Tilapia is one of the most widely consumed fish species in America . According to the United States Department of Agriculture ( USDA ) , Americans consume more than 475 million pounds of tilapia every year . This type of fish has become very popular because it is affordable , easy to breed , and do not have a distinctive taste associated with most other fish species . In addition , most of the tilapia consumed in the United States , as well as other parts of the developed world , comes from fish farms . This is because only the original tilapia water bodies in Africa and the Middle East . However , some experts have raised questions about the nutritional benefits of eating tilapia . Read on to find out more about this topic .
Concerns about Tilapia
Most healthcare practitioners recommend eating fish with high levels of omega – 3 fatty acids such as wild Alaskan salmon , black cod , sablefish , mackerel , albacore tuna , salmon or sockeye . Even cheaper options such as sardines and herring contain relatively high levels of omega – 3 . The problem with tilapia that contain very low levels of beneficial omega – 3 fatty acids and very high levels of omega – 6 fatty acids . This is according to a study conducted by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association ( ADA ) . Another study published in the same journal found that tilapia ponds contain high levels of arachidonic acid ( AA ) .
One of the researchers involved in the study of the Wake Forest University Dr. Floyd Chilton argues eat fish ponds may be dangerous for people who suffer from health complications such as asthma , arthritis , and heart disease . This is due to the high levels of omega – 6 and arachidonic acid can cause the person to develop an exaggerated inflammatory response , which is basically the inflammation that causes serious damage to a person’s lungs , gastrointestinal tract , and blood vessels .
In addition , there are concerns about the type of feed used on the farm tilapia . Dr. Jeffrey MCCRARY , American fish biologist who works in Nicaragua , assume that the standard fish culture in the countries of Latin America and Asia fell under U.S. food safety standards . Even so , Americans still importing and eating large amounts of tilapia from Asia and South American countries .
Most of the fish farms using cheap corn – and soy -based feeds instead of algae and marine plants . In addition , a report published in the New York Times stated that some tilapia farms using testosterone and prophylactic antibiotics to feed young tilapia . At the same time , these farms tend to breed a large number of tilapia in fish cages packed which can lead to pollution of natural water reservoirs like lakes .
Is Tilapia Healthy ?
After reading the information provided above , one might think that there is nothing good about tilapia but it’s not true . For example , a study published by the National Institutes of Health ( NIH ) states that Americans do not have to stop eating tilapia because it contains only low levels of high levels of omega – 6 and omega – 3 . One of the researchers involved in this study suggest that most 3 – ounce meat contains a whopping 191 milligrams of bad fats . In comparison , the share of 3 – ounce tilapia contains 67-134 milligrams of any bad fats . Even the popular hamburger contains 34 milligrams of bad fats . This means that people who stop eating tilapia may eventually swallow fat worse than other foods .
It is also important to note that tilapia has important minerals such as potassium and calcium . According to the University of Maryland Medical Center , serving 4 – ounce tilapia contains 11.3 percent of the daily requirement of calcium the average person . This is in addition to providing 10 percent of one’s daily potassium needs . Moreover , tilapia protein source . Research conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that the portion of 4 – ounce tilapia provide 45 percent of a person’s daily protein needs . In addition , a protein found in tilapia contains all the essential amino acids needed by the body . Finally , indigo contain unsaturated fats that are healthy for the heart according to the Harvard School of Public Health . For example , 4 – ounce tilapia meat contains 1.3 grams of saturated fat .
Overall, if you eat fish regularly , it ‘s up to you to decide whether tilapia should be part of your diet . Fortunately , you can use the findings of various scientific studies to guide your decision . In addition , it is important to note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) has not issued a warning to consumers to stop eating tilapia .