How often should you eat fish per week? Is fish advisable in pregnancy? How healthy is fish really? And what does aquaculture actually mean? We think about these kinds of questions all the time. In order to put an end to myths once and for all, we have compiled the most important facts about fish for you.
Because of its many health benefits, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the regular consumption of fish. It not only contains valuable vitamins and unsaturated (i.e. healthy) fatty acids, it also reduces the risk of heart disease. When you eat fish, for example, you cover your daily requirement for iodine and selenium, which are important for the metabolism and thyroid hormones, and you also cover the requirements for omega-3 fatty acids for multiple days. By the way, did you know that far too little fish is eaten in Germany? This was stated in a report by the German Nutrition Society (DGE), published at the end of 2012. With an average of 105g of fish products per week, women are well below the recommended weekly amount of 150g to 220g. At 133g consumption by men is also below the recommended weekly amount.
According to the Federal Center for Nutrition in Germany as well as the World Health Organization (WHO), fish can supply our body with the following important nutrients:
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS* They are especially found in cold-water fish such as salmon, cod and herring, and can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower cholesterol.
VITAMIN A* It has especially positive effects on light-dark-vision, night vision and the immune system. Cold-water fish such as salmon, cod and herring also contain high amounts of this vitamin*.
Fish also provide VITAMIN B*. This vitamin* is important for cell division, red blood cell formation and nervous system function.
VITAMIN E* This vitamin is found in shellfish and fish and is needed for the nervous system as well as the gonads.
For the construction of bones and the regulation of the calcium level VITAMIN D* is essential and is also found in fish.
IODINE* The content in fish is higher than in almost any other food. Iodine* is needed for hormone balance in the body and can prevent growth disorders.
SELENIUM* It can prevent diseases of the heart muscle and strengthen immunological defense mechanisms. Selenium* is found in fish as well as grain products.
For the absorption of iron from our food we need special substances like FISH PROTEIN*.
* According to the Federal Center for Nutrition in Germany as well as the World Health Organization (WHO)
Although Alaskan pollock was first caught for consumption in 1984 and is actually still new to the scene, it still occupies first place on the list of the most frequently consumed fish in Germany. Our Alaska pollock comes from sustainable fishing sources.
Our most popular products with Alaska pollock are the Alaska pollock with potato salad dish and our popular fried fish baguette. The triumphal procession of the latter began in the 60s – as a highlight of the first to-go sales. Since 1997, we cannot imagine life without our original fried fish baguette.
The second most popular fish in Germany is salmon and third is tuna.
Expectant mothers have an increased need for nutrients during their pregnancy. According to the recommendation of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Germany's initiative for healthy eating and more exercise, mothers should eat fish once or twice a week (especially sea fish, including at least once fatty fish such as salmon or herring).
A study by Aarhus University showed a lower risk of premature birth in women who ate a lot of fish during their pregnancy. This study of 9,000 pregnant women is consistent with the view of developmental biologists that there is a connection between the mental development of humans and a diet rich in fish and shellfish. These assumptions are supported by studies that have shown a connection between the mental development of the child and the diet of the expectant mother.
There is, however, an iron rule when it comes to eating fish and seafood during pregnancy: You should only eat it cooked. Raw fish, such as the fish found in sushi, as well as cold-smoked products such as smoked salmon, and maties should be avoided. The reason lies in the potential occurrence of listeria, which can occur in raw meat and raw dairy products. Pregnant women have an increased risk of listeriosis infection, which can be a serious danger to the pregnancy. In Germany, however, this illness is rare.
Organic fish are produced based on methods that are as close to nature as possible, taking account of ecological issues. Many consumers mistakenly assume that only wild-caught fish is organic. However, organic certification of wild-caught fish is not possible because the fish's diet or general growth cannot be reconstructed. So only fish produced according to organic aquaculture guidelines can be considered organic.
Aquaculture products have been certifiable with the organic seal since January 2009, which requires the labeling of the products with an eco-control number. The assessment criteria for obtaining this certification include the descent, keeping and feeding of the fish. NORDSEE fresh fish counters have been certified organic since 2014.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent, global organization dedicated to sustainably protecting and promoting global fish stocks and the marine environment through a variety of environmentally sound practices. This means that the MSC is committed to the sustainable development of the fisheries sector. It certifies fisheries and not fish species or stocks. Certification by the MSC requires a complete certification of the whole chain, e.g the restaurant as well.