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Why should I eat oily fish?

According to the Food Standards Agency, we should be eating at least two portions of fish a week, including one portion of oily fish. But what is so amazing about oily fish? In short, oily fish is rich in both omega 3 fatty acids, as well as being a good source of vitamins and minerals.

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oily fish

Oily fish

What types of oily fish are there?

There are many types of oily fish to choose from. You might find some, like kippers, quite strong tasting if you aren’t used to them, there are plenty of others to try!

  • Anchovy
  • Carp
  • Eel
  • Herring (Bloater)
  • Hilsa
  • Jack (also known as Scad, Horse mackerel and Trevally)
  • Mackerel
  • Orange roughy
  • Pilchards
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Sprats
  • Swordfish
  • Trout
  • Tuna (fresh)
  • Whitebait

Why should I eat oily fish?

As fish contains essential vitamins such as niacin, and minerals such as selenium and iodine, it makes a great addition to your meal. Oily fish in particular is said to be rich in omega 3 and vitamins A and D. White fish does contain some omega 3 fatty acids, but at much lower levels than oily fish.

To get the best out of your fish, experts recommend opting for steamed, baked or grilled fish rather than fried; fried food often contains a much higher fat content, especially if they are cooked in batter.

How much is too much?

As mentioned above, we should be including one portion of oily fish in our diet, but there are maximum levels recommended for health reasons and concerns about numbers of fish; after all, we want to protect the environment for generations to come.

For those who still wish to have an intake of omega 3 fatty acids can choose to take supplements with a combination of omega 3 6 9 or just the single omega 3. These supplements can be found in most good health stores.


Food Standards Agency. (2010). Fish and shellfish.

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