These days, people are eating more and more fish and official statistics show that fish consumption across numerous species is rising year after year.
Besides nourishing our bodies with their delicious taste, eating fish also has many health benefits. Fish provide vitamin D, protein, and essential omega-3 fatty acids. A Harvard School of Public Health study has proven that eating fish at least once a week can reduce the risk of developing diabetes up to 40 percent. The American Heart Association also encourages people to consume fish at least twice a week to minimize the risk of heart disease.
Fish is highly desired in most if not all households. There is a wide variety of fish species to eat with each having a distinctive taste. Moreover, some are more nutritious than others. The fish people choose to eat depends on taste, nutritional value, cultural preference and availability since different species are available in different regions and markets. But what is the most popular fish to eat?
Of the countless quantities of fish eaten in the world, we have put together a list of the 7 most popular fish to eat in the USA. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
The Most Popular Fish to Eat in the USA
#7 – Catfish
This weird looking bottom dwelling fish is named for its distinct barbells which resemble those of a cat. Catfish are almost entirely blind and use their mouths to explore the underwater world.
The catfish has a very distinctive taste; sweet and moist with firm flesh.
The majority of the commercial catfish sold in the USA is farmed Channel Catfish and the per capita consumption in the USA is 0.51lbs per year.
#6 – Cod
The two most common species are the Pacific cod and Atlantic cod. Cod is popular for its mild flavor and dense white flesh. The livers are processed to make the cod liver oil which is very popular in the world. It is a source of healthy omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamin B-12.
The per capita consumption of Cod is 0.66 lbs every year. Scientists point out that Cod has a high sodium level and can be a potentially dangerous source of mercury in your diet.
Coming from the family Gadidae and genus Gadus, this big fish weighs about 11.5kg, but can reach up to 91kg. It is mostly consumed in Spain, Brazil, Italy, the UK, and Portugal.
#5 – Pangasius
Pangasius is a genus of catfish found in South East Asia. The continued global demand for this specific seafood has triggered a massive expansion of its farming, especially in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and China. The per capita consumption is 0.89 lbs per year.
Buyers have had to deal with the confusion of distinguishing the type of catfish from the other types of the market but Pangasius often goes by the name Basa or Bocourti. Pangasius is loaded with protein and has a low to moderate fat content.
#4 – Alaska Pollock
Alaska Pollock is popular for its mild taste, lower oil content, and white color. You might not recognize the name but you must have eaten Pollock fish at some point in your life.
It is a common meal in North America and is currently used for all McDonald’s fried Filet-O-Fish sandwiches.
It’s widely fished in the northern parts of the Pacific Ocean and it brings in a revenue worth $2 billion every year in the US. Thanks to its high nutrients, it helps prevent heart disease and improves brain health. However, it is best to stay clear of pre-packaged, processed varieties of Pollock.
#3 – Tilapia
Today, over 135 countries practice Tilapia farming, even though it is historically recognized as being native to Africa. Of these many countries, China takes the lead as being the largest producer of Tilapia.
The per capita consumption of Tilapia is 1.18 lbs per year. Farming Tilapia is easy as it survives in crowded environments, thrives on a cheap vegetarian diet and has a high growth rate.
Their quality makes them one of the most inexpensive sea products. They are rich in vitamins, potassium, and phosphorus.
#2 – Tuna
This is a household name and obviously one of the most desired on the market.
It is delicious, very healthy for the body, and easily accessible. The per capita consumption of tuna is 2.1 lbs per year.
Most fans of tuna like to eat in its canned form. It is a great source of selenium, vitamin B1, B3, B6, B12, important minerals, and protein. Tuna have a long lifespan of upto two decades. A young tuna measures around 1 foot, while an adult can reach up to 15 feet long.
#1 – Salmon
Salmon is hugely popular fish that has come to dominate the fish market in the USA.
There are a few different varieties including the Atlantic Salmon, the Chinook Salmon and the Pink Salmon. All of which belong to the in the family Salmonidae. The biggest Salmon can weigh up to 62 kg.
They are native to the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans initially born in fresh water, spending most of their lives in the ocean then returning to the fresh water to breed.
Salmon are nutritionally dense, 100g of salmon supplies your system with 25g protein, 14.6 fat, and 2.8g saturated fat. This fish comes in with a per capita consumption of 2.18 lbs per year.
Fish is a truly delicious source of low fat protein and can be an essential component of a healthy diet.
People from all over the world eat fish regularly and it is useful to understand the basic facts about the fish we eat. That way we can make better choices about what to include in our diet in the future.
There are a lot of options out there and your decision should take into account taste and texture as well as nutritional value and environmental impact. Consumption of fish is increasing in the USA and if managed sustainably this is a positive for the general health of the population.
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