Trouble With Tilapia!






Trouble?? Isn't fish healthy? Tilipia is affordable and doesn't taste "fishy," so what's wrong with it?? Why is there any trouble with tilapia??

Fish is usually a good choice when you want a high protein, low fat food with many health benefits. But unfortunately, farmed-raised fish is a whole different subject and especially for tilapia...

There is a big difference between fish that is caught in the wild and fish that has been farm-raised. Why is farm-raised fish unhealthy and why is tilapia one of the worst choices for fish?? 

Here's why: In many cases, fish farmed in Asia and imported to the US have been raised on diets of chicken and pig feces. About 82% of the United States' tilapia comes from China, according to USDA documents. Furthermore, large amounts of antibiotics that are given to the fish to ward off infections, makes the strains of salmonella and E.Coli very hard to eliminate. The tilapia we are eating is almost entirely farmed fish, which means you can't find wild caught tilapia in any grocery store or on any restaurant menu. And even if they are not being farmed in Asia, the farm-raised tilapia is not natural. In the wild, they would eat algae and lake plants, but with farm-raised tilapia, their food consists of pellets primarily comprised of GMO corn and soy.

And that's not all. It's bad enough these fish are being fed with such unhealthy sources that we certainly don't want to ingest, but there are other negative impacts on our health as well.  Recent studies have concluded that eating tilapia may worsen inflammation that can lead to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and other serious health problems. Farm-raised fish are kept in cages, so they have a tendency to become fattier which can create a higher concentration of Omega-6 fatty acids. One of the problems with getting too many Omega-6 fatty acids is that they can cause inflammation. The healthy Omega-3 fatty acids which are so good for us are not as abundant in farm-raised fish and are less usable to our bodies compared to wild caught. 

So, what's the bottom line here?? Stay away from farm-raised fish whenever you can and when you do buy it, make sure you know where it comes from. Fish can be an incredible health-building food if you go with wild caught, especially when you choose sockeye salmon. It is loaded with Omega-3 fats and has great health benefits. A tip when it comes to salmon -  if it's Pacific or Alaskan, it's most likely wild caught. If it's Atlantic salmon, it's almost always farm-raised. When you are at a restaurant,  always ask your server if it's wild or farm-raised fish, because sometimes it won't state it on the menu.

I have included some links below if you would like to learn more...

That's it for now,

Until next time - "Live Now-Live Well!"


New York Times. Another Side of Tilapia The Perfect Factory Fish. (accessed January 2012).

Environmental Working Group. Reports Farmed Fish PCB’s. (accessed March 2012).




Wow, this is an eye opener! I'm so glad you posted this, since there are other health choices. Sorry to hear about Tilapia, though. Thanks for letting us know.

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