Fish and Mercury Levels…is it Really a Big Deal? » Oklahoma Sports & Fitness Athlete Blog | Running | Triathlon | Cycling | Fitness | Martial Arts | Powered by Oklahoma Sports & Fitness Magazine

Aug 242014

Consumer Reports released this month (August 2014) a safety report regarding fish and mercury levels. This may not be a risk for those who rarely eat fish, but what about those who consume it two to three times a week (or more)?

The report states that tuna may have a higher level of mercury than perceived. Consumers Union (the nonprofit agency that publishes Consumer Reports) is mostly concerned with the safety of pregnant women. Ultimately, they have concluded that pregnant women should avoid tuna altogether.

For those who incorporate tuna into many meals, have no fear but consider if you want to make a few changes. Canned albacore tuna (4 ounces) can have as much as 60 micrograms of mercury. Chunk light tuna often contain less than half that amount of mercury and would be a safer option.

What if you only eat tuna once a week? The risk is much less and you should be fine.

Are there other fish with high mercury levels? Yes, but then again please consider how often (and how much) you find yourself eating.


Dr. Mary Harris states in Food Safety News, “The health benefits of eating one to two meals of fish each week far outweigh the mercury risk.”

Fish with HIGH mercury levels:
- Swordfish
- Shark
- King mackerel
- Tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico
- Orange roughy

Fish with LOW levels of mercury:
- Shrimp
- Salmon
- Tilapia
- Catfish
- Cod
- Pollack
- Tuna (light canned)
- Sole

Please don’t eliminate fish from your weekly intake, but be informed and take caution if you have concerns about the mercury level. Investigate what the mercury level of the types of fish you consume and adjust as necessary.

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