Fish - healthy or poisonous?


  • Protein and vitamin bomb
  • Omage-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin D
  • Iodine and fish consumption
  • Poisons in fish
  • Mercury
  • Mercury poisoning
  • How does mercury get into the sea?
  • Mercury contaminated fish
  • Diseases
    • 1) Salomonella
    • 2) Parasites
  • Threatened Indulgence
  • Sustainable Consumption
  • Fish Bioseal
  • Aquaculture - An Alternative?
  • "Support your local dealer"
  • References:

First of all, species at the top of the food chain contain high levels of mercury and other poisons, such as sharks or swordfish, secondly, over 85% of world stocks are overfished, and many esteemed food fish are dying outthreatened.

protein and vitamin bomb

Fish contains up to 20% protein, which is good for the metabolism, because the body immediately converts 30% of the protein calories. Protein helps against eating attacks because it keeps blood sugar low.

Protein is needed to build muscle. In fish contained can also digest very well.

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Is fish basically healthy? Healthy for body, mind and environment? Image: Yulia Fussmann - fotolia Is fish basically healthy? Healthy for body, mind and environment? Image: Yulia Fussmann - fotolia

Omage-3 fatty acids

Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats, which strengthen the cardiovascular system, prevent infections and support brain function. The body can not produce these fatty acids itself, so we have to take them. The best source for this is the "meat of the sea".

Much of these fatty acids contain so-called fatty fish, among the common edible fish these are especially salmon, mackerel and herring. The fish can be fresh, smoked or pickled, the unsaturated fatty acids are preserved.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D develops our body from sunlight. Young people are dependent on vitamin D - if they are missing, the bones do not grow.

People with crooked bones often suffer from a lack of vitamin D. Fragile teeth and tooth loss also indicate vitamin D deficiency.

Schizophrenia and depression are thought to be associated with insufficient vitamin D levels in the brain, and inadequate kidneys prevent the body from producing vitamin D itself.

High levels of vitamin D are important for people with multiple sclerosis and to prevent cancer. Vitamin D also helps fight an outbreak of cancer. He inhibits the growth of the tumor, as studies have shown, at least in colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and skin cancer.

Vitamin D regulates the calcium and phosphate balance in the body. It organizes the calcium build up in the bones and helps to extract calcium from the food, moreover, it shortens the level of calcium in the blood. When it sinks, a preform of vitamin D forms calcitriol, which dissolves calcium from the bones, causing the level in the blood to rise.

Balanced calcium levels are needed to allow nerve cells to pass stimuli and muscles to function.

For people in northern countries with long dark winters like Norway, Northern Russia or Finland, fish are vital - without them, they would not have had vitamin D available in winter. Salmon and cod are staple foods here.

Other foods also contain vitamin D, but none can be found in fatty fish. Russian dishes with cod and porcini mushroom combinations unusual for Central Europeans provide vitamin D in abundance, as well as tuna-filled avocados.

offal such as liver, eggs and dairy products, stone and shiitake mushrooms also contain vitamin D, as well as avocados.

In developed countries, lifestyle leads to a lack of sunlight and thus vitamin D. We spend most of our time indoors, on the train or in the car, and not outdoors.

Regular walks and food fish on the table can compensate for this deficiency. About 200 grams of high-fat fish per week are almost enough to meet the vitamin D needs of a healthy adult.

However, older people should eat much more salmon or matjes. Over 65, the self-production of vitamin D from sunlight works less and less, and two to three times a week fish can help here.

The absolute star among the vitamin D suppliers is the smoked eel. It contains around 90 micrograms of it per 100 milligrams, fresh eel "only" brings it up to 20. Unfortunately, European eel is threatened with extinction, and WWF and Greenpeace say: keep away.

Smoked sprats, kippers and matje herring with between 28 and 33 micrograms per 100 grams are still rich in vitamin D, as well as trout 22 and salmon 17 micrograms. Low-cut off are low-fat species such as the redfish with 2.30 micrograms. Since redfish are also threatened, we should not eat them anyway.

