Bacon Is Healthier Than Talapia?
Tilapia worse for you than bacon? Give me a break!
photo by Rich Kaszeta
Perhaps you caught the recent headlines: Bacon is better for you than tilapia!Â I said HUH?Â How can that be?Â
Â fromÂ kelpieÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Please tell me it's NOT true!
Once again the media is playing yo-yo with the facts and grabbing a sensational and misleading and incomplete fact.Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina recently statedÂ that "the inflammatory potential of hamburger or pork bacon is lower than the average serving of farmed tilapia."Â True or not it has been all over the media and internet in a flurry of debates.The researchersÂ in actuality were saying not all fish is equal.Â Â The American Heart Association's broad recommendation to eat more fish in order to reduce risk of heart disease mayÂ need some refinement and proper explanations and guidelines as to which fish and whether farmed or wild is the healthiest choice.
I do know white fish has less fats than say salmon.Â We hearÂ fish isÂ a good source of omega-3 fats, which are anti-inflammatory and are consideredÂ beneficial in having a healthyÂ heart to ward off heart disease.Â
The researchers stated that all fish is not equal andÂ both the omega-3 and omega-6 content of fish must be evaluated. Â Now here is the red flag - Â For those who suffer from arthritis, asthma and other illnesses or allergies need to consider high omega-6 fatty acids which cause inflammation.Â This inflammation is thought to damage blood vessels and vital organ tissue, according to the findings, published in last month's Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
Â Fish such as salmon and farmed trout, are very rich in omega-3, while tuna, grouper, and snapper, contain much less.Â
Â What isÂ especially important is the difference in farm raised and wild caught fish.Â Farmed catfish, tilapia, and salmon have very high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, including a particularly inflammatory omega-6 called arachidonic acid. It is thought this is likely due to the vegetable-oil enriched diet fed to farmed fish. Tuna, farmed tilapia and catfish contain far omega-6 than omega 3 acids.Â What it comes down to is know yourfish.The headline was a double huh?huh? moment,Â as bacon is loaded with fat and sodium, and usually contains nitrites and orÂ nitrates which are thought to be carcinogenic.Â Of course Canadian and English bacon are a leaner bacon choice.Omega-6 fatty acids are essential to our bodies and must be obtained through diet because the body doesnât produce it.Now this will get your attention Â âtilapia contains more omega-6 fatty acid than is found in doughnuts, pork bacon or hamburgers made with 80-per-cent lean ground beef, according to a new study. â But consuming too much omega-6 can contribute to cancer, asthma, depression and heart disease, among other ailments.âExcessive consumption of omega-6 is common in many Western diets, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
By contrast, omega-3 fatty acids are considered good for health because they help to lower the levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein), also known as "bad" cholesterol, in the blood.
Tilapia, a lean white fish with a mild taste (I think boring), is the second-most cultivated fish in the world, after carp.
China is the world's leading producer of tilapia, and in the USA Florida commercially raises a lot of tilapia.Â It has gained widespread recognition as a âhealthy inexpensive fish.âÂ I donât care for it, also Basa which is usually from Vietnam is another fish I wonât buy.Â The latter due to fishing practices in Vietnam-just like China where huge amounts of antibiotics are given to the crowded fish to ward off infections.Â No thanks, I will continue to buy wild caught fish such as sand dabs, pomfret, and sole.
"For individuals who are eating fish as a method to control inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, it is clear from these numbers that tilapia is not a good choice," according to the study, conducted by researchers from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina.
Wild caught Alaskan Salmon