Tilapia is an easy choice when it comes to picking a fish meal in America. It is cheap, you can buy it both skinless and boneless, you cannot overcook it, and it does not have that distinguishing fishy taste. To be more precise, tilapia does not come with all the common problems of other fish varieties, which is the main reason why people like it.
Unfortunately, what you do not know is that the tilapia you eat is not caught in the wild, but it is farmed. Almost no restaurant or grocery store offers wild tilapia. Farming is going on a large scale, and thousands of fish are harvested every day.
What worries experts most is the fact that the food is not natural. In the wild, tilapia eat algae and lake plants. Farmers feed the fish with soy pellets and GMO corn so they can get fatter.
Healthy fish oil is the reason why tilapia is good for our health, and farmed tilapia lacks such oils. But, the list of disadvantages does not end here. Here are several reasons to help you understand why farmed tilapia is bad for your health.
Latest studies confirm that farmed tilapia can cause and increase inflammation. It is an absolute favorite when it comes to buying fish, mostly because it is inexpensive and available, so you need to be aware of it is ability to cause inflammation.
Another research suggests that tilapia can increase the inflammation, and thus trigger other adverse health problems associated with asthma, heart disease, and arthritis. People believe that they get their omega-3 fats from the oils in tilapia which helps in decreasing the risk of heart attack, but reality shows something else. Farmed tilapia affects inflammation worse than bacon and hamburgers.
- Cancer causing pollutants
Farmed fish varieties are in direct contact with 10 times more cancer causing pollutants when compared to wild tilapia. This is mostly due to the food they eat. We bet you do not want to know what is in the food of farmed tilapia. Chicken waste material is one of main ingredients. Pig and duck waste are often transferred to fish farms. How disgusting is that?
- Pesticides and antibiotics
Farmed fish often have high concentration of pesticides and antibiotics. Farm-raised tilapia are oftentimes crowded, which increases the risk of diseases.
Farmers give their fish antibiotics, in order to keep the disease at a bay and their farms thriving. Farmed tilapia is also treated with pesticides that are supposed to kill off sea lice.
Interestingly, the very same pesticides can kill wild salmon when exposed by accident. Pesticides are sometimes releases into the sea, which poisons other living beings in the sea by entering their systems.
- Poor omega-3 to omega-6 ratio
Farmed tilapia does not contain many nutrients. Fish is good because it is considered to be a great source of omega-3 fats and human body needs these fatty acids.
But, farmed tilapia does not really offer usable omega-3 fatty acids, unlike wild tilapia. Farm-raised tilapia is low in protein. Fish are almost always caged, so they are fattier and higher in omega-6 fats. If by any chance you did not know it, increased consumption of omega-6 fatty acids creates a perfect ground for inflammation.
The ratio of omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats in farmed tilapia is so low, that it causes a dangerous imbalance inside the human body.
- High dioxin level
Farmed tilapia is also high in dioxin. Moreover, these fish are 11 times higher in dioxins than wild tilapia. Dioxins are actually toxins that cause adverse reactions inside the body, and sometimes they are so fatal that they may even cause cancer.
The most dangerous thing about these chemicals is the fact that once they enter the body, they remain inside it for quite a long time. The half life of a dioxin is estimated to about 7-11 years.
To sum up, cheaper is not always a healthier option. Farmed fish does not contain the nutrients your body needs. Wild tilapia or any other healthier fish are a much better option than chemical-laden tilapia.