Are Fish Sticks Healthy? Get To Know About The Pros and Cons of Eating Fish

Are you a seafood lover? Do you eat fish often to satiate your taste buds? That is good for your health. But have you ever tried eating fish sticks? Are fish sticks healthy? Well, Fish can be cooked in various ways to modify its taste, texture, and flavor. Different spices are added to make fish spicy. The fish stick is the breaded fish finger that is deep-fried to make it extra crunchy.

The article will provide you with a complete review of different fish sticks brands as well as the health benefits and disadvantages of eating fish sticks. You will also come to know whether Fish sticks are healthy during weight loss and pregnancy? How much fish is safe to eat during pregnancy and much more. Let’s discuss everything you want to know about fish fingers or fish sticks.

Are Fish Sticks Healthy?

Are fish fingers healthy? Are fish fingers good for weight loss? Are fish sticks good for you? These questions are very common among fish lovers. Let us discuss how healthy are fish fingers and how frying and baking affect the healthiness of fish.

Fried fish is breaded and breaded fish contains dangerous trans fats which are partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Our body requires only two kinds of healthy fats that are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. They are a major source of energy. They help absorb some vitamins and minerals.

are-fish-sticks-healthy

The kind that is harmful to our body is known as trans fatty acids. Trans fat is naturally present in red meat and dairy products. The harmful kind is presently in baked and fried food. These fats are considered harmful as they clog arteries and result in hypertension, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular issues.

Another harmful ingredient in fried fish sticks is sodium. A normal amount of sodium is good for nerve conduction and proper body functioning. But a high amount of sodium can cause bloating and other diseases related to high sodium intake. So, overall fried fish is not very healthy. But eating it in a normal amount can have various health benefits.

Health Benefits and Disadvantages of Eating Fish

Before looking at the health benefits and disadvantages of eating fish, let us first have a look at the nutritional information of fish. The following table demonstrates the nutritional information per 100-gram fish that contains 249 calories.

Nutrients% Daily values
Total fat 13g20%
Saturated fats 2.8g14%
Trans fat 0.9g
Cholesterol 28mg9%
Sodium 421 mg17%
Potassium 216 mg6%
Total carbs 21g7%
Dietary fiber 1.4g5%
Sugar 2.5g
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin C0%
Iron 5%
Vitamin B65%
Magnesium7%
Calcium2%
Vitamin D33%
Cobalamin21%

These values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Health Benefits

When you start eating fish, your metabolism becomes better, the quality of your skin improves, you sleep better and have better concentration but wait, it can get even better. Let us have a look at the health benefits of eating fish.

  1. Fish is a source of good fat:

When you choose red meat, you usually opt for the leanest pieces but with fish, the healthiest kinds are the fattiest. Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These are the acids that help your brain work and support the health of your heart.

If you eat fish regularly, you will be at a lower risk of stroke or heart attack. Moreover, Omega-3 fatty acids slow down the growth of plaques in your arteries and lower the levels of triglycerides that are known as trans fats.

  1. Fish keeps your heart healthy:

Fish is a perfect choice if you care about the health of your heart and there are fewer cases of heart attack among people who eat fish every day. This is all thanks to Omega-3 fatty acids combined with other nutrients to protect your heart from diseases. Eating fish regularly seriously lowers the risk of abnormal heart rhythms as well.

  1. Fish is a great source of vitamins and nutrients:

When you eat fish, you provide your body with vitamin B12, vitamin D, Zinc, Magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. These minerals are very important for the normal growth and development of the human body. In addition to that, fish also help reduce the risk of autoimmune disorders. 

The immune system of a person with an autoimmune disorder mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissues. One of the most widespread kinds of this disorder is diabetes type 1. It has been proven that people who eat fish and consequently the Omega-3 fatty acids that it contains do not suffer from type 1 diabetes as often as those who don’t have fish in their diet.

  1. Fish helps fight depression:

Scientists don’t know the reason for this phenomenon yet the people who eat fish every day suffer from depression much less than the people who avoid this food. One reason for it could be that a healthy diet keeps you in a good mood.

In addition, Omega-3 fatty acids increase your level of serotonin and dopamine, two of the most famous “feel good” chemicals. Fish also has natural anti-inflammatory properties making your blood flow better. Your brain starts to work more effectively as well and your mood swings get soothed out.

  1. Fish is a source of vitamin D:

Why is this vitamin so important? It helps your body absorb different nutrients. If you have a lack of vitamin D, you may start to suffer from vitamin deficiency even if you take vitamin supplements. Your body usually synthesizes vitamin D in the sun but if it is winter or you spend a lot of time inside, fish is one of the few remaining sources of vitamin D.

  1. People who eat fish have sharper minds:

The brain starts to function less effectively as you grow older and the time you need to respond to a stimulus gets longer. On top of that, your short-term memory may start to let you down, that’s a normal process called age-related cognitive decline and in most cases, there is nothing to worry about, however, this condition can sometimes result in Alzheimer’s. 

Interestingly, cognitive decline is slower in people who tend to eat fish regularly. It also turns out that people who eat a lot of fish have more gray matter in those areas of the brain responsible for emotions and memory. Gray matter is brain tissue that has neurons that process memory and store information.

