The Facts About Mercury in Fish

Do the health benefits of eating fish outweigh the risk? Get the lowdown.

  • Virginia Sole-Smith
Fish is still a very healthy choice. Yes, the benefits of eating fish far outweigh the risks for most people, according to researchers at Harvard University. Fish is high in protein and rich in vitamin D, and it may well lower your chances of developing heart disease.

Who should be concerned about mercury? Because mercury can cause neurological damage to children, those who are pregnant or nursing or have young children (or are planning to have children soon) need to watch what they eat. If you're in one of these groups, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests that you avoid entirely those fish that are high in mercury (those marked with * on the Healthy Seafood Guide) and limit your intake of fish that are lower in mercury to 12 ounces (two meals) a week.