Fish and Meats
Eating fish on a regular basis is part of the healthy wholesome diet. However not all fish are the same. Even though fish is a healthy food, and great for Omega 3, many fish have high levels of mercury that is known to cause neurological problems, chromosomal problems, uncontrollable shaking or tremor, numbness or pain in certain parts of the skin. So, limiting fish intake in children’s diet is just as important as eating it.
Fish with high mercury levels:
Most warm water fish like king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, tilefish, ahi tuna, and bigeye tuna have high mercury levels.
Fish with low mercury levels:
Most cold-water fish like salmon, sardines, pollock, flounders, cod, tilapia, shrimp, oysters, clams, scallops and crab, all have low mercury levels.
Are breaded fish and fish sticks healthy?
The breaded fish found in most freezer sections are not as healthy as you might think. If you read the ingredients, you will notice that these products usually have a mix of many fish, including ones with high mercury content.
The second issue is the breaded part. The bread is usually white refined bleached flour and it can be high saturated fat, salt, and sugar.
Most frozen fish products like breaded fish, fish sticks, fish burgers may contain unhealthy ingredients like bleached and refined white flour, hydrogenated oils, white sugar etc.
Healthier fish alternative:
Choose fresh cuts over frozen and processed fish products
Choose cold water fish over warm water fish whenever possible
rBST and rBGH, Hormones:
Human population is increasing an exponential rate and to provide food for the humans, more and more hormones are injected in farm animals to keep up with the food demand. The two most commonly used hormones are rBST and rBGH, also called bovine hormones. These hormones are used to fatten the cattle for for more meat and also increases the milk supply. Studies have linked the use of these hormones in cattle to obesity and early puberty.
Antibiotics in cattle:
Do you know that more than 80% of antibiotics usage in the US is in the animal farming industry? Directly or indirectly this over- use of antibiotics is landing in our food and into our bodies from eating meats. The overuse of antibiotics in food-producing animals is being blamed for the increase in resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs.
The plumped chicken:
Do you know that approximately 15%-30% of the chicken you paid for by weight is actually salt water? The salt water is injected in chicken and many other meats so they look juicier and fresh.
The serving of salt water plumped chicken can contain between 200 mg and 500 mg of sodium per serving, which is far more than 25% of the USDA’s recommended daily sodium intake. High intake of sodium is known to cause heart diseases due to increase in extra water stored in body. This in turn leads to more strain on the heart, arteries, kidneys and brain. Excessive sodium is linked to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney diseases.
Sodium nitrates and nitrites in meats:
Hot dogs are one of the favorite food of today’s kids. They are also one of the biggest source of sodium nitrites in their diets. Sodium nitrite is essentially a salt and an anti-oxidant which is used to cure meats like hot dogs, ham and bacon. Sodium nitrite is used to block the growth of botulism causing bacteria and and prevents spoilage. The unique scent and flavor of cured meats is from sodium nitrite.
These foods are known to cause heart diseases by clogging up arteries and damaging liver and pancreas.
Healthier meat alternatives:
Pick fresh cuts over frozen or proceeded meats
Buy meats from a local antibiotic free farm
Local butchers are a reliable source of fresher meats