Fish and seafood

Eat fish and seafood 2–3 times a week as part of a heart-healthy diet.

People who regularly eat fish tend to have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Fish and seafood provide protein, selenium, zinc, iodine and vitamins A and D as well as omega-3 fats.

What to choose


Fish and seafood contain omega-3 fats which help to maintain good general health and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The fish highest in omega-3 fats include:

  • salmon
  • blue-eye trevalla
  • blue mackerel
  • canned sardines, canned salmon and some varieties of canned tuna.

Other fish and seafood that are good sources of omega-3 include barramundi, bream, flathead, squid, scallops and mussels.


The benefits of eating fish far outweigh the risk of the small amounts of mercury contamination.

Mercury is found in the environment, and accumulates in fish and seafood which we then eat.

At high levels mercury can be toxic, but the good news is you can safely eat the fish and seafood listed above without consuming high levels of mercury. Fish and seafood that can be high in mercury include orange roughy (deep sea perch), catfish, shark (flake) and billfish (swordfish/broadbill or marlin).

For more information, including specific recommendations for children and pregnant women,  visit Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s website.

How much to eat

Eat 2–3 serves of fish (including oily fish) or seafood every week.

A serve of fish is 100–150 g or about the size of your whole hand.

Fish and seafood are protein foods. Aim for 1–3 serves of protein foods each day (lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds or legumes). Find out more about serves of protein foods

Easy tips for eating fish

  • Wrap fillets of fish in individual foil parcels with lemon slices, crushed garlic and a sprinkle of herbs and place into the oven for a few minutes until soft. Serve with salad.
  • Steam fish with ginger, garlic, shallots and little sesame oil.
  • Mash sardines in a bowl with a little vinegar, and serve on toast with sliced tomato and cracked pepper.
  • Add canned tuna to a mixed salad for a quick, healthy lunch or to 1 cup of cooked penne pasta and your favourite veggies for a quick supper or pasta salad.

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Michelle Bovill works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their health workers to develop health i……