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Here Fishy Fishy: What Fish to Eat and How Often

June 16, 2011

Fish for dinner during a solo vacation in Barbados

Fish can be a tasty treat – but can also be a health issue due to various levels of mercury.  The EPA provides guidelines, as do many other agencies.  My man-friend brought me a quick-tip chart as we do tend to eat fish in our house.  The chart is from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and is summarized below.

When BUYING fish:

Low Mercury Levels (6 servings a month)

  • Atlantic salmon
  • Shellfish
  • Flatfish and flounder
  • Hake, haddock, pollock and cod
  • Canned “Light” Tuna

Medium Mercury Levels (3 servings a month)

  • Canned “white” tuna
  • Tuna
  • Halibut

High Mercury Level (No servings)

  • Swordfish
  • Shark

So what is the difference between the three levels?  With the low levels of mercury, it is recommended that an individual eat no more than 6 servings a month.  For medium mercury levels the recommendation is up to 3 servings in a month.

Valentine's Day- Made sushi with my man-friend

It is recommended that NO MEALS are consumed with fish

from the high mercury level category.  It is also noted that the monthly limit should not be consumed within a single week.

It is important to note that a single serving of fish is about the size of a deck of cards.

For pregnant and nursing women, and children age 6 and younger, it is important to avoid high levels of mercury as  small amounts of mercury can cause damage to a developing brain.

Want more info?  The quick-tip guides suggest calling the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation at 1-800-439-8550 or viewing their website.

Keep an eye out for the mercury levels of fish that are CAUGHT and consumed instead of bought.

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