Some people refuse to eat catfish due to common belief that all catfish are bottom-feeders, and therefore would taste “muddy”. However, this is far from the truth. Some catfish are scavengers or opportunistic eaters, but others, such as the flathead catfish, are predators. This means catfish will eat anywhere in the water column, not just along the bottom. In fact, most bites on our lines are along the mid-level and top-level hooks; the bottom-level hooks rarely have bites. No catfish that we’ve ever ate have tasted ” muddy” either. Catfish are actually pretty tasty fish with a great nutritional value.
Despite being “bottomfeeders”, catfish are low in mercury and other PCB’s. Catfish is also served in many places as a southern delicacy. Despite the rumors of this southern delicacy being a “bottom feeder” that tastes “muddy”, it is actually a quite healthy, tasty and affordable alternative to many meats. Many restaurants across Texas are even adding catfish to popular Mexican dishes. Catfish tacos anyone?
Catfish are growing in popularity on the dinner plate. Some reports show that catfish has been one of the most popular fish, and rising in popularity, since 2000 in the United States. This rise in popularity is mainly due to the low cost and, surprise, the great taste of the fish.
Nutrients found in Catfish:
- Omega-3 – Benefits include reduction in blood pressure; reduced risk for certain cancers, inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and mental decline.
- B12 – Benefits include neurological health and normal red blood cell formation.
- Thiamine – Benefits include maintenance of a healthy appetite, digestion, energy production, neurological health, and skin and nerve growth.
- Niacin/B3 – Benefits include maintenance of a healthy appetite, digestion, regulates cholesterol, energy production, neurological health, and skin and nerve growth.
- Riboflavin/B2 – Required for enzymes (proteins) to perform normal physiological actions.
- B6 – Benefits include many aspects of macronutrient metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis, histamine synthesis, hemoglobin synthesis and function, and gene expression.
- Folate/Folic Acid/B9 – Benefits include production and repairing of DNA; production of healthy red blood cells (lower risk of anemia).
- Vitamin A – Benefits include maintenance of the immune system and vision.
- Magnesium – Benefits include regulation of the body’s glucose levels, synthesis of protein and nucleic acid, and conversion of food to cellular energy.
- Potassium – Benefits include maintenance of electrolyte levels; which contributes to nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction, and healthy heart function.
- Zinc – Benefits include proper functioning of immune and digestive systems, control of diabetes, reduces stress levels.
- Iron – Benefits include protein metabolism, production of hemoglobin and red blood cells.
- Phosporous (trace amounts) – Benefits include growth and repair of body cells and tissues.
- Selenium (trace amounts) – Functions as antioxidants that prevent cell damage and may help in preventing coronary heart disease.
Based on a 3oz serving size, Catfish have approximately 122 calories, 15.7 grams of protein, 2.4 grams of fat, and 0.6 grams of saturated fat. Catfish contains 31% of the daily value of protein, 4% of the daily value of fat, and 3% of the daily value of saturated fat.
The only dangerous catfish are those which are imported, namely from Vietnam and China. Imported catfish have been found to contain high levels of PCB’s and other dangerous chemicals not allowed in food products in the U.S.
If you’re looking for a healthy and affordable choice for a meal, catfish is quite possibly the best option. When ordering catfish from a restaurant, always ask where it came. In restaurants, be sure you’re eating catfish that was caught right here in America. When opting to purchase catfish to prepare at home, always get your catfish from a local fish market who supplies American caught fish or directly from a local fisherman.
Given all the health benefits, and providing the catfish was caught in America, it is a healthy addition to your diet.
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- Report: Serious Health Risks from Eating Imported Catfish (When buying fish, buy local, wild caught)
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- What’s The Dish On Farm-Raised Catfish? (We recommend the wild caught catfish; but if you must go farm-raised, choose American farmed)