Fat Content in Fish

Fish Oils

Polyunsaturated fish oils have always had a stellar reputation but now, three new studies show the omega-3 fats in fish oil protected people from sudden death. (In "sudden cardiac death", which causes half of all heart disease deaths, the heartbeat goes awry and then stops. Most victims have clogged arteries). Healthy men who had more omega-3 fats in their blood were less likely to die of sudden death.

Fresh salmon for Fat Content in Fish

Fish and Shellfish Fat

Most fish are lower in saturated fat than meat. Some fish, such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids that are being studied to determine if they offer protection against heart disease.

The American Heart Association now recommends at least two servings per week, preferably of fatty fish. The ADA recommends eating non-fried fish 2 or 3 times a week. At higher doses, omega-3 fats may also protect the heart by lowering triglyceride levels and preventing blood clots.

Total Fat in 3-1/2 ounces of Fish - Shellfish


  • Bass: 2.4 grams lean
  • Bluefish: 6.5 grams lean
  • Butterfish: 8.5 grams fat
  • Cod: 4.6 grams lean
  • Flounder: 3.9 grams lean
  • Grouper: 2.8 grams lean
  • Haddock: 4.9 grams lean
  • Hake: 5.2 grams lean
  • Halibut: 4.3 grams lean
  • Herring: 9.0 grams fat
  • Mackerel: 13.8 grams fat
  • Mullet: 3.0 grams lean
  • Ocean Perch: 2.8 grams lean
  • Pollack: 4.2 grams lean
  • Pompano: 9.5 grams fat
  • Porgie: 10.4 grams fat
  • Red Snapper: 4.5 grams lean
  • Salmon: 8.6 grams fat
  • Shark: 1.9 grams lean
  • Sole: 3.3 grams lean
  • Striped Bass: 8.3 grams lean
  • Swordfish: 2.2 grams lean
  • Tuna (bluefish): 6.5 grams lean
  • Crab: 1.3 grams lean
  • Shrimp: 1.1 grams lean
  • Oyster: 2.4 grams lean

Fish and shellfish are important parts of a healthy and balanced diet. They are good sources of high quality protein and other nutrients. However, depending on the amount and type of fish you consume it may be prudent to modify your diet if you are: planning to become pregnant; pregnant; nursing; or a young child. With a few simple adjustments, you can continue to enjoy these foods in a manner that is healthy and beneficial and reduce your unborn or young child's exposure to the harmful effects of mercury at the same time.

NOTE: The Food & Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have issued a joint consumer advisory about mercury in fish and shellfish. This advice is for women who might become pregnant; women who are pregnant; nursing mothers; and young children. Your fish and shellfish consumption should be limited to no more than 12 ounces per week.

Fish with highest mercury levels


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