Fish Minerals

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The approximate amounts of selected minerals contained in fish are given in Table 8. The first point to note is that all kinds of finfish and shellfish present a well-balanced content of most minerals, either macroelements or oligoelements, with only a few exceptions. Sodium content is low, as in other muscle and animal origin foods. However, it must be remembered that sodium is usually added to fish in most cooking practices in the form of common salt; also, surimi-based and other manufactured foods contain high amounts of added sodium. Potassium and calcium levels are also relatively low, though the latter are higher in fish than in meat; in addition, small fish bones are frequently eaten with fish flesh, thus increasing the calcium intake. Fish is a good source of magnesium and phosphorus, at least as good as meat. These elements are particularly abundant in crustaceans; fatty finfish show elevated levels of phosphorus, and bivalve molluscs have high amounts of magnesium.

Fish is a highly valuable source of most oligoele-ments. Fatty fish provides a notable contribution to iron supply, similar to that of meat, whereas shellfish have higher concentrations of most dietary minerals. In particular, crustaceans and bivalve molluscs supply zinc, manganese, and copper concentrations well above those of finfish. Worth mentioning is the extraordinary dietary supply of iodine in all kinds of finfish and shellfish; however, this depends on the concentration present in feed, particularly in planktonic organisms.

In summary, 100 g of fish affords low levels of sodium and medium-to-high levels of all the remaining dietary minerals. In fact, it can contribute 50-100% of the total daily requirements of magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, selenium, and iodine. A Mediterranean diet, rich in fatty fish and all kinds of shellfish, can lead to an overall balanced mineral supply, which may well reach over 20% of daily requirements of phosphorus, iron, selenium, and iodine.

See also: Cancer: Epidemiology and Associations Between Diet and Cancer. Coronary Heart Disease: Prevention. Dietary Guidelines, International Perspectives. Fatty Acids: Omega-3 Polyunsaturated. Food Composition Data. Food Safety: Bacterial Contamination; Other Contaminants; Heavy Metals. Hyperlipidemia: Nutritional Management. Iodine: Physiology, Dietary Sources and Requirements. Protein: Quality and Sources. Stroke, Nutritional Management. Supplementation: Dietary Supplements.

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