Tilapia Worse than Bacon?
Question: Is it true that Tilapia is worse than Bacon?
When I received this question, the first thing that came to mind was maybe there are some harmful chemicals in the fish feed or pesticides in the water that make tilapia even worse than bacon (an item ranked way down on the ‘healthy food’ list). I surmised, what goes into tilapia, goes into you, too.
So I did a little research and asked a tilapia farm owner from Talisay, Batangas what they feed their fish. I learned that commercial fish feed is composed mainly of grains such as soybean meal, rice, corn, and wheat. Protein is supplied by fishmeal, which comes from leftover bones and heads of other fish. Vitamins and minerals are also added to the fish pellets. I did not find any suspicious ingredients such as chemical additives
and preservatives, hormones, or ‘carcinogenic-sounding compounds’ in the fish feed.
Later, I came across a recent study done at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine by Dr. Chilton and colleagues, saying that farmed-raised tilapia contains a potentially dangerous combination of fatty acids. They found that tilapia contain very low levels of the good omega-3 fatty acids, and high levels of the unfavorable omega-6 fatty acids. Tilapia contained only less than a gram of omega-3 fatty acid per 100g fish, compared to 3-4 grams in salmon and trout. Tilapia has higher levels of potentially detrimental omega-6 fatty acids than 80 precent lean hamburger and even pork bacon, the article says.
The study suggested that tilapia convert the high levels of omega-6 acids from the corn meal into arachidonic acid and store this in their tissues. When we eat tilapia, it is the arachidonic acid (a kind of fat) that causes inflammation and may worsen inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, asthma, arthritis, diabetes mellitus, and even cancer. “All other nutritional content aside, the inflammatory potential of hamburger and pork bacon is lower than the average serving of farmed tilapia”, Dr. Chilton remarked.
So now we know, it was the inflammatory effect that prompted Dr. Chilton to say that eating tilapia is worse than eating bacon or a hamburger.
Now, let’s compare tilapia and bacon, and consider the rest of their nutritional content.
Tilapia is also an excellent source of Phosphorus (204mg), Niacin (4.74mg), Selenium (54.40mcg), and Vitamin B12 (1.86mcg), and a good source of Potassium (380.00mg). Bacon on the other hand, contains more than 1000mg of sodium, 166mg of cholesterol, and enough possible carcinogenic nitrites to make pregnant women think twice! Also note how little protein and how much fat a serving of bacon contains.
Tilapia is not necessarily worse just because it contains less omega-3 than salmon and more omega-6 than bacon. It still has many nutritional benefits, and cannot be judged solely on its potential to cause inflammation. So after digesting Chilton’s ‘worse than bacon study’, my recommendations are:
- Don’t give up farmed tilapia completely. Continue to eat fish regularly, at least twice a week, and combine tilapia with omega-3-rich-fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel) for a more balanced mix of fats.
- Grill, Boil, or steam the tilapia instead of frying. This will help you cut down on total fat in the diet.
- If you choose to fry or sauté, use canola or olive oil (with monounsaturated fats that are heart healthy and recommended for diabetics). Or cook in coconut milk (e.g. ginataang tilapia) which contains Medium Chain Triglycerides MCTs (also with health benefits). Avoid margarine (which contains dangerous Trans fats).
- Even if the study tells us that bacon has less bad fats, it still has bad fats! So stay away from bacon and other processed high fat meat.
- Wait and see. Tilapia farmers are now thinking of revising their fishfeed to produce fish that are healthier to eat. A farm in Canada is hoping to produce omega-3-rich-pork. (I’m keeping my fingers crossed…)
- Stick to a healthy, balanced diet of unrefined carbohydrates, a rainbow of fruits & vegetables, low fat meat, poultry and fish, plus healthy oils…and you won’t go wrong.
- tilapia and diabetes
- tilapia worse than bacon
- is tilapia good for diabetics
- tilapia diabetes
- is tilapia healthy 2012
- tilapia for diabetics
- is tilapia good for you 2012
- is tilapia worse than bacon
- eating tilapia is worse than eating bacon
- eating tilapia worse than bacon
- tilapia diabetics
- diabetes tilapia
- is bacon bad for diabetics
- tilapia is worse than bacon
- medium chain triglycerides bad for diabetics
- truth about tilapia
- can diabetics eat tilapia
- talapia and diabetes
- ginataang tilapia calories
- tilapia for diabetic
- Top Fat Burner Food Available in the Philippines
You can lose weight by eating. Following are foods in the Philippines which can help people lose weight. Calamansi – Calamansi helps increase body metabolism for [...]
- Shrimp and High Blood Pressure
Shrimp is a type of sea food which is known to elevate cholesterol levels. A serving of 3.5 ounces of shrimp has approximately 200 mg [...]
- Calamansi for Weight Loss
Calamansi or golden lime is a small citrus fruit popular in the Philippines and primarily used as condiment. It is usually added to soy sauce [...]
- Herbal Cure for Gastrointestinal Bleeding
Gastrointestinal bleeding or the bleeding of the intestines can be caused by ulcers, varices, cancer, medications, polyps and haemorrhoids, among others. The common diagnostic test [...]
- Fitness Tips for the Holidays
"I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes..." Nowadays, you might actually find yourself singing along to the tune of this song; [...]
- Early Menopause linked to Heart Disease Risk
While many women may believe it a blessing to experience an early menopause (some in their mid- to late-forties, the average being 51), it can [...]
- Beating Stress with the Beat of Music
Imagine you've just had an incredibly bad day at school or work. On the way home, traffic's heavier than usual even if you've taken the [...]
- Virgin Coconut Oil good for Diabetics?
Question: "Is virgin coconut oil good for diabetics? Is it true that it can also prevent diabetes?" Answer: Dietary supplements abound in the market today, many [...]
- Losing Weight Prevents Diabetes
Would-be diabetics need not look further. Researchers at George Washington University in Rockville, Maryland proved weight loss, above exercise and dietary fat reduction is still [...]
- Eat Your Way to a Thinner Body
In dieting, more is really less. This simply means eating more of certain kinds of foods, which can help burn fat faster. Sound too good [...]