Fish is one of the great proteins that bodybuilders and powerlifters use to add variety and taste to their diet. Just like a cow and a pig have different fat levels, so do all the different seafood.
With a huge variety from salmon, pike, mackerel, tuna, yellow Fin tuna, bass, trout…. they also have different levels of fat and micronutrients as well.
One thing they all have in common is mercury levels. Here’s how mercury levels work in the ocean. Fish that eat algae and aquatic plants have the least amount of mercury. Now take a Mackerel for instance. They eat the smaller fish, and in turn the amount of mercury in their body goes up tenfold. Then the blue tuna that eats the mackerel get another tenfold amount of mercury.
This is why eating fish near the bottom of the food chain is best for your health when eating a lot of seafood. Now let’s get back to their fat content.
A Couple of Key Points
- Farmed Fish is usually fattier
- Wild caught is generally better for your health
- Fish caught in deep ocean areas generally have less pollution problems compared to coastal areas
- Because of the Fukushima Plant explosion, you need to be even more careful about the fish you eat and where they come from.
The Fat in the Fish:
Although there are a lot of species of fish that have a high fat content, these aren’t going to be the same as the fat from a cow. Just like there are complex carbohydrates and simple carbs, there are different fats.
Omega-3 fatty acids(poly-unsaturated fat):
Let’s go over the types of fats to understand more about why fish fat is better for us than traditional sources. Omega-3 fatty acids are usually classified as EPA and DHA. These two in combination have been shown to have tons of large health effects that your typical saturated fat doesn’t have. The best effect shown is that fish oil can lower triglyceride levels by 25-30%. The FDA also states that fish oil has a qualified health claim to reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Saturated fat: Fish has some saturated fat, but not nearly as much as the Omega-3 fatty acids they contain. This type of fat has been given a bad rap recently, but it’s a necessary fat and for men it is needed to create testosterone.
- Monounsaturated fat: This type of fat is found in fish which is considered a good fat. Fish have a large amount of this in general. Some fish that are high in monounsaturated fats are mackerel, herring, and halibut.
Fish have a high protein to fat ratio which makes them great eating for bulking and for cutting. In fact, the Omega-3’s in fish have been shown to increase brain activity on top of its health effects.
For those not near a fresh source of fish:
Buying frozen fish is not a bad choice. It may not taste as good, but the nutrition factors will all still be there. Another option is canned fish. Although the canned tuna’s generally don’t taste as good, they still provide great benefits that can add variety and taste to your meals.
Alternative Fish Oils!
Buying fish fresh, frozen, or canned are generally your best bet when it comes to getting your omega-3’s from a low-fat source of protein. But sometimes, fish is just to expensive to buy to be affordable. In these cases, I recommend buying a fish oil supplement. These supplements can give you the EPA and DHA your body needs in order to keep it strong. It will keep your mind strong and your body functioning great. On top of this, it will regulate testosterone production so you are producing the perfect amount.
Bauer Nutrition’s Cod liver oil is a great choice. It has EPA, DHA, and a whole gram of fish oil per serving. What makes this supplement even better is it’s inclusion of Vitamin D. Fish oil helps Vitamin D absorption, so this one supplement can take care of both deficiencies that most Americans have.
When buying fish at the grocery store, consider these fish for bulking and dieting on low fat vs high fat diets
Low fat fish:
- Mahi mahi
High fat fish:
- Sea Bass
Now that you understand that all fish are not equal, make wise choices next time you are at the market! Remember that Fish fat is a healthy fat that can make you function better in daily life. Eating lots of Omega 3’s have many benefits, so add fish to your diet to get the best results!