Oily fish

Health guidelines recommend we eat two portions of fish each week, one of which is an oily fish. Anchovies, fresh tuna, herring (bloater, kipper and hilsa are types of herring), jack (also known as scad, horse mackerel and trevally), mackerel, pilchards, salmon, sardines, sprats, trout and whitebait, all count as an oily fish. Whilst it’s important to include oil-rich fish in our diet, there are guidelines on the maximum amounts we should have (this is because oily fish can contain low levels of pollutants that can build up in the body). Women and girls who one day may become pregnant, and women who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding, should have no more than two portions of oily fish each week. Men, boys, and women who won’t become pregnant in the future can eat up to four portions of oily fish each week. In reality, most people in the UK fail to eat even one portion of oily fish a week. A portion is 140g cooked fish (which weighs around 170g when raw).


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