I always assumed that all fish was healthy, but it seems the nutritional benefits of farm-raised tilapia aren't as wonderful as we thought. A new study reveals that this type of popular fish actually contains very low amounts of the healthy omega-3s our bodies need, and very high levels of omega-6s. Tilapia has a higher amount of omega-6s than 80-percent-lean hamburger, doughnuts, and even bacon. Researchers say this combination of fatty acids could be potentially dangerous for people with heart disease, arthritis, asthma, and other allergic and auto-immune diseases.
When it comes to omega-3s and omega-6s, you do need them both, but a healthy ratio is one omega-3 fatty acid to four omega-6 fatty acids. The western diet contains a much higher ratio of omega-6s. Having too many omega-6 fatty acids in relation to omega-3s can lead to a number of health problems, including obesity and heart disease. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial for people with inflammation diseases, but since tilapia is high in omega-6s and low in omega-3s, this fish would not make the best choice. Fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon (wild is better) are a much better option.
I'm curious if this news is going to change your relationship to tilapia, one of the most commonly eaten fish in the US? Let me know in the comments section below.