Your decision to eat sushi, sashimi or any other raw fish dish can greatly impact a number of aspects of your life. When raw fish is stored properly and consumed in moderation, it can have many health benefits. At the other end of the spectrum, if you eat raw fish that is not native to the region of the world in which you reside, you can be contributing to a negative carbon footprint. Keep reading to learn the frequency at which you should consume sushi and other raw fish.

Benefits of Raw Fish 

Raw fish provides people with tremendous health benefits. Most of these fish are loaded with Omega 3, proteins, healthy fats, antioxidants and essential vitamins and nutrients. You will experience health benefits of the raw food without preservatives or harsh chemicals. You might see an improvement in your heart health due to the lack of frying or calorie-heavy oils in roasting. It is also believed that raw fish can help to improve your mental state, as well as to reduce the risk of developing dementia, cognitive deterioration or degenerative disease later in your life.

Dangers of Raw Fish 

One of the greatest concerns of raw fish consumption is the high levels of mercury that can negatively impact your central nervous system. You will also run the risk of consuming a parasite that may cause you to become ill. However, before you give up raw fish because of the possible dangers, consider that most raw meat contains significantly more parasites and bacteria, and more dangerous ones, than raw fish. To minimize these dangers, it is important to purchase sushi grade fish without exception. Raw fish that is non-sushi grade is more susceptible to parasites that can cause a number of food-borne illnesses. Be sure to keep your fish stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below until you are ready to prepare your meal as a way to minimize the risk of unsafe fish consumption.

Types of Raw Fish Safe for Consumption 

It is important to note that not all fish is safe to consume in a raw state. Most people are familiar with salmon as a safe fish to eat raw; however, you have many additional options. Some other fish types you can safely consume raw are abalone, blue marlin, cockle, crab, eel, mackerel, squid, sweetfish, swordfish, tilapia and yellowfin tuna. Be sure to check with reputable sources to determine whether or not a fish is safe to eat raw before you begin.

Recommended Frequency of Consumption 

The number of times you can safely eat sushi or raw fish in a week may not be the answer for which you seek. Many medical professionals recommend that you eat fish at least two times a week. This is probably a good guideline for all fish, including sushi. If you eat more than this amount, you run the risk of mercury poisoning. It is also a good idea to consider your environmental impact. If your raw fish has to been flown in to consume, you are likely leaving a negative carbon footprint over eating raw fish you can source locally or regionally.

Raw fish and sushi can be a wonderful addition to your life in both flavor and health. Eat it in moderation, store it properly and try to buy local raw fish to maximize the benefits. And, remember that raw fish is not recommended for pregnant women or young children. For those of you who are able to enjoy raw fish and sushi, only use sushi grade fish to make your dishes.