Tuna … too much mercury? Tilapia … the “worst of the worst”? Farmed? Wild-caught? Sustainably raised? Atlantic? Pacific? Fresh? Frozen? Fish can get confusing if you know “enough to be dangerous,” but not quite enough to be decisive. Plus, cooking fish at home can be intimidating if you’re not sure where to start. Good news! Today’s post is going to tell you the healthiest fish to eat, as well as give you 10 flavorful, healthy, and easy fish recipes! Enjoy!
What is the healthiest fish to eat?
I believe that we can consume all fish in moderation, but my favorite options are:
- Salmon. When I ask clients to think of tasty and healthy meals, salmon and veggies almost always appears on their list. And they’re right! Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids (the healthiest kind!), protein, and vitamin B12 on the planet. I recommend wild caught Alaskan salmon as the healthiest, lowest in toxins, and tastiest variety!
- Cod. Cod is very low in calories and has a mild taste that is appealing to even those who are iffy on the “fishier” fish. Choose Alaskan cod for the most sustainable option (Atlantic cod has now been overfished),and enjoy!
- Tuna. Yes, even canned! I love Safe Catch Tuna and Wild Planet tuna – I often get them both on Thrive Market (here’s a discount!) – because they use BPA-free cans, high quality tuna, and test extensively for mercury. Aside from canned, fresh, wild-caught tuna is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and B vitamins, and makes a very healthy option! Because of the mercury content, I do recommend consuming tuna about twice per week or less.
- Trout. Here’s a tricky one – farmed (not wild-caught!) rainbow trout is one of the best options for safety and sustainability, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (although wild caught is great, as always!). Trout is an underappreciated fish, in my opinion, is loaded with vitamins, and is very versatile!
- Mahi Mahi. If you buy Atlantic mahi mahi (or dolphinfish) from the United States, it’s a “Best Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and although I actually enjoy the flavor, I have to admit that just saying “mahi mahi” makes it fun!
- Scallops. Scallops are some of my favorite seafood options ever, and my husband does a great job grilling them at home! There are never antibiotics used in farming scallops, which is a big plus, and they’re basically pure protein, making them a nutritious and delicious addition to your diet!
What about other types of fish?
I’ll admit, shrimp and sea bass are among my favorite tasting fish. But when it comes to health and sustainability, they’re less ideal than the ones above. Believe it or not, farmed shrimp are generally better due to the fact that they are bottom feeders, meaning they’ll eat up all the pollution and toxins floating in the bottom of the ocean (but can be farmed without toxins). Sadly, Sea Bass (also known as toothfish) has been subject to overfishing, so it’s a “Good” or “Avoid” according to the Seafood Watch.
If you’re looking for other types of fish, I can’t more highly recommend the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch tool! It’s available here on the web, and they also have a free app that I use while grocery shopping. You’ll be able to put in the type of fish you’re looking to buy, then discover which choice (farmed, fresh, US, abroad, which ocean, which type of catching, etc.) is the best. Education is a huge asset, but don’t stress too much – fish overall is a very healthy choice, so if it’s not the “perfect” choice, you can still celebrate a step in the right direction!
How do I cook fish?
I’m glad you asked! Here are 10 delicious fish recipes featuring the 6 choices above to get you started:
- Sweet Chili Salmon, Broccoli, and Quinoa Bowls
- One-Pan Salmon with Tomatoes and Green Beans
- Seared Cod with Fresh Herb Sauce
- Tomato Basil Cod with Asparagus
- Megan’s Healthy Tuna Salad
- 8 ounces of canned tuna
- 1 chopped apple
- 1 large chopped carrot
- 2 stalks chopped celery
- ½ chopped cucumber
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
- 1-2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- juice from ½ lemon
- 1 tsp. salt.
- Makes 3 large servings and stores in Tupperwares for 3-4 days
- Great in lettuce “boats”!
- Cashew Tuna Salad Cucumber Bites
- Lettuce Wrapped Fish Tacos with Avocado Cream Sauce (I use mahi mahi)
- Roasted Rainbow Trout with Vegetables
- One-Pot Steamed Garlic and Herb Scallops and Veggies
- Pan-Seared Scallops over Spinach Cobb Salad
Now it’s your turn … Do you cook fish at home? What is your favorite type of fish? Which recipe above are you most excited to try?
Love your web site. I think it’s well done. Will try most of the recipes if not all.