Fish is among the healthiest foods to incorporate into its diet. In addition to providing the body with many nutrients essential to its proper functioning, it also helps to prevent several diseases thanks to its composition. But you have to choose the right type of fish, because some species of livestock, especially, can present a real health hazard. This is particularly the case with tilapia, one of the most popular fish.
Tilapia is considered one of the most consumed fish in the world. It is a fish with a white and firm flesh and is distinguished by its neutral taste and fast cooking time. It therefore represents the fish of choice for those in a hurry!
This fish is also very interesting from a nutritional point of view, since it is very rich in vitamin D and in vitamins of group B as well as minerals – phosphorus, selenium and magnesium. Tilapia is also an excellent source of protein of high biological value as well as omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Tilapia is also renowned for its rapid breeding, making it a breeding fish par excellence. In fact, tilapia production has increased considerably in recent years. It is also high in more than 75 countries, but China remains at the top of the list with nearly one million tons.
This fish, which feeds on the lower level of the food chain, adapts to the different environments and can live in sea as in fresh water. In short, tilapia is a very profitable business in aquaculture, but at what cost?
Tilapia, a real danger to health:
Very affordable, tilapia is among the best-selling fish in the world. Although it has beneficial nutritional qualities, it can pose a real health hazard, depending on where it comes from.
Indeed, the techniques of breeding this fish in some countries are inadequate and are at the origin of its harmful effect on health. Here’s why tilapia can be dangerous:
1 – Pesticides and antibiotics:
In fish farms, farmed fish are often crammed into small ponds, which makes them more susceptible to disease. This is why breeders use antibiotics and pesticides to keep them alive, but also to control sea lice. Tilapia from China is known to be the most dangerous because in addition to their Methods of breeding which do not conform to European standards, the breeders of this country feed these fish of pig and poultry manure, according to what has been postponed.
2 – Dioxins:
These organic pollutants are produced by a combustion mechanism and can accumulate in the food chain and end up in the human body after eating contaminated food such as eggs, meats and fish.
These substances are toxic and can cause several health problems, including cancer . Moreover, IARC has classified them as carcinogenic to humans.
Fish farmed in general, are known to contain high levels of dioxins. Thus, by consuming them, one exposes oneself to high concentrations of these substances.
3 – A poor Omega-6 / Omega-3 ratio:
For the proper functioning of our body, it is important to have a good ratio omega-6 / omega-3 , the ratio required. Normally, the ideal ratio of these fatty acids should be between 1/1 and 4/1.
Only, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina, the omega-6 and omega-3 ratio of farmed tilapia is 11/1. However, a high level of omega-6s can reduce the effects of omega-3s in the body, making the body more at risk for developing cardiovascular disease and having inflammatory and allergic problems such as asthma and Cancer. Researchers have also compared the fat content of tilapia to that of a donut!
Thus, tilapia may present some health risks, especially if it is farmed. If you can get wild tilapia, do not deprive yourself of this fish, otherwise it is advisable to avoid it or at least limit its consumption.
In large areas, pay close attention to the labels on the packaging. In some cases, the origin of the fish may be mentioned.
In general, we advise you to always choose the wild fish for all the species and avoid to consume the fishes of breeding.