I am trying to find out if smoked fish is a healthy choice, mainly mackerel and haddock (not salmon, I don’t eat this because it is farmed !) I know smoked fish is higher in salt, but i never put salt on it as i would do if it wasn’t smoked. But what about the smoking process, does this distroy all or any of the goodness and or does it add anything harmful ?
Some of your questions are addressed in the thread entitled ‘Oily Fish’ in the Mediterranean Diet forum.
Ideally we would eat a really wide variety of fish and other seafood, focussing on the most nutrient dense ones (oily fish for vitamin D + long chain omega-3s/ molluscs for zinc + other minerals).
Haddock is a white fish so low in micronutrients (vitamins/ minerals/ essential fatty acids). Often a yellow dye and/ or smoke flavour are used to simulate the full traditional smoking process. Overall smoked haddock is neither healthy nor unhealthy, but fine to eat occasionally as part of a balanced and varied wholefood diet.
Salt content depends on the serving size. You don’t need a large serving of the very oily fish (mackerel, herring, sardines/ pilchards) to get a worthwhile ‘dose’ of vitamin D and omega-3s so I often combine with a boiled organic egg. This supplies some of the same nutrients, without the meal becoming overly salty.
Thank you Firefox7275. I occaisionally eat traditionally dyed smoked haddock, so that would seem OK. But smoked mackerel I probably eat twice a week about 80 – 100 grams, you don’t say how much a large or small portion would be, and are you talking about smoked or fresh mackerel ? Smoked seems easier to come by, but I suppose that fresh would be much healthier !
Here in the UK the recommended serving of meat or fish is the size and thickness of your palm (adult ~100g-150g). And up to four such servings of fish each week.
Oily fish is the primary dietary source of the usable forms of vitamin D and omega-3s. Here in the UK we cannot manufacture vitamin D3 using sunlight for around half the year, so many of us have low levels. Smoked mackerel, farmed salmon, canned sardines … all oily fish are healthy IMO.
You can check the average vitamin D and omega-3 content of different oily fish on sites like Self Nutrition Data. If you are not in the UK please follow your country’s guidelines on serving size and frequency of different wholefoods.