Fish and Shellfish: 5 to Eat, 5 to Avoid

The Best and the Worst Seafood Choices

You probably already know that you're supposed to be eating fish twice a week. Fish are a lean, healthy source of protein—and the oily kinds, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, etc., deliver those heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 fats you've probably also heard you should be getting in your diet. (Find out if you need an omega-3 supplement here.)

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But then there's also this concern about the environment—and choosing seafood that's sustainable.

So, if you're like me, you often stand at the fish counter a little perplexed: what's good for me and the planet?

Fortunately, Seafood Watch, the program run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, has combined data from leading health organizations and environmental groups to come up with their list ("The Super Green List") of seafood that's good for you and good for the environment.

To make the list, fish must: a) have low levels of contaminants—below 216 parts per billion [ppb] mercury; b) be high in health-promoting omega-3 fats—providing at least 250mg/day (given the recommendation of eating 8 oz./week); and c) be a Seafood Watch "Best Choice."

Many other options are on the program's list of "Best Choices." The Safina Center also has sustainability ratings and detailed information.

Next: 5 “Super Green” Fish to Serve »


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