Iodine and fish consumption

The thyroid gland can not work without iodine, and in this thyroid gland in turn arise hormones without which the metabolism can not work. Pregnant women and mothers with infants need iodine in quantities.

salt has long been treated with iodine to prevent widespread iodine deficiency. But we can do better with sea fish.

leader is haddock with 417 micrograms of iodine per 100 g of fish, the allround supermarket fish salmon, in Fischburgern - or chopsticks, it still brings to 263 micrograms, plaice to 291 and cod to 120, tuna "only" to 50th

However, the consumption of most tuna species is also to be discouraged: their stocks shrank in two decades by more than 90%.The bluefin tuna, for example, could in a few years share the fate of Dronte and Beutelwolf.

selenium also supports the thyroid gland and is abundant in fish.

poisons in fish

Despite omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, iodine and selenium, fish consumption is not without problems. Seas, rivers and lakes are contaminated with pollutants.

animals ingest these substances through their diet. The basic rule is that the further up in the food pyramid an animal is, the higher the levels of toxins in its body. The most common toxins found in fish are polychlorinated biphenyls( PCBs) and mercury.


The amount of mercury is highest in the large predatory fish, which are also popular food fish: sharks, swordfish and marlin, tuna and bonito.

A study in Austria from 2007 to 2015 showed that trout, carp, char, sardine, sprat, herring, salmon and Alaskan salmon were only slightly affected.

Mean values, which were also below the legal limits, included zander, cod, cod, mackerel, anchovies, plaice, gilthead sea bream, bream, halibut and seabass.

Excessively high levels of mercury were found in tuna, snapper and especially butterfish. The butterfish was 677 micrograms per kilo - with a tolerated level of 1000 micrograms for high-fat fish.,

Seven out of 1751 samples exceeded the limits.

Mercury poisoning

Mercury poisoning occurs when mercury accumulates in the organism. This is exactly what happens with fish that are at the top of the food chain and with humans who consume these fish abundantly.

Excess mercury can cause malformations of fetuses, reduce nerve growth, and disrupt brain function. The consequences are disorders in learning and "dementia".

Too much mercury lowers the oxygen in the red blood cells, disturbs the heart rhythm and raises blood pressure. The risk of having a heart attack increases, in addition to disorders of the immune system, which in turn promote allergies, asthma and the chronic fatigue syndrome.

also increases the risk of autoimmune diseases, and those affected are more susceptible to viruses, bacteria and fungi.

respiratory distress also favors a mercury poisoning. Bowel problems and energy loss are among the leading symptoms. Too much mercury also damages the stomach and intestinal mucosa. In particular, mercury changes the bacteria in the intestinal fauna.

mercury is considered to be the third most harmful substance according to the three criteria of frequency, contact with humans and toxicity - after arsenic and lead.

However, the extent of poisoning depends on how much mercury we get into, what state it is in, whether we consume it with food or breathe it in. When it accumulates in the body, outbreaks of poisoning can alternate with symptom-free times.

mercury breaks through the blood-brain barrier, causing toxins in the brain. Free oxygen radicals are formed, nerve cells die, dopamine balance collapses, and the brain no longer produces messenger substances to the necessary extent. In addition,

mercury damages the entire endocrine system, poisoning the kidneys and damaging the areas of the brain that organize the movements.

Mercury damages the pituitary gland, thyroid and thymus gland, it accumulates in the ovaries, testicles and prostate, leading to impotence and infertility. It lowers the number of sperm and triggers menstrual pain.

It damages the embryo in the womb and transfers rapidly across the placenta to the fetus.

mercury directly damages the DNA, blocking the RNA and preventing the genetic information from transferring to proteins.

Toxic mercury with far-reaching health consequences. Image: jarun011 - fotolia Toxic Mercury with far-reaching health consequences. Image: jarun011 - fotolia

The damage that mercury causes in the blood affects the fetus. The blood no longer supplies it adequately with oxygen, amino acids, glucose, magnesium, zinc and vitamin 12.

How does mercury get into the sea?

In the industrial age, the mercury content in the sea surface increased by 300%, and this is also reflected in the fish that live in this polluted water.

University of Michigan scientists compared mercury levels of yellowfin tuna from the Hawaiian waters of 1971, 1998 and 2008. It is found in cans, as sushi and as steaks in the freezer.

Since 1998, mercury levels of tuna have been rising steadily by about 3.8% per year. The study thus proved, in particular, that even fish of the open sea increased mercury concentration. Among other things,

mercury is released into the atmosphere by burnt coal. Even natural waters absorb the substance through the air.

