10 Best Fatty Fish to Eat in India (By Experts)

Fatty Fish in India

Fatty fishes are synonymous with many health benefits such as lowering the risk of heart disease, improving cognitive ability, and even protection from cancer, mental problems, and autoimmune diseases.

On top of all, they are the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats that our bodies cannot produce and thus should be consumed from foods. History is evident that omega-3 is crucial for the healthy functioning of our bodies and hearts.

So with so many fishes out there, which are the top rich sources of omega3?

Perhaps you should tag along with the article and you will find more reasons to include fishes in your diet.

What does Fatty Fish Means?

Though the name might sound unappealing, fatty fishes are great — like a really great source of omega 3 fats. You might be knowing that these fats are essential for our bodies functioning and growth as well as overall health.

Moreover, they are loaded with good fats that are a staple of diet — especially heart-healthy diets. Fatty fish or also called Oily fish is an excellent source of EPA and DHA that are the two of the three most important omega-3s. Unlike bad fats from other sources of meat — fatty fishes are packed with good fats.

They are also known to offer a ton of health benefits for your heart, mind, lungs, and circulation. A high intake of these oily fishes can lower some types of fat in your body and even slow down the process of plaque buildup in your arteries.

However, buying a fish that is both healthy for you and the ocean can prove to be challenging. The most important thing you should look for in fish is obviously high traces of omega 3, low amount of mercury, and produced in a healthy environment.

So the ones we have mentioned in this article meets the bar for all the measures. These are segregated in terms of better omega3, low in contaminants, and produced in a manner that is healthy for the environment.

How Does Fatty Fishes Help?

Fatty Fishes Help

There are a plethora of health benefits accompanied by omega3 and thus in turn by fatty fishes. Omega3 fats have been known for lowering the levels of Triglyceride that is a type of fat in our bloodstreams.

They have shown to reduce inflammation and even lower the risk of cancer, arthritis, and heart disease.

Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular Diseases

One of the most prominent benefits of consuming fatty fish is that it protects our body from potential cardiovascular disease. Oily fishes are known to lower the chances of stroke and heart attacks, even during mental stress fatty fish oils can protect the heart.

Arthritis

Arthritis

Many studies have shown that a daily intake of 0.2 grams of omega-3 can reduce the risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA by 52%. Moreover, it is also believed that it can even protect against and forestall the future development of RA.

High in Nutrients

High in Nutrients

Oily fishes are high in vital nutrients such as protein and vitamin D. As a matter of fact, these fishes are amongst the few natural sources providing vitamin D that is mostly derived from the sun.

Dementia

Dementia

For the people who cannot leave alcohol, fish oil can provide protection from dementia. According to some studies, brain cells that were exposed to alcohol and omega-3 has around 95% less neuronal death and neuroinflammation, compared to those who were only exposed to alcohol.

Brain Health

Brain Health

Adequate consumption of fatty fish can protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease as it slows down the declination of cognition. They promote healthier brain cells and reduces the deterioration of the brain. People consuming oily fishes have more grey matter in their brain than others.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune Diseases

Fatty fishes are known to lower the risk of autoimmune disease. For those who don’t know, autoimmune disease is where your body starts to attack healthy cells considering them as a foreign element. Fatty fishes help to reduce the risk of developing such diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and  MS (Multiple Sclerosis).

Skin and Mouth Cancer

Skin and Mouth Cancer

Consuming fatty fish may protect against oral and skin cancers. Omega 3 fats derived from oily fish targets and inhibits the development of malignant as well as pre-malignant cells, so that they do not affect the normal cells.

That’s only a hit of something larger, there are many more benefits of omega-3 for our bodies like improved vision, sensory and cognitive development, asthma, breast and prostate cancer, etc.

Since our bodies cannot produce omega3 fatty acids, it becomes imperative to get them from the food to eat, and the best possible source is high fatty fishes. So let’s look at the top fatty fishes in India.

