When your family decides to eat fish, it is usually tilapia. When it comes to farmed fish, it is an absolute favorite in the US. Things may change here, as there are so many studies to witness its negative effect on human health. It turned out that tilapia farming in China affects both environment and public health.
The fish itself is pretty cheap and easily available. You can find it both skinless and boneless. The best thing about it is its great taste, because it does not have that distinguishing fishy taste.
The real problem rises as you go back to its origins and the way your fish is being cultivated. Forget about wilt tilapia, it is almost impossible to order wild tilapia in restaurants. The same applies to markets -- all you can find is farm-bred pieces at a low price.
Farm-raised tilapia gets none of the lake plants and algae wild tilapia eats, which means that its food is in no way natural. In other words, farm-bred fish does not have those healthy fish oils. To be more precise, there are almost no health benefits related to the consumption of farm-bred tilapia.
Why farm-bred tilapia is so unhealthy
Latest studies show that farm-raised tilapia may cause severe inflammation. This fish worsens any inflammation that you may already have due to certain health problems like asthma, heart disease, and arthritis.
There is a terrifying misbelief amongst people who believe they are getting enough omega-3 fats from tilapia which is supposed to decrease their risk of sudden heart attack, but reality is quite different. Tilapia is a greater risk factor for underlying inflammations than smoked bacon or juicy hamburgers.
Cancer causing pollutants
Unlike farm-bred tilapia, wild fish is safe from cancerogens and chemicals. Scientists have found traces of nitrofuran and malachite green, a dye, in farm fish. These are dangerous carcinogens, known for their disastrous effect.
Pesticides and antibiotics
Fish farming, pesticides and antibiotics should never be mentioned in the same sentence. Unfortunately, this is not the case of tilapia, as shown on several occasions. Farmed fish is bred in tightly packed ponds, so diseases are nothing uncommon here.
Fish are given antibiotics to resist diseases and inflammation, and pesticides are common ‘meal,’ and these are used to kill sea lice. Pesticides are a serious threat to the environment, as they sometimes end up into the sea.
The final result is intoxicated marine life, which is a severe problem to those who like their seafood.
Low omega-r to omega-6 ratio
Farm-bred tilapia lacks healthy nutrients when compared to wild species. Farmed fish has a low ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, 11 to 1, so farm-raised tilapia is not as healthy as wild fish.
Experts say that excessive consumption of omega-6 fatty acids makes the body prone to inflammations. The imbalance of fatty acids is the reason why food has such a bad effect on our tissues.
High dioxin level
Last, but not less severe, farm-raised with are high in dioxin. If you need a further explanation, even the slightest exposure to dioxins may cause skin lesions and liver malfunction.
Long-term exposure to dioxins is associated with poor immunity, problems with both nervous and endocrine system, and improper reproductive function. Chronic exposure triggers the development of cancer cells.
The most important thing to remember is that farm-raised tilapia lacks the essential nutrients regular body functions require. Do yourself a favor, and try finding healthier species or wild tilapia.
Other included sources linked in Family Life Goals’s article:
Tilapia popularity: www.nytimes.com
Tilapia farming studies: www.sustainablefish.org
Carcinogenic pollutants: www.npr.org/
Pesticides and antibiotics: www.farmedanddangerous.org
Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio: www.wakehealth.edu
Dioxin levels in farm bred fish: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Exposure to dioxins: www.who.int