Wild-caught fish are very beneficial for your health as they are rich in omega-3s and belong to the group of muscle-building protein foods. However, they are pricey and the majority of people cannot afford such luxury which is why they go for more affordable options like Swai fish.
Though Swai fish may seem like a reasonable solution, there is plenty you don’t know about it and the negative effects it can have on your health. Another big problem with buying fish from the supermarket is the fact that more than often you think you are buying catfish or grouper, but what you are really paying for is factory-farmed Swai.
Learn more about Swai fish and why should you pay attention to what kind of fish you consume.
What is Swai fish?
Swai fish or also known as Vietnamese catfish is freshwater fish with a flaky texture and a mild flavor.
Up until 2003 Swai fish was sold in the USA under the name catfish, however, in the before-mentioned year, a law was passed by Congress that no other fish than American catfish can be sold under that name. Moreover, another thing you should be aware of is that in states where catfish is a big industry like Alabama and Louisiana, selling Swai fish is illegal.
USDA studies have shown that a 4-ounce fillet of Swai fish provides around:
- 5 grams of fat
- 70 calories
- 45 milligrams cholesterol
- 350 grams of sodium
- 15 grams of protein
We also must take into consideration the fact that once the fish is cooked the nutritious content will change causing the amounts of sodium, fats, and crabs to elevate.
Is Swai fish safe to eat?
The answer is not and it is not due to the nutritious content. Swai fish is not safe because of the way it is raised and fed.
Some of the biggest reasons not to consume this type of fish include:
- The filthy water conditions
- The constant mislabeling of Swai fish
- The use of antibiotics to treat ill fish
- The presence of dangerous microbes
Factory-farmed fish and widespread antibiotics
Similarly to factory-farmed meats, when fish are factory produced there are some major undesirable consequences.
The first thing you must know about these fish is that is largely distressed due to various reasons like living in a small, tight place. This itself makes them distressed and therefore more prone to diseases, which brings us to the question of how are these fishes treated when they are ill? The answer is simple, antibiotics.
Moreover, lately, there have been some major concerns about the high mercury and other heavy metal levels present in Swai fish. This is due to farm-raised fish living in unhealthy environments filled with chemicals, disinfectants, and antibiotics.
On the other hand, we have factory-farmed fish advocated who claim that raising fish on farms is a better alternative, however, the conducted studies concerned with farm-raised fish have shown the complete opposite.
Fish mislabeling and fraud
The reason why so many people consume Swai fish is that it comes at an accessible price and it is not as pricey as other types of fish like sole, grouper and catfish. But, what most people are not familiar with is the harsh reality that sometimes when you think you are buying an expensive catfish, in fact, you are buying factory-framed Swai fish.
Reports have shown that Swai fish belongs to the top three types of fish that are most commonly substituted and sold as high-value fish. These reports were backed up by 200 sources in which were included a big number of public documents and journal articles from governments. Shockingly, analyses have shown that almost 58 percent of the fish that were used as substitutes can be a health risk and may have a negative effect on the costumers.
Are there any Swai fish benefits?
Some people are very aware of the consequences and negative effects Swai fish can have on their health but still buy it because they enjoy its taste. If you belong to this group of individuals, we recommend taking some precautions and when you go out shopping for Swai fish always look for eco-friendly products. Look for labels like Naturland, BAP Certified and ASC Farmed Pangasius.