What fish is best to eat for a healthy heart? There are actually a lot of choices, and both canned and fresh options abound in many grocery store aisles. The best one for your heart is one that’s low in fat, high in omega-3 fatty acids, and low in cholesterol. Fish is also a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, including selenium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and D.

When it comes to fish, however, you’ll want to stick to those that fall within a low-risk group. For example, fishes caught in fish farms have a relatively high number of contaminants and PCBs, which have been linked to increased risk for heart disease and certain types of cancer. The other fish you’ll want to stay away from include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Fortunately, many other responsibly-sourced fish are low in contaminants and PCBs: salmon, trout, clams, and mussels.

Options For Omega-3-Rich Fish Include:

Omega-3 fatty acids are recognized as some of the most beneficial nutrients for the human body. Omega-3 fatty acids, often found in the form of fish, have been linked to a decreased risk of depression, heart disease, and other health problems.


Salmon is a low-fat, high-protein fish that benefits the heart in many ways. The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are good for the heart in general, but specifically, they help lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots, and improve blood flow. Not only this, but it’s also great for skin, hair, eyes, nails, bones, and brain function. These effects of omega-3 fatty acids may also be why salmon is such an essential part of a healthy diet.


Sardines are also good for the heart. This is the message behind a new campaign launched by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, called “Sardines to the rescue.” This campaign aims to encourage people to eat more sardines as a heart-healthy substitute for other fatty fish.


Eating mackerel can improve your heart, say the Danes. A study from the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations showed that people who eat fish twice a week have a 15 percent lower risk of dying from all causes than those who don’t eat fish at all. And mackerel, in particular, seems to be beneficial, as the study found that people who eat mackerel twice a week have a 24 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease.


Tuna is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which can help protect the lining of your arteries against disease. Omega-3 fatty acids can also decrease triglycerides, improve blood cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation in your body. Tuna can also help reduce blood pressure, improve blood circulation, and decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Tuna is also convenient to buy because canning it does not necessarily reduce its nutritional value. An albacore tuna canned sourced from the right place is very likely to provide you with the nutritional value that you are looking for in your fish.


Herring is one of the most nutritious fish you can have. Herring has high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health, and some studies also suggest it may help to protect against heart disease. Herring is also a high-quality protein source, containing four grams of protein in just two ounces of the fillet. And eating herring may help to reduce inflammation in the body, which also helps heart health.

The Food Guide Pyramid includes a variety of fish types, including salmon, trout, and sardines. Choose a variety of fish for maximum nutrient value, and choose broiled, baked, poached, steamed, or grilled fish over-fried. Fried fish still counts as a portion, however, so it’s fine to enjoy it as an occasional treat. It’s all about finding the right balance, but if you only like fried fish, it’s better than eating no fish at all!