Is tilapia worse for you than bacon?

When you chose to eat healthier, fish comes on the menu. In general, fish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2. Eating it will lower your risk of heart disease and increase the health of your brain. It also helps fight depression. When you think of fish, you put salmon or tuna on your shopping list or choose haddock or cod at a restaurant. Not all fish contains the same nutrients. In fact, some like tilapia have a reputation for being bad for your health.

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Misinformation or a lack of evidence?

The good news is that a lot of what you’ve read about tilapia is not right. There’s a rumour that tilapia raised on farms and fed with GMO foods like corn and soybeans is dangerous for your health. There’s no evidence of that. We know that tilapia is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, but it contains a tenth of the amount found in wild salmon. It’s omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is higher than other fish, which some people believe cause inflammation. Some health experts warn that it can lead to heart disease if eaten too often, but there’s little evidence to support this.

The good stuff

This fish is an excellent source of protein. Each 100 grams packs 26 grams of protein and only 128 calories. Each tilapia serving is packed with vitamins and minerals, including niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium and potassium. This is a lean source of protein that’s full of minerals and vitamins.

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Farmed tilapia

Much of the stuff you find in supermarkets is farm-raised. Does that mean you should avoid it? Not necessarily. This is a popular fish to farm as it’s incredibly hardy and is easy to raise under a controlled environment. The only issue with tilapia’s hardiness comes if they escape the farms and enter nature as they take over and devastate local fish populations. Of course, as with any farmed animal, the best farms with the best conditions for the animals produce the highest quality fish.


A lot of tilapia is farmed in China. Although there’s nothing wrong with the fish produced in that country, experts believe the more environmentally friendly conditions the fish experience in Peru and Ecuador means fish from those nations should be your first choice. Anything farmed in a recirculating aquaculture system in the U.S is also an eco-friendly option.

This low-calorie source of protein

There doesn’t seem to be much of a difference in taste between farm-raised and wild tilapia but chose wild fish to be better for the environment. This is an inexpensive fish that’s a lean source of protein. It’s high in vitamins and minerals, but it’s not as good for you as wild salmon or trout. And no, it’s not worse for you than bacon.

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