,Tilapia belongs to the cichlid fish family, together with almost 100 other species. This type of fish lives in fresh waters, such as ponds, lakes or rivers. This fish is mainly cultivated in aquaculture. Doctors and nutritionists advise eating fish at least two times a week, to provide plenty of proteins and essential fatty acids valuable for the health of our body. Since many people can’t afford tuna, mackerel or some other more expensive fish, catfish and Tilapia have become very popular.
Tilapia is a valuable source of animal proteins, necessary for the maintaining and building of human body. It also contains plenty of omega essential acids, such as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, both of which are proven to lower the cholesterol in the blood.
Potential Health Problems with Tilapia
The reason for concern is the amount of omega 6 essential fatty acid present in Tilapia. Scientists established the fact that this type of fish contains much more omega 6 than omega 3 essential fatty acids, which can negatively affect your health.
Tilapia is one of the fish types that can be grown on aqua-farms, because it grows very fast. Excess mass production of Tilapia made aqua-farmers go for corn based fish food to feed the growing Tilapia. This type of food is very rich in omega 6 fatty acids and the fish fed with this food also contain plenty of these substances. Omega 6 fatty acids have been associated with the risk for the normal functioning of the heart and present a potential health hazard, according to some recent studies.
Additionally, this type of fish has been discovered to contain traces of arachidonic acid, also a substance you don’t want to have in your body. Combined, these two acids, omega 6 fatty and arachidonic acid can be responsible for the inflammatory reaction in your body. If that affects the heart, you may develop arteriosclerosis, hypertension (high blood pressure) or some other heart condition. For people already experiencing hearts problems, this can be a real problem. Inflammation in the body, caused by arachidonic and omega 6 fatty acids can also worsen your asthma or arthritis, or provoke an allergic reaction.
Some scientists even claim that eating Tilapia can damage your body more than if you have eaten doughnuts or hamburgers.
To be fair, there are other studies, saying completely different things about this fish and stating that it is safe and healthy to eat. There is no way to know which of the studies is right until some further research is done. Because of that, doctors advise caution in Tilapia consumtion.