Top 10 Fatty Fish in India

Practically speaking seafood is the best source of omega 3, plus there are a lot of options when it comes to fatty fishes in India. With that being said, given the multiple options that are low in omega-3, which ones are the best in India?

Here are the 10 best seafood or fatty fishes in India.

Indian Mackerel

Indian Mackerel

One of the staple fishes of India is Indian Mackerel which is popularly known as Bangda in India. This oily fish is one of the best sources of protein and omega-3. What’s more, they are less in mercury content, at least way less than Kingfish. Besides that, they are easy to prepare and come under the delicacy of India.

Omega-3 per 100g Protein per 100g
2646mg 17g

Since it is low in mercury and rich in omega-3, it can be consumed by anyone. Moreover, it is reasonably priced so that’s a plus.

Indian Salmon

Indian Salmon

Salmon or also referred to as Rawas in India, is the most common culinary fish and smoked salmon, sushi, salmon steak, and sashimi are some of the most popular options. This pink to orange flesh fish is rich in omega-3 content and contains multiple vitamins like vitamin A and D.

Omega-3 per 100g Protein per 100g
2586mg 26g

Salmon is an excellent source of astaxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin that are some healthy carotenoids. This oily fish has oil all over the body and even in the bell cavity. It is also considered to be low in mercury.

Herring

Herring

One of the most famous and sought after foods in India is Herring otherwise known as Ilish or Hilsa herring and in Marathi Pala. It is considered to be one of the most nutritious fish as it offers a ton of healthy fats, essential nutrients, and protein.

Omega-3 per 100g Protein per 100g
2217mg 23g

Ilish is the national fish of Bangladesh and it is also very much popular over there. In addition to this, herring is also popular all over South Asia. Not only that it also has the lowest mercury content, so they are safe to consume.

Kippers

Kippers

Since we were talking about herring how can we miss Kippers, though they look a bit different and unique they are just herring prepared in a certain way. Which includes cold-smoked kippers.

Omega-3 per 100g Protein per 100g
2365mg 24.5g

When it comes to nutrition you can see they are relatively similar to herring and thus are an excellent source of omega3.

Fish Roe

Fish Roe

Though technically it’s not a fish, it is an excellent fish product that is rich in omega3 and so we had to mention it in our list of seafood. However, the nutritional value of fish roe or eggs can vary depending on the type of fish.

Omega-3 per 100g Protein per 100g
3120mg 29g

Roes are a great source of protein as well so you can consider having them for breakfast if you are looking for some mass gain. They are generally available in the month of monsoon which is the breeding time of fishes.

Carpo Fish

Carpo Fish

Carpo fish is also known as Rohu or Roho and is widely popular in central as well as northern India. It’s an oily fish and thus is rich in omega 3 but it is consumed mostly for meat.

Omega-3 per 100g Protein per 100g
1083mg 17g

Carpo fish is a freshwater fish and belongs to the Carp family. This fish is easily available in Indian and is affordable too. On the contrary, it has moderate mercury levels so make sure you are eating it once to twice a week.

Tuna

Tuna

Tuna is an excellent dietary source of omega-3, however, they are available in a variety of species that have almost the same nutritional value. The fish is widely popular all over the globe for its essential nutrients and omega 3 fats.

Omega-3 per 100g Protein per 100g
1710mg 28g

Besides, tuna is loaded with vitamin B12. Tuna also holds a special place of fame in Japanese cuisine. It has a bit of mercury content so it is not recommended to eat more than once to twice a week.

Pomfret

Pomfret

This fish is addressed by many names like Indian butterfish and Paplet, but it is enjoyed a lot in India. This fish is widely found in South Asia and in the Indian ocean, it is highly palatable and delicious to consume.

Omega-3 per 100g Protein per 100g
1230mg 18g

You see pomfret provides a fair share of protein and omega3 fats, also it is low in mercury so you can consume three to four times a week. Howbeit, as it tastes good, it comes at a higher cost.

Sardines

Sardines

Sardines might be small but don’t underestimate them, they are highly nutritious. The main reason for this is as we eat whole sardines we also consume the organ meat that adds in the extra nutrients.

