Should we eat fish?
I love, love, love, sushi! And so do a lot of people! But are we making ourselves sick?
Back in December of 2008, reports came out that actor Jeremy Piven had given himself mercury poisoning from eating massive amounts of sushi. In addition, he was taking Chinese herbs which had been contaminated with heavy metals. Then in January of 2009, the New York Times investigated a bunch of different sushi restaurants in Manhattan and analyzed the tuna. It was bad…
On average, they reported that eating 6 pieces or more of tuna would exceed the EPA’s guidelines for safe amounts of mercury. Woah! I’ve eaten more than 6 pieces sashimi style in one sitting! The thing about toxicity is that it does depend on the individual: how much body fat do they have? (heavy metals are stored in fat cells to keep the nervous system safe). How well does an individual detoxify? Genetically some of us are better at it than others. What is that person’s overall toxic load/burden? In other words, if they are exposed to tons of toxins every day, never exercise or sweat, have a terrible diet on top of that, and slather on tons of cosmetics laced with poison, they are more likely to suffer the consequences. There’s only so much your body can take.
So am I going to give up sushi? No way!! But I am going to make better choices and limit my tuna consumption (that’s shiro maguro, maguro, hamachi, and toro). The worst is the bluefin tuna; pretty much always a guarantee that it’s full of mercury. The Monterey Bay Aquarium in conjunction with the Environmental Defense Fund, have created a handy dandy pocket guide that you can print out and carry with you to the sushi bar. It lists the best choices, good alternatives, and the fish to avoid (tilefish, swordfish, shark, and mackerel). Visit www.seafoodwatch.org to print one out.
Please, please please don’t give up on seafood! The benefits of eating seafood at least twice weekly outweigh the potential hazards. Choose smart, feed your brain and heart with omega 3 rich options like salmon and sardines, and you’ll be just fine.
About nutritionthatworksSylvie Nalezny has a Master's degree in Holistic Health Education and is a certified Nutrition Educator. She has worked as a Nutritionist specializing in weight loss and overcoming sugar addiction and as a Wellness Coach, helping people to create healthy habits.
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