Disadvantages of Eating Fish

Let’s have a look at the drawbacks of such a diet. 

  1. A lot of Omega-3 fatty acids can be harmful:

You know that Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for your health but too much Omega-3 can have a blood-thinning effect. That’s not too dangerous for those who are perfectly healthy but people who take blood-thinning medications or are susceptible to bleeding can have serious problems. 

  1. The increased amount of Vitamin A can be dangerous:

If you include a lot of fish liver or fish liver oil in your diet, you might have too much vitamin A accumulated in your body. This can lead to very unpleasant consequences. For example, diarrhea, nausea, headache, and skin irritation. It is especially dangerous for children and pregnant women.

  1. Mercury Poisoning:

Mercury Poisoning can lead to neurological deficits in children and may cause delays in development. Acute mercury poisoning can result in tremors, insomnia, weakness, headache, and muscle atrophy. 

While adults can recover from symptoms of mercury poisoning, children’s disorders after the poison are usually permanent. Permanent fish generally contain more mercury than other types. First of all, they feed on small fish which contain mercury. On top of that, big fish live longer and they can accumulate higher amounts of this substance during their life.

Are Fish Sticks Healthy During Pregnancy?

Are fish sticks healthy for weight loss? Are fish sticks healthy for diabetics and in pregnancy? These questions are common among health-conscious people. You may need conflicting reports about eating fish during pregnancy which could create confusion about whether or not it is safe? We shall discuss all the possible aspects of eating fish during pregnancy and try to answer as many questions as possible. 

Should a pregnant woman eat fish? The answer is fairly straightforward. Yes, you should.  But you will need to choose the fish carefully and limit your portions too. Your medical practitioner will also encourage eating fish, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. 

The studies have shown that the neurological development of babies can be severely affected if the mercury levels remain high and unchecked. As a mother, you would want to eliminate the risk of mercury poisoning during pregnancy, and therefore, it is best to stick to low mercury fish during this period. 

How much fish should you eat when pregnant? Consuming fish in excessive quantities can lead to severe developmental risks in the fetus. International agencies like the FDA recommended two to three servings or 8 to 12 ounces of low mercury fish every week.

There are many health benefits of eating fish during pregnancy. Fish sources of protein that help support fetus growth. It helps to create the body’s cells for hair, bones, skin, and muscles.

A good supply of Omega-3 is helpful for pregnant women to enhance their baby’s memory development and improve brain activity. Also, the baby’s growth is highly accelerated during this trimester and it is especially important to consume fish during this duration.

Reviews of Fish Sticks From Different Brands

Different brands contain different types of ingredients while making fish fingers so the quality of the fish stick varies accordingly. Let us have a review of some of the brands that make fish fingers.

Are Gorton’s Fish Sticks Healthy?

Gorton’s fish sticks are healthy and 100 percent real sticks in a crunchy golden breading,  but the breading can be dangerous. So, are breaded fish sticks healthy? No, they are not, as they contain a lot of carbohydrates and trans fats that enhance the calories of food and make it unhealthy. 

Are Trident’s Fish Sticks Healthy?

It is considered healthy. A proper portion of this fish can have very healthy effects on the overall body. Its recommended serving is three sticks and has a very delicious taste.  But the problematic ingredient is trans fats that are harmful to health.

Are Costco’s Fish Sticks Healthy?

These are breaded fish sticks that are relatively high in cholesterol as compared to other fish sticks. They contain 170 calories per serving but the artificial ingredients and breading make them unhealthy.

Are Trader Joe’s Fish Sticks Healthy?

Yes, Trader Joe’s fish sticks are very healthy. They contain 35 percent less fat as compared to other fish sticks. They have a lovely taste and a golden brown color with a crunchy texture.

The Bottom Line

Fish provides you with many necessary nutrients and it is a perfect source of Omega-3 fatty acids. But what about fried fish or fish sticks? Are fish sticks healthy? Yes, they are, but to some extent. As deep-frying, the redfish is higher in trans fats which are not good for health.

They may cause coronary artery diseases and other cardiovascular health problems. Sodium in fish sticks can cause hypertension and bloat. So, healthily eat fish according to a proper portion to enjoy its benefits.

FAQs

Are fish sticks bad for you?

Fish sticks are bad when they are deep-fried and made without taking care of proper hygiene. Generally, they are high in sodium and can cause high blood pressure and stroke.

Are frozen fish sticks unhealthy?

Frozen fish sticks are the same in vitamins and minerals as compared to fresh fish. Freezing the fish can lock the nutrients inside it. So, frozen fish is as healthy as freshly caught fish.

Is frozen breaded fish good for you?

Frozen breaded fish is fried deeply to cook and hence it becomes high in dangerous trans-fatty acids that clog arteries and cause diseases. Breading makes the fish unhealthy.

Are fish sticks processed meat?

Chicken nuggets and fish sticks, both are processed meat. They contain refined starch and other ingredients that are added to enhance the shelf life of processed food. These ingredients are not good for human health.

Haleema Sadia

A physiotherapist by profession, a Nutritionist by passion, a literarian by soul, and a writer by heart!

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