You probably already know that you’re supposed to be eating fish twice a week. Fish are a lean, healthy source of protein-and the oily kinds, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, etc., deliver those heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 fats you’ve probably also heard you should be getting in your diet. But then there’s also this concern about the environment-and choosing seafood that’s sustainable.Here are 5 fish-that are healthy for you and the planet.
1. Atlantic Mackerel
This species is a fast-growing fish, meaning it can repopulate easily and handle higher amounts of fishing. The gear used to catch Atlantic mackerel is efficient and not likely to cause major habitat destruction, another reason this guy is an ocean-friendly choice. This strong-flavored fish is high in heart-healthy omega-3s, a good source of protein-delivering 20 grams in a 3-ounce fillet-and pairs well with bold seasonings.
2. Freshwater Coho Salmon
All salmon is a healthy source of omega-3s-one 3-ounce serving delivers 700 to 1,800 milligrams. It can take as much as three pounds of wild fish to raise one pound of salmon. An increasing number of farms, however, use closed freshwater pens (aka recirculating aquaculture systems), reducing the adverse environmental impacts. Look for “land-based” or “tank-based” at the fish counter.
3. Sardines, Pacific (Wild-Caught)
The tiny, inexpensive sardine is making it onto many lists of superfoods and for good reason. It packs more omega-3s (1,950 mg!) per 3-ounce serving than salmon, tuna or just about any other food; it’s also one of the very, very few foods that’s naturally high in vitamin D. Many fish in the herring family are commonly called sardines. Quick to reproduce, Pacific sardines have rebounded from both overfishing and a natural collapse in the 1940s.
4. Salmon (Wild-Caught, From Alaska)
To give you an idea of how well managed Alaska’s salmon fishery is, consider this: biologists are posted at river mouths to count how many wild fish return to spawn. If the numbers begin to dwindle, the fishery is closed before it reaches its limits, as was done recently with some Chinook fisheries. This close monitoring, along with strict quotas and careful management of water quality, means Alaska’s wild-caught salmon are both healthier (they pack 1,210 mg of omega-3s per 3-ounce serving and carry few contaminants) and more sustainable than just about any other salmon fishery.
5. Salmon, Canned (Wild-Caught, From Alaska)
There is a reason salmon makes this healthy fish list in many forms; it really is a nutritional powerhouse. In addition to its healthy omega-3 content, canned salmon is one of the best sources of nondairy calcium-with 3 ounces delivering 170 mg. Wild-caught salmon from Alaska is low in contaminants, including mercury and lead, and comes from well-managed fisheries. Canned wild salmon is typically sockeye or pink from Alaska.