importance of fish as a source of food varies with geographical factors
and with availability of other foods. People living near the sea or on
banks of rivers are likely to be fish eaters. In many parts of India and
Japan fish is a staple food but in North America where milk and meat are
freely consumed, comparatively less fish is eaten.
The taste of fish depends
on whether it is obtained from salt or fresh water, its fat content, and
whether it is eaten fresh or after preservation.
generally assumed to be the best form of cooking, to retain
calories, vitamins and minerals. This is a fallacy, as a considerable loss
in nutritive value occurs during steaming.
The maximum loss occurs
when fish is boiled and the water discarded.
Cooking in vinegar
increases the available calcium, as the bones become soft and can be eaten
Fried fish has a high
calorific value due to the retention of fat; the flavour of fish can also
be preserved by frying.
- Calories The
calorie value of the edible portion depends on its fat content and
thus on season.
- Fats Fish is rich
in poly unsaturated fatty acids called omege-3s: mainly,
eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) [in salt water fish], and docosahexaenoic
acid (DHA). Like aspirin, these omega-3s make platelets in the blood
less likely to stick together and may reduce inflammatory process in
blood vessels. Eating fish is therefore claimed to decrease heart
- Vitamins Fish
that contain much fat are rich in vitamin A & D. Oil from shark,
cod and helibut livers is very rich in these vitamins. vitamins of the
B group - mainly nicotinic acid - and vitamin C are present in raw
fish, but the latter is largely destroyed by cooking.
Iodine Salt water fish are particularly rich in iodine; those
who regularly eat these fish rarely suffer from iodine deficiency.
Phosphorus and Calcium The phosphorus content of
fish is high, and those who chew fish bones can absorb a
fair amount of phosphorus and calcium. Fish also contains