53. You avoid seafood because of the risk of mercury
THE RESULT: You miss out on great health benefits.
THE FIX: Seafood contains too many healthy nutrients to cut it out of your diet completely. It’s a source of high-quality, lean protein and is low in saturated fat—and fattier types of fish (like salmon, sardines, and anchovies) are rich in omega-3s. In fact, the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend two servings of seafood per week. Mercury can inhibit development of the brain and nervous system in fetuses and young children, so pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children should eat varieties that are lower in mercury. While there are many low-mercury fish and shellfish in the sea, there are a handful of fish to avoid, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Check local advisories about the safety of fish and shellfish caught in nearby lakes, rivers, bays, and coastal areas.