The Safe Fish to Eat?

The 5 DANGEROUS Fish to Avoid? The #1 Safest Omega 3 Source?

Tilefish - NOT a safe fish to eat

Want a safe fish to eat? Don’t start with tilefish!

Fish is a heart healthy choice of food, high in the omega 3 severely lacking from most people’s diets.

But with the controversial and conflicting reports on the safety of fish, it may be hard for you to make a sound decision on what to do.

Which are the safer fish? Which are the worst fish?

And most importantly, what is the best choice for the healthy omega 3 your body needs if you can’t possibly eat all the fish you should be eating?

Well first of all, while no level of mercury is “safe,” considering the average level of mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in the kinds of fish you consume can help you choose the safer fish to eat.

Generally speaking, levels of mercury and other toxins are highest in older and larger predatory fish, and in marine mammals. With that noted, here are the safer fish, the most dangerous, then the best choice for omega 3…

The 5 Safest Fish to Eat

(based on mercury levels)

Keep in mind that researchers are still trying to figure out the full extent of the negative health effects of mercury exposure. But for now, commercially sold fish are generally considered safe up to 1 part per million (ppm) of mercury in fish.

If you’re in a high-risk group (pregnant women and young children), avoid eating the skin and fatty parts of fish, where contaminants collect.

Based on their low levels of mercury, these are the top five safest fish to eat:

Mercury level in parts per million (ppm)

  • Anchovies (.017)
  • Catfish (.025)
  • Haddock (Atlantic) (.055)
  • Butterfish (.058)
  • Croacker (Atlantic) (.065)

The 5 Most Dangerous Fish to Eat

(based on high mercury levels)

Here are the top five most dangerous fish to eat based on their average mercury levels, starting with the most dangerous. Cut back on consumption accordingly:

Mercury level in parts per million (ppm)

  • Tilefish (1.45)
  • Shark (0.99)
  • Swordfish (0.97)
  • King Mackerel (0.73 )
  • Tuna (Bigeye) (0.68)

The #1 Easiest & Safest Way to Get Omega 3

You may have noticed that even the safest fish to eat listed in this article still have some small amount of mercury contamination. Yet the omega-3 fatty acids found in abundance in fish are very important for good health.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and arthritis in addition to heart disease. Still, nearly 99% of people in the United States do not eat enough omega 3 fatty acids!

This omega-3 deficiency leads to symptoms including fatigue, depression, poor concentration, dry and/or itchy skin, brittle hair and nails, constipation, frequent colds, lack of physical endurance, joint pain, and more!

If you want to get the omega-3 your body needs without eating a ton of potentially harmful fish, we highly recommended taking an all natural Omega 3 supplement.



Filed Under: Healthy Eating
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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6 thoughts on “The Safe Fish to Eat?”

  1. ivan copelowitz says:

    Dear Sirs,
    You indicate:
    “Mercury level in parts per million (ppm)

    * Anchovies (.017)
    * Catfish (.025)
    * Haddock (Atlantic) (.055)
    * Butterfish (.058)
    * Croacker (Atlantic) (.065)”

    “Mercury level in parts per million (ppm)

    * Tilefish (1.45)
    * Shark (0.99)
    * Swordfish (0.97)
    * King Mackerel (0.73 )
    * Tuna (Bigeye) (0.68)”

    You don’t indicate how these numbers were obtained? How many fish were sampled? Where they were caught? Was the value obtained as an average over the whole fish or certain parts (specify)? What species of fish are referenced? (There are many types of shark, for example.)

    Which laboratory did the analysis? How many samples were analysed? When was the test done? What is the reproducibility of the specific analyst who did the tests? What are his/her qualifications?
    Remember that the Atlantic is a big ocean with different currents from different sources, so that the water analysis wrt mercury would differ from place to place.

    Please only use information you are sure about.

    Best Wishes,

  2. Sheridan says:

    Thanks for the article. Just curious though; Where do wild Alaska Salmon and Halibut fit into the picture?

  3. B Kirchner says:

    by the way how do sardines fit in to this “mercury scheme”? love these little guys and they are supposed to be an excellent omega 3 source

  4. Admin says:

    Generally the smaller and the younger the fish the less that fish will accumulate any toxins, including mercury, relative to other fish.

  5. Mark says:

    You reported that kids and pregnant ladies should not eat the fatty portions of fish where contaminants are located. This is true. However, most of the article deals with mercury which is NOT preferentially accumulated in fatty tissues. Hydrophobic organic contaminants (ie: chlorinated compounds such as PCBs, dioxins, and some pesticides) are the ones that preferentially accumulate in fats (because they “don’t like water” – ie: hydro-phobic). Mercury and other heavy metals accumulate in muscle and other organs. You should be more careful in your writing, rather than spreading mis-information like this. Sad to say, but your work has gone down some notches in my view because of this type of poor reporting.

  6. Shirls says:

    Like Sheridan I also would like to know where Wild Salmon comes into this picture. Salmon is my favorite fish and have also read it is one of the best fish to eat. It doesn’t make your list, why?

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