As early as 1976, the Canadian Medical Association published a report claiming that Canadian Inuit people often suffered from mercury poisoning, that is, people who ate more than a pound of fish every day.

Mercury contaminated fish

Most studies agree on which fish species have the highest mercury levels, but only as a rough guideline, because there are large differences between species from population to population.

The highest levels of mercury include: Grouper, Marlin, Atlantic Saber, Torpedo, King Macaque, Great Sharks, Big Tuna, Swordfish and Marlin.

High values ​​include: leopardfish, halibut, sea trout, bluefish and bluefin tuna.

Low values ​​include carp, mahi mahi, herring, monkfish, perch, most skate, cod and pacific tuna.

The lowest values ​​are anchovy, redfish, saithe, catfish, flounder, sole, haddock, salmon, sturgeon( including caviar), sardines and lake trout.


fish suffer from many diseases that are dangerous for humans. Most pathogens die by heating, so that cooked, roasted or grilled fish pose a low risk. The situation is different with sushi, which is getting more and more into the stomach outside of Japan.

1) Salomonella

Nearby coasts, which are also weakened by sewage, often show high concentrations of bacteria that cause salmonellosis.

2) Parasites

Various parasites, especially roundworms, thrive in fish. In the human body they lead to cramps in the stomach and vomiting. These nematodes spread through living larvae in the fish body, which also nest in the intestine of humans.

When the fish is heated, the worms die.

Threatened Indulgence

The global stocks of many fish species are collapsing. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that the PH value in seawater shifts due to emitted CO2 - the oceans acidify.

plastic waste contaminates the oceans. Turtles die because they hold and eat plastic bags for jellyfish;even on remote islands, the beaches are littered with plastic.

edible fish eat plastic parts with plankton, and we pick up this plastic when we eat the fish.

overfishing brings diverse species to the verge of extinction. Factory ships with huge trawls destroy the entire ocean floor, they tear everything with them and leave an ecological fiasco - as if one were to tear out a forest with its roots and then search out the deer.

Approximately 23 to 73 million sharks are killed each year, according to the organization Sharklife - and only for shark fin soup, the Chinese appreciate. The fishermen usually cut off the animals' fins alive and then throw the animals back into the sea. Add to this the 100 million sharks that end up as by-catch in the fishing nets, with them sea turtles, dolphins, whales and seals.

85% of fish stocks are overfished today, 40% of catch is bycatch, and in trawl nets this is up to 90%.

Aquacultures usually do not reduce the problem, but reinforce it, because the farmed fish are fed with fishmeal and fish oil.

aquaculture operators often kill sea lions, dolphins and other fish eaters.

Sustainable Consumption

Those who want to eat fish without promoting the destruction of marine fauna should pay attention to sustainability.

Sustainable Consumption pays attention to the following:

1) How threatened is the fish species, and the corresponding population?

2) How gentle are the fishing methods? Trawls are NO-GO.Special fishing rods that target only the target species are more suitable.

3) Ecologically sound aquaculture can be an alternative. Are aquacultures damaging ecosystems, such as mangrove forests?

Biosiegel for fish

Certified organic labels help in the decision in the supermarket. The Marine Stewardship Council( MSC), Bioland and Naturland for aquaculture and also followfish pay attention to sustainability.

Greenpeace and the WWF offer free shopping guides, which come to somewhat different results. The criteria of Greenpeace are in fact more stringent than those of the WWF.

Greenpeace creates eleven negative criteria. If one of them is true, it means: Stay away. These include not only the size of the stock, but also catch in sensitive ecosystems, destructive fishing methods such as trawls and high bycatch. Therefore Greenpeace only recommends trout, herring, carp, mackerel and walleye.

Minor threats include herring from the Northeastern Atlantic, cod from the eastern Baltic, salmon from the American Pacific, mackerel from the North Atlantic, anchovy from the Biscay, salmon from the northeastern Arctic, tilapia from Honduran cultures, Indonesia, USAand Europe, Bonito from the Maldives.

