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FSA: Eat More Fish

by Ellen Hardy
18 September 2008, at 1:00am

UK - The UK Food Standards Agency has recommended that we shoulkd eat more fish to maintain a healthy diet.

The FSA have puiblished new information on their Eat Well, Be Well website. The information says that white fish such as cod, haddock, plaice and whiting are very low in fat. Oily fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and a good source of vitamins A and D. White fish contain some omega 3, but at much lower levels than oily fish.

According to the website, fish such as whitebait, canned sardines, pilchards and salmon - where you also eat the bones - are also good sources of calcium and phosphorous, which help make our bones stronger.

Shellfish contain similar nutrients to white fish and similar amounts of omega 3, though some types of shellfish contain more omega 3 than others. For example, crab and mussels are quite good sources of omega 3, but prawns contain hardly any. Oily fish are the best sources of omega 3. Shellfish are good sources of selenium, zinc, iodine and copper.

For the healthier choice, go for poached, baked or grilled fish, rather than fried, because fried fish is much higher in fat, especially if it's cooked in batter. But this doesn't mean you need to stop having an occasional portion of fish and chips.

Although most people should be eating more fish, there are maximum levels recommended for oily fish. Also, adults should have no more than one portion of swordfish, shark or marlin a week. This is because these fish contain high levels of mercury.

People who eat a lot of fish every week should try and eat as wide a variety as possible, says the FSA.

Fish liver oil supplements are high in vitamin A. This is because fish store vitamin A in their livers. Having too much vitamin A over many years could be harmful. So, if you take supplements containing vitamin A, make sure you don't have more than a total of 1.5mg a day from your food and supplements.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on the health effects of fish by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy