Tilapia is a mild-flavored, lean fish that’s become a common staple in the U.S. due to its reasonable price and low mercury content. By nearly all definitions, tilapia should be considered a healthy food. It’s a shame so much bad outweighs its good.
Do you know what’s in your dinner? Tilapia might seem like a smart meal option, but its high ratio of Omega-6 fatty acids and importers’ dangerous farming practices should keep this fish off your table. Find out why you need to stop eating tilapia right now.
You Need to Stop Eating Tilapia RIGHT NOW. Here Are 3 Good Reasons.
One of the benefits to eating most fish is their high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and improve brain function. Tilapia isn’t one of those fish. It’s not devoid of healthy Omegas, but it contains about twice as many Omega-6 fatty acids, particularly arachidonic acid. This fatty acid is notorious for triggering inflammation throughout the body, which can damage the cardiovascular system and lead to a number of chronic illnesses.
Most tilapia are farm raised — and many of those farms are in China, where U.S. regulations can be difficult to track or enforce. According to eDrugSearch, some farmers feed their tilapia waste from chickens and pigs, then load up their crowded tanks with antibiotics to reduce disease. This increases the risk of the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant diseases. Some tilapia imports have been found infected with strains of Aeromonas, which cause stomach illness in humans, while others have tested positive for Streptococcus.
Some tilapia shipments have also tested positive for chemicals not approved for human consumption. The U.S. only tests a small percentage of its imported food, so it’s hard to say how bad the problem really is, but based on what we do catch, it doesn’t look good. Some of the chemicals caught in imports, such as the antimicrobial malachite green, have even been found to cause cancer.
Tilapia is an invasive species, capable of taking over a broad range of environments. This means fish that escape farms via runoff and flooded or drained ponds are capable of decimating nearby ecosystems. Runoff also poses threats due to the diseases, chemicals and antimicrobials that can become concentrated in the breeding ponds.
Stricter regulation and enforcement needs to pass before we can safely add tilapia back to our menus. Even then, it should be a limited item. Safer fish choices include salmon, herring, and other fatty, cold-water fish. Consider the balance of Omegas in all the meats you eat and examine their sources as well as any antibiotics or additives the animals may have been exposed to. As we’ve seen, sometimes the healthiest-looking foods can also be the most dangerous.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension!
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