Fishy (and Fatty) questions about farmed Tilapia

Thursday, 23 September, 2010

Fresh Fishes - Fishy (and Fatty) questions about farmed Tilapia

Once in a while, we like to buy a live Tilapia to steam as it is one of the easily accessible live and tasty fish in Calgary. And fish is healthy. Thats what I thought until I read this 2008 article “Popular Fish, Tilapia, Contains Potentially Dangerous Fatty Acid Combination”. Here is an excerpt from the article, (emphasis added)

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, the article says.

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,” the article says. “All other nutritional content aside, the inflammatory potential of hamburger and pork bacon is lower than the average serving of farmed tilapia.” [K: Yikes!!!]

We love live Tilapia, but unless the research is flawed or I am missing something, we will have to reevaluate our “love” of Tilapia. I still can’t quite comprehend the research results of fish (Tilapia) is worst (in inflammatory potential) than hamburger and pork bacon.

The above Science Daily article is based on a Wake Forest University School of Medicine scientific research paper “The content of favorable and unfavorable polyunsaturated fatty acids found in commonly eaten fish” (nih Pubmed link)

Ref: I can’t find the researchers’ PDF file, but I googled and found this link to a cached html version of the file without the diagrams, etc.


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