Omega-3 per 100g Protein per 100g
1692mg 25g

Sardines are not only rich in omega3 but also in protein, they are an excellent option to keep your protein intake intact if you are on a fat-burning diet. That said, these nutritious oily fishes are available in both fresh and canned forms.

Trout

Trout

Last but not least is the well-known trout that has orange flesh and resembles just like salmon. Similar to tuna, trouts are also available in a wide range of varieties.

Omega-3 per 100g Protein per 100g
1370mg 20g

Moreover, trouts are packed with niacin and vitamin B12 as well as a decent amount of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Trouts are exported from the U.S to India and are widely used in many dishes. It tastes mild and is a freshwater fish with low mercury content.

So these are the top omega3 rich or fatty fishes in India, if somehow you are not clear with the omega3 ratings and mercury content, let us help you with that, in the form of a table below.

Omega-3 Ranking and Mercury Content

Here we have summarized the amount of omega 3 fats per 100 grams as well as added the mercury content so that you can have a clear idea. They are ranked from the highest omega 3 content to lowest.

Rank Fish Name Omega-3 Per 100 Grams Mercury Content
1 Fish Roe 3120mg Less than 0.09 ppm
2 Indian Mackerel 2646mg 0.05 ppm
3 Indian Salmon 2586mg Less than 0.09 ppm
4 Kippers 2365mg Less than 0.09 ppm
5 Herring 2217mg 0.01 ppm
6 Tuna 1710mg 0.012 ppm
7 Sardines 1692mg 0.013 ppm
8 Trout 1370mg 0.07 ppm
9 Pomfret 1230mg Less than 0.09 ppm
10 Carpo Fish 1083mg 0.09 to 0.25 ppm

There is a Catch — Try to Avoid Mercury

 Avoid Mercury

Now, mercury is a naturally occurring element and can be found in almost every single fishes. The levels might differ according to the species and age, for instance, you will find high mercury levels in predatory, older, larger fishes.

Some fishes may even contain different contaminants like PCBs or Polychlorinated Biphenyls, dioxins, and other environmentally damaging chemicals. That doesn’t mean that you toss out all the fish and fish oils, as our bodies cannot produce omega-3, seafood is an excellent source of one.

For adults, the benefits of consuming fish far outweigh the risks of mercury and thus you can consume as much fish as you wish and probably it will not have long term side effects. But like all other things in life, you should find some balance to level out the mercury. In other words, eat fish twice a week and increase or decrease the number according to the mercury intake.

However, having said that, mercury does have some negative effects on people depending on the stage of life.

For kids and infants as well as pregnant women, they should avoid eating fishes that have high mercury levels, as it can negatively affect the child’s growth. That said, you should not abstain from fishes, as they are the necessary source of protein and omega-3 during pregnancy.

Just make sure that you are consuming a maximum of 340 grams of low-level mercury fish a week.

Normal adults should have no problem-consuming fish, given that you are balancing out the mercury levels.

Wind-up

As you can see, it is relatively easy to gain omega-3 fatty acids from fishes, these healthy fats are essential for our body and since we cannot produce them they should be consumed from food sources.

Omega-3 fats provide a ton of health benefits, some of which you are already acquainted with so there is no problem to add them to your diet. Just make sure that small children and pregnant women are intaking the mentioned amount of mercury only.

Fishes are available in most of the diets whether it be to gain more weight or to lose some pounds, they are a great source of protein as well as other necessary nutrients.

Happy Eating!!

Sources:

https://www.doh.wa.gov/communityandenvironment/food/fish/healthbenefits

https://www.news-medical.net/health/Fatty-Fish-and-Type-II-Diabetes.aspx

https://health.usnews.com/wellness/slideshows/13-best-fish-high-in-omega-3sand-environment-friendly

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/fish-and-omega-3-fatty-acids

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190619111245.htm

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/food-news/10-healthiest-indian-fish-varieties-and-why-you-must-have-them/photostory/70315973.cms

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