The Most Nutritious Fish
When you’re deciding what kind of fish to buy, ask yourself, “What’s the main nutrient I’m trying to get from this food?” What nutrients can you get from this food that you can’t get as easily from others? For fish, the most valuable nutrient status would probably go to omega 3 fatty acids. For this reason, we have placed the fish containing the most omega 3 fatty acids at the top of the list and thus the most nutritious fish.
These are not necessarily the fish that are the lowest in fat. Note that when you choose one fish over another, you’re making some tradeoffs. Some of these are small and insignificant; if you eat dairy products regularly, you don’t need to worry about how much calcium is in your fish. Other choices matter more: mackerel, for example, contains a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, but it also derives half of its overall calories from fat, including saturated fats. You would do better choosing salmon or tuna unless you’re on a tight budget. Here’s how fish rate according to different nutrients.
Nutritious Fish Rated
- Highest in protein per serving: tuna, salmon, snapper, swordfish. Most fish are similar in protein content. The best sources of protein in grams per calorie of fish are lobster, shrimp, tuna, cod.
- Highest vitamin B-12 content: clams, mackerel, herring, bluefin tuna, rainbow trout, and salmon.
- Highest in iron: clams, shrimp, mackerel, swordfish.
- Lowest in iron: orange roughy, snapper, sea bass.
- Highest in zinc: crab, lobster, swordfish, and clams.
- Highest in calcium: canned salmon with bones.
- Lowest in total fat and saturated fat: lobster, orange roughy.
- Highest in cholesterol: shrimp, mackerel, lobster.
- Highest in total fat, saturated fats, and calories: mackerel.
- Lowest in cholesterol: yellowfin tuna, albacore, tuna, snapper, halibut, grouper.
- Most risky fish for pollutants: wild catfish, shrimp, lake trout (warm-water fish, and those in lakes from agrochemical run-off).
- Least risky fish for pollutants: deep-water ocean fish, salmon, and tuna.
OMEGA-3 FATTY-ACID CONTENT OF POPULAR FISH*
|FISH (Serving size = 6 ounces cooked, unless otherwise specified)||OMEGA 3 FATS (grams)|
|Sardines in sardine oil (3 oz)||2.8-3.3|
|Trout, rainbow, wild||1.7|
|Anchovy, European (3.3 oz)||1.4|
|Herring, Atlantic and Pacific (3 oz)||1.2-1.8|
|Mackerel (3 oz, canned)||1.0|
|Crab, Dungeness (3 oz, steamed)||0.3|
|Shrimp (3 oz, steamed)||0.3|
|Tuna (canned, 3 oz)||0.2-0.7|
|Clams (3 oz, steamed)||0.2|
* The omega-3 fatty-acid content can vary according to the mode of cooking and whether wild or farmed varieties.
Which DHA Supplement is right for me?
Another way to consume vital nutrients from fish is through supplements. With a variety of delivery methods, parents have a better chance of finding a solution that works best for their child ensuring the child is likely to take the product on a daily basis without fuss. Some children prefer liquid oil, similarity, others might prefer swallowing or “popping” soft gels. For others, the fruit chews are their favorite.
Dr. Sears, or Dr. Bill as his “little patients” call him, has been advising busy parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years. He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. As a father of 8 children, he coached Little League sports for 20 years, and together with his wife Martha has written more than 40 best-selling books and countless articles on nutrition, parenting, and healthy aging. He serves as a health consultant for magazines, TV, radio and other media, and his AskDrSears.com website is one of the most popular health and parenting sites. Dr. Sears has appeared on over 100 television programs, including 20/20, Good Morning America, Oprah, Today, The View, and Dr. Phil, and was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.