice of fish farming
-are why I see fish as a ‘special treat’ food or a condiment only – not a regular food, and certainly not a ‘health food’. There are other reliable clean plant sources that I can get my Omega 3s from.
Concerned about your Omega 3 levels? Click <here> if you’d to go over an individualised nutrition plan with me to improve your health.