Food and Nutrients - Fish

Fish

Fish have always made up a large proportion of the food we consume because of their abundance and relative ease of harvesting. Fish are valuable, not only because they are a good source of protein, but because they are suitable for all types of menus, and can be cooked and presented in a wide variety of ways. The range of different types of fish of varying texture, taste and appearance is indispensable to the creative chef.

Fish is as useful a source of animal protein as meat. The oily fish, such as sardines, mackerel, herrings and salmon, contain vitamins A and D in their flesh; in white fish, such as halibut and cod, these vitamins are present in the liver. Since all fish contains protein it is a good body-building food, and oil fish is useful for energy and as a protective food because of the vitamins it contains.

The amount of fat in different fish varies: oily fish contain 5 – 18 per cent, white fish less than 2 per cent.

When the bones are eaten, calcium is obtained from fish (tinned sardines or salmon).

Oily fish is not easily digested as white fish because of the fat content; shellfish is not easily digested because of the coarseness of the fibers.
Fish is important for body-building, and certain types of fish (oily fish) supply more energy and are protective because of the fat and vitamins A and D contained in the fish.

The bones of sardines, whitebait and tinned salmon, which can be eaten, provide calcium and phosphorus.

Owing to its fat content, oily fish is not as digestive as white fish and is not suitable for use in cookery for invalids.

Despite all these great importance of fish, fish supply is not unlimited, due to overfishing, fish farms (e.g. for trout, salmon, cod, halibut and turbot) have been established to supplement the natural sources. Overfishing is not the only problem: due to contamination by man, the seas and rivers are increasingly polluted, thus affecting both the supply and suitability of fish, particularly shellfish, for human consumption.

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