Is Tilapia good for you? 3 Fish to eat instead of Tilapia is an in-depth look into the truth about Tilapia and the many misconceptions that surround it. Learn how this fish is farmed and the top reasons why you should consider avoiding it. Find out 3 healthy fish alternatives that you can add to your diet to increase nutritional value and maximize your Omega-3’s. Get more great tips from Thomas at
-The third most consumed fish in the US, tilapia has unfortunately been tainted by farming and feeding practices. It is the most popular farmed fish in the US (1)
-Farmed fish problem – farmed fish are bad for the environment and for our health. They are fed corn, soy and antibiotics. They are even fed hormones such as testosterone (1). What we consume is not lost, it is passed onto us.
-Tilapia are easy to farm as they breed easily and will consume these unnatural foods, and easy to sell as they taste bland and thus many people will eat them (1).
-Less than 5% of the farmed tilapia we consume comes from within the US. China and Latin America are the main locations for farmed tilapia, and their standards are not up to par. Fish are raised in crowded areas and harm local environments, such as lakes (1)
-When we are told to eat fish, it is largely due to the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA and EPA. In our Western diet we have too low omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio, leading to a number of health problems.
-A 2008 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics looked at the fatty acid profile of four commonly farmed fish including tilapia. It found low levels of omega-3s, high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, high saturated fat and monounsaturated fat, and low DHA and EPA levels. These findings suggest that these fish have a makeup which is accepted to be inflammatory, which is very bad for our health (2).
-While high in protein, tilapia’s fat profile makes it the opposite of good for your heart.
Three Fish to Eat Instead of Tilapia
When shopping for fish, wild-caught are usually the way to go. When shopping for wild-caught fish, looking for fish lower on the food chain is better to avoid environmental toxins. To be environmentally conscious, looks for fish certified by the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) (3).
If you buy farmed fish, be sure it states the fish were raised without hormones or antibiotics, not treated with synthetic herbicides, were farmed in low-density pens/tanks and that they were fed a natural diet (3).
1. US Haddock – has moderate mercury and is sustainably fished (4)
a. With similar protein content, higher iron and lower saturated fat, wild-caught US haddock is a good alternative (5)
2. California and Pacific Halibut – moderate mercury levels and is sustainably fished (4)
. With similar protein content and mild taste, higher iron, Vitamin A, iron and lower saturated fat, wild-caught halibut can replace tilapia in most recipes (5)
3. Alaska Cod – moderate mercury levels and is sustainably fished (4)
. With roughly equal protein content per gram, lower saturated fat and higher potassium, cod is flakey and delicious (5)
.Note: When possible, eating oily fish high in omega-3 fatty acids is the way to go. Try wild Alaskan salmon, Pacific sardines and black cod.
1. Another side of tilapia, the perfect factory fish
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EDF Seafood Selector
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