Fishy Findings

By Erinn Morgan

If you favor fish in your diet for its health-boosting omega-3s, you need to take a hard look at where your fillets come from before you choose them. New research from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine indicates that certain types of farm-raised fish, like tilapia and catfish, contain a disproportionate amount of omega-6 fatty acids, which can promote inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

Researchers studied 30 of the most commonly eaten fish and their fatty-acid composition. Tilapia, the fifth–most consumed seafood in the US, has more omega-6s than bacon or doughnuts. While farm-raised salmon and trout had healthy fatty acid ratios that far surpassed most wild fish, independent laboratory reports have shown that farmed salmon (but not trout) can contain high levels of contaminants like carcinogenic PCBs. To help you wade through these murky waters, here’s a list of the fish with the best omega-3 to omega-6 ratio that have also been found to be low in mercury and contaminants like PCBs.
—Erinn Morgan

Go Wild
(But go easy because of the environmental damages caused by overfishing.)
Coho salmon
Copper River salmon
Sockeye salmon
Pacific cod
Alaskan halibut

Healthy Farmed
Trout

Farmed & Dangerous
Farmed tilapia
Farmed catfish