You are here

The Healthiest Fish You Can Find

  • Shutterstock

    Seafood 101

    The 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommended that adults eat 8 ounces or more of seafood per week. Pregnant women should eat 8 to 12 ounces and refrain from eating tilefish, swordfish, shark, and king mackerel due to mercury and toxin levels. Seafood refers to any form of sea life that is considered edible for humans. Here Trinh Le, registered dietitian for MyFitnessPal, shares the best fish to add to your diet. And Damon Gordon, culinary director for King's Seafood, lends his tips for making delicious seafood-focused meals.

  • Shutterstock


    A typical serving of salmon provides 29 grams of protein per serving, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and the antioxidant selenium. Le suggests buying wild-caught salmon as it is higher in omega-3s than the farm-raised variety.

    Serving size: 4 ounces, cooked

    Try it: Simple prep is all you need. Gordon recommends seasoning with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a lemon slice then baking at 375°F for 7 to 9 minutes.

  • Shutterstock


    Whether tuna is eaten as a thick steak or as the budget-friendly canned kind, it makes a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fats. Because of toxin accumulation, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) caution against albacore tuna for pregnant women—canned light tuna is a better choice.

    Serving size: 3 ounces

    Try it: If you haven't done it already, it might be time to jump on the raw-fish bandwagon. Mix raw tuna with soy sauce, avocado, and sesame oil, and serve it with brown rice, says Gordon. Tip: Avoid lemon juice—it discolors the fish.

  • Shutterstock


    Oysters are one of the most zinc-rich foods on Earth—a 4-ounce serving provides more than seven times your daily requirement! Oysters are also high in iron and selenium, and they provide 28 grams of protein per serving.

    Serving size: 6 oysters or 5.3 ounces

    Try it: A simple, yet delicious way to serve oysters is shucked on a half shell with fresh lemon juice and hot sauce.

  • Shutterstock


    Before you pooh-pooh this bite-size fish, know that sardines are low in calories and high in healthy fats. When eaten bone-in, they also provide 22 percent of your daily value of calcium. Sardines can be found canned at the grocery store, making them a budget-friendly, convenient option.

    Serving size: 3 ounces, canned

    Try it: Grill sardines whole with olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary until they're lightly charred. Want a wine that pairs well? A glass of chilled sauvignon blanc should do the trick, says Gordon.

  • Shutterstock

    Rainbow Trout

    Rainbow trout is yet another fish that's high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to better brain health and reduced inflammation. Le recommends looking for farmed rainbow trout as it is a sustainable seafood choice.

    Serving size: 3 ounces, cooked

    Try it: Rainbow trout is best baked with salt, cayenne pepper, and lemon. Serve drizzled with a small amount of high-quality olive oil.

  • Shutterstock


    The American diet is already high in healthy omega-6 fatty acids, but too much of a good thing in this case can cause inflammation, says Le. It's better to even the playing field by eating more omega-3-rich food, like mackerel, to even out the ratio and keep those heart-healthy benefits coming.

    Serving size: 3 to 4 ounces, cooked

    Try it: Mackerel can be wonderful served raw, cut on the bias (à la sashimi) with soy sauce and wasabi. Gordon recommends nori seaweed as a side.

  • Shutterstock


    Shellfish like mussels, clams, and oysters are loaded with minerals and high in protein. Specifically, mussels are high in iron and selenium, which is also known to play a key role in metabolism.

    Serving size: 4 ounces, cooked

    Try it: Steam mussels with chopped shallots, garlic, thyme, and white wine until the shells open. Remove the mussels, but don't drain the liquid. Reduce the remaining liquid by half, then add olive oil, chopped chives, and tomatoes. Then pour sauce over mussels.

  • Shutterstock


    Shrimp is a realistic option as this shellfish is readily available in either fresh or frozen varieties in many grocery stores. Although high in protein, it's also high in dietary cholesterol. However, the 2015 dietary guidelines did remove the previous cap on dietary cholesterol, citing research that found it had little impact on blood cholesterol levels.

    Serving size: 3 ounces

    Try it: Sauté shrimp in olive oil and salt. Gordon recommends tossing in chopped garlic, spinach, and cooked whole-wheat spaghetti. Finish with lemon zest and chopped chives for a healthy pasta dinner.