January 29, 2010
Easy on the Sushi
If you're a fan of sushi, it's worth noting that some types of fish tend to contain more mercury than others; by choosing wisely, you can minimize your risk of experiencing mercury toxicity.
Why is it important to avoid mercury toxicity?
Mercury is highly toxic to your nervous system. Mercury poisoning may lead to:
Loss of vision
Nerve dysfunction in your extremities, most commonly presenting as numbness of your fingers and toes
Problems with fertility
Some points worth noting from The New York Times article:
1. Generally, the more expensive the variety of tuna, the higher its potential mercury content, as premium varieties of tuna tend to come from larger species that eat a lot of fish and accumulate mercury with each fish eaten.
2. Bluefin tuna tends to have higher levels of mercury than yellowfin or albacore tuna.
3. Cooking fish doesn't alter its mercury content.
4. In order to reduce risk of mercury toxicity while consuming fish for its health-promoting nutrients, it's best to eat smaller fish that are lower in the food chain.
As mentioned above, larger fish act as predators to a larger quantity and greater variety of smaller fish, so larger fish tend to have the highest concentrations of mercury in their flesh. Unfortunately, many of the fish that are selected for sushi and sashimi are the larger predators.
Sushi that Tend to be High in Mercury (More than 0.3 parts per million): Ahi (yellowfin tuna), Aji (horse mackerel), Saba (mackerel), Sawara (Spanish mackerel), Seigo (young sea bass), Shiro (albacore tuna), Suzuki (sea bass)...
Read the full article...