According to researchers of Wake Forest University School of Medicine, the popular fish – the farm-raised tilapia has less very low levels of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and very high levels of omega-6 fatty acids.
The said combination is bad one, making tilapia not a good food for some people suffering from heart disease, arthritis, asthma and other allergic and auto-immune diseases (particularly vulnerable to an “exaggerated inflammatory response).
Inflammation is known to cause damage to blood vessels, the heart, lung and joint tissues, skin, and the digestive tract.
The study authors published their findings this month in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association:
“In the United States, tilapia has shown the biggest gains in popularity among seafood, and this trend is expected to continue as consumption is projected to increase from 1.5 million tons in 2003 to 2.5 million tons by 2010.
They say their research revealed that farm-raised tilapia, as well as farmed catfish, “have several fatty acid characteristics that would generally be considered by the scientific community as detrimental.
Tilapia has higher levels of potentially detrimental long-chain omega-6 fatty acids than 80-percent-lean hamburger, doughnuts and even pork bacon.
For individuals who are eating fish as a method to control inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, it is clear from these numbers that tilapia is not a good choice.
All other nutritional content aside, the inflammatory potential of hamburger and pork bacon is lower than the average serving of farmed tilapia.”
Well…that definitely gives a new meaning to intake of more fish in the diet. Then we gotta pick the fish we eat.
The American Heart Association now recommends that everyone eat at least two servings of fish per week, and that heart patients consume at least 1 gram a day of the two most critical omega-3 fatty acids, known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
I haven’t had tilapia in a long time. Since I came home more than two years ago. Around here, a coastal town, bounty from the sea is more popular than farm-raised fishes such as tilapia. In a province that surrounds a bay where I stayed for some 18 years…it was there i learned to eat tilapia.
Now I gotta remember that it a potentially dangerous food for people with arthritis. But then, there are far more delicious, healthier oliy fish from the sea. So why settle for tilapia alone, right?