A coworker asked me a great question that prompted me to do some further research. Should I worry about the mercury in fish? First, the most serious threats are for pregnant women and children but still the answer isn’t clear. Yes, you should worry, but no eating fish isn’t dangerous. A lot of things factor into how much fish you should eat including what type of fish you’re eating and how much.
After researching I learned some great guidelines for getting omega-3 rich proteins from fish without going overboard on mercury. The biggest thing I learned was that canned chunk light tuna contains less mercury than canned albacore tuna. I also learned that at my weight I can have a can of chunk light every 3 days (if I wanted).
Here is a great list of mercury levels in fish from the Natural Resource Defense Council. Their website also has great guidelines for eating tuna safely based on your weight.
Note: These guidelines are not for pregnant women, if you are pregnant I recommend going to The American Pregnancy Association for guidelines on what fish are safe to eat during your pregnancy.
Mackerel (N. Atlantic, Chub)
Bass (Striped, Black)
Croaker (White Pacific)
Weakfish (Sea Trout)
Mackerel (Spanish, Gulf)
Sea Bass (Chilean)*
Tuna (Canned Albacore)
- Least mercury: Less than 0.09 parts per million
- Moderate mercury: From 0.09 to 0.29 parts per million
- High mercury: From 0.3 to 0.49 parts per million
- Highest mercury: More than .5 parts per million