Choosing the Best Fish for your Plate

We know that fish is good for us, but how can we find the healthiest, freshest fish?

Firstly, here are three good reasons include more fish and seafood into your diet:

Fish has high quality protein that is easy to digest
Fish is rich in Omega 3 anti-inflammatory fatty acids
Fish and seafood in general is rich in zinc, selenium, iodine and vitamins A and D
Knowing all these benefits is great, but there are also things to be aware of when choosing your fish. Depending on the environment that the fish came from it could be high in heavy metals such as mercury. generally the larger the fish the more polluted it can be. The fish that we choose directly affects the health of our oceans as fish stocks can be heavily abused. There are also a lot of farmed fish available, which can be very polluted. When purchasing fish we need to keep these things in mind.

Preferably the fish we purchase would be:

  • Wild, not farmed
  • Sustainable
  • Small to medium size rather than large
  • unprocessed and whole

Finding a tested fish monger in your local fresh food market is the first step. They will be able to guide you toward whats sustainable. Generally Australia’s best wild fish are Goldband Snapper, Dusky Flathead, Australian Salmon or King George Whiting. You want to eat less Tuna, Burramundi Blue-eye Travella and Tiger Flathead.

You can download free Australia Sustainable Seafood Guide as an App by here .

Here are some other useful tips to consider when choosing your fish:

  • While choosing the fish pay attention to smell. Ideally, a fresh, clear and mild smell at the gills will assure you that fish is fresh; a strong or slightly acidic rancid smell is an indication of an old fish.
  • Visually you are looking for the following: The fish skin should have very bright and shiny colour, with the scales sitting firmly in the skin. Old fish skin is dry and cloudy and the scales easily fall out.
  • When fresh the fishes’ eyes should protrude and be brilliantly clear. Not so fresh fish have foggy eyes and old fish has dull and milky eyes.
  • The gills of a fresh fish show dark red color. After a few days the gills go light red in color
  • In filleted fish, look for bright, fresh looking meat with a blushing color and translucent shininess.
  • If you press your finger into the meat and then you remove it, it should not leave the mark on the meat. Old fish will have a cloudy and grayish or yellowish discolored appearance.

I hope this information helps you next time you are shopping for fish!