Still okay, but second choice are NW Pacific Alaska salmon, Northern Europe trout, Norway halibut and Northeast Arctic halibut, Baltic herring, Baltic cod, Norway and Baltic Sea, salmon from Iceland, Norway and Scotland, Anchovies from Spain and the Western Atlantic, Mediterranean and Northeast Atlantic sardines, Haddock from the Arctic, Norway and the North Sea, Bonito from the Western Pacific and European Zander.

should refrain from European eel, spiny dogfish( especially Schillerlocken), trout and salmon from Chile, orange roughy, all other sharks and rays, halibut from the North Atlantic, cod from the Atlantic Ocean, mackerel from the eastern central Atlantic, blueMarlin, swordfish, redfish, plaice from the Northeast Atlantic, monkfish from the North Atlantic Ocean, plaice from the Mediterranean, red snapper, red tuna, bluefin tuna, victoria and zander from Eastern Europe.

Aquaculture - An alternative?

aquacultures were celebrated as a "blue revolution".Not only can it be used to produce fish in large quantities, also conservationists saw aqua farms positively, in order to limit the depletion in the oceans.

Aquaculture as an alternative? Image: radzonimo - fotolia aquaculture as an alternative? Image: radzonimo - fotolia

However, much of this aquaculture is just as much an ecological catastrophe as palm oil plantations in ruined rainforests. The mangrove belt of South Asia was relatively spared from the devastation of other ecosystems such as savannah or dry forest before the "Blue Revolution", because the brackish water zone could not be used industrially.

With aquaculture for shrimp farming, this changed rapidly - more and more mangrove forests were turned into shrimp farms.

aquaculture today already comprises one third of the fish consumed. Especially carp, catfish, trout and tilapia perch are bred here, more and more often also tuna, sea bream and sea bass. Cod, sole and sturgeon are also expected to come from farms in the future.

Except carp and catfish are predators. They need fish as food, so one kilo of farmed salmon devours five kilos of forage.

In non-sustainable aquacultures, faeces and farmed fish contaminate the surrounding waters in lakes, rivers and oceans.

If the fishmeal for the fish feed comes from wild catches, then an aquaculture fish consumes several times its weight in wild fish.

Horrible, for example, are the breeding companies for Pangasius catfish in Vietnam: Up to 80 fish in one cubic meter of water to ensure that the animals can not move. Because they are constantly injured, they are stuffed with up to 50 antibiotics, pesticides prevent algae growth. Chile's

Salmon Farms are also contaminated with medicines: Marine Harvest's 2007 annual report found that for every ton of salmon in Norwegian breeds, 0.02 grams of antibiotics were used, compared to 732 grams in Chile, or 36,000 times as much. In 2008 salmon farms in Chile consumed 325 tonnes of medicines, Norway only one ton.40% of antibiotics are also banned in the US.

Ecologically harmless are aquacultures for herbivores that feed on organic waste. In Europe carp are common, in Asia grass carp and various catfish. These even live in rice fields and provide a kind of permaculture. Their feces are used as fertilizers for aquatic plants, which in turn eat the fish.

Organic companies use only fishmeal as the remains of the fishing industry.60 fish farms in the Naturland chain only allow for fish weighing ten kilos per cubic meter of water.

Naturland produces carp, trout, salmon and catfish, all of which carry the Naturland seal, but are also more expensive than conventional ones.

"Support your local dealer"

Anyone who likes fish on the menu should ask themselves if it is necessarily exotic animals caught in questionable conditions. Carps, trout or walleye from local fishponds are harmless.

Traditional fish farming areas such as the pond landscapes of the Lusatia or the Meißendorfer ponds near Winsen / Aller are today hotspots of endangered species such as the otter, the white-tailed eagle or the red-bellied toad.

Fish are part of the ecosystem, and fish farming keeps this ecosystem alive.(Dr. Utz Anhalt)

fish on the table - healthy, endangered or poisonous?
fish contains important nutrients, vitamins and fats, and many who want to eat healthier foods are increasingly replacing red meat with fish dishes. Consuming it indiscriminately is neither sustainable nor healthy.


doi: 10.1002 / etc.2883)

http: // healthy-nutritional / must-eat-fish-

https: // fishing

http: // study-mercury-kalberlahjennrich-20150526.pdf

http: // know-actual-18522-2015-02-03.html

http: // becoming active / becoming-for-everyday / reasonable-shopping / shopping-guide-fish /

http: // user_upload /news/ Rote_Liste__Suesswasserfische_230909.pdf

Marine Stewardship Council( MSC)


World Conservation Union IUCN /lateinamerika/chile/ chile-fish-salmon-farms-environmental-consequences-privatization-of-the-sea-19093.html

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