Many health conscious people know that a healthy low-fat meal consists of high protein that is rich in fiber/nutrients and low in complex carbohydrates. Hence, consuming fish several times per week promotes good health. Although this fact remains true, ingesting fish several times per week may cause a health hazard according to the latest article in the August 2003, Reader's Digest. The health hazard is mercury poisoning caused by consumption of excessive contaminated fish.
The health hazard is not the actual fish but yet the mercury found in the fish that we ingest. Recent studies show that victims of mercury poison show symptoms of hair loss, dizziness, nausea and achy joints to name a few symptoms.
In recent studies, victims reportedly claimed to consume large fish such as halibut, swordfish, shark, trout, bass and tuna several times per week. All of these fish are larger and referred to as the "long-lived predators" of the sea and are endangered species fueled by over fishing. They are all prized for their non-fishy taste and are cooked & prepared in an array of ways including gourmet cooking.
Truth is that most Americans are ingesting high levels of mercury and are completely unaware of it! A recent reported woman of 59 years of age has always been active and athletic but was recently complaining of hangover-like headaches, stomach cramps and memory lapses. The 59 year old was instructed by a female victim by the name of Hightower (who has run many intensive research case studies) to "lay off the fish" since her mercury level was high. Within six months of eating no fish at all, her blood tests proved to be significantly lower in mercury causing her to feel normal once again.
Mercury is found everywhere including the earth's crust and released naturally by volcanoes. It is even used in thermometers, flu vaccines, dental fillings, fluorescent bulbs and get this, children's light-up sneakers. All of which end up in our oceans, lakes, streams and landfills. In fact, mercury ends up polluting our water supply.
For many years, scientists discovered that eating contaminated fish is a sure way to absorb methylmercury, a bacteria found in lakes and streams that stem from our biggest polluters which are coal-burning plants and waste incinerators. High levels of methylmercury found in the body from consuming excessive fish may be as alarming as causing birth defects, brain and kidney damage, vision loss, slurred speech, increased chances of heart attacks, a metallic taste in the mouth, Alzeimer's disease, children's autism and an unusual tingling sensation in hands and feet.
A shocking case in the 1950's resulted in many serious illnesses and death in the villagers who ate contaminated fish every day in a village named Minamata, Japan. A local Japanese chemical factory dumped tons of mercury into their bay contaminating the fish and the people who ate the fish on a daily basis. The villagers became seriously ill and unfortunately babies were born blind and deaf. The most alarming form of mercury poison damage is linked to fetal abnormalities and babies. It has been reported that all pregnant women should cut down the consumption of fish severely.
Recent Studes Show...
With all the recent studies regarding mercury toxicity, I still happen to be a fish lover so I have begun to limit myself to the "little guys" such as shrimp, prawns, oysters, clams, sole, sardines, freshwater catfish, tilapia or canned tuna on a more frequent level. I've read that these types of fish are "safe" to eat a few times a week.
And because I simply adore sushi, I will limit my sushi dinners to about twice per month. A recent study shows that the "bigger guys" like mahi-mahi, orange roughy, halibut, red snapper, grouper, fresh tuna, flounder and freshwater bass are OK to eat one meal per week. And the long-lived predator larger fish like swordfish, shark, marlin and king mackerel should be enjoyed twice a month.
* Note: Women of childbearing age, pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under eight should always make sure they are ask experts when choosing what types of fish and how frequently they should be consumed.
The information contained in this article is strictly for informational
purposes. You should consult a physician before beginning any new nutrition,
exercise, or dietary supplement program. The information contained in this
article is not meant to provide medical advice. Specific medical advice should
be obtained from a licensed health-care practitioner. Carmen Garcia and/or her
likeness will not assume any liability, nor be held responsible for any injury,
illness or personal loss due to the utilization of any information contained
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