One serving twice a week, including fatty fish (sardines, mackerel, herring, salmon). This is what the PNNS recommends. Knowing that one serving equals 100g, a small salmon steak or a can of sardines.
To do what?
“Fish (…) provides high quality proteins in addition to iron”, specifies the PNNS. It is also a source of phosphorus, iodine, zinc, copper, selenium and fluorine, but also of vitamins A, D, E essential for health.
Furthermore, fatty fish are rich in Omega-3s, the so-called “essential” fatty acids because the human body does not know how to synthesize them. “They particularly contribute to good cardiovascular, retinal, brain and nervous system health. “
If you stick to two servings a week, this equates to “300 to 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids every day,” which is the amount recommended by the World Health Organization.
Unfortunately, due to pollution, fish “can accumulate chemical contaminants by filtering seawater or feeding on other fish,” ANSES points out.
Among these substances we can mention “dioxins, PCBs or methylmercury, which in case of overexposure can have harmful effects on health”. It is fatty fish such as eels, as well as some bioaccumulating fish such as barbel, bream, carp or catfish that contain most of the PCBs and dioxins.
For methylmercury, wild predatory fish such as tuna, monkfish or sea bream are most affected.
The solution ? Pair one fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring) and another fish (cod, hake, cod, sole, etc.) during the week.
But also to vary the species and places of supply and to consume the eel only in exceptional cases. At the same time, this makes it possible to “mechanically distribute the pressure exerted on marine resources”, which are constantly depleting, as the WWF notes.
Also remember to “look for MSC, ASC or BIO labels that indicate that your fish comes from a responsible source, ie from a certified sustainable fishery or aquaculture”, specifies the WWF.
Specific recommendations for the fragile public
“During pregnancy and up to 3 years of age, the baby’s brain is particularly vulnerable to the toxic action of chemical contaminants and in particular methylmercury and PCBs”, ANSES points out. For this reason it is recommended to limit the consumption of wild predatory fish (monkfish, sea bass, bonito, emperor, pomegranate, halibut, pike, sea bream, ray, scabbard, tuna, etc.); avoid the consumption of swordfish, marlin, siki, shark and lamprey; to limit the consumption of freshwater fish, such as eels, barbels, bream, carp, catfish.