People normally eat food in two different ways. They will eat it cooked or raw. When you cook food, you not only can get rid of the bacteria that can be in the food but also add spices and ingredients.
Eating food raw can enable you to get more nutrients because it hasn’t been cooked first. However, you do need to proceed with caution when eating it raw.
One food people can eat raw is fish. In this article, we’ll go into whether you can eat raw fish, what are the risks and/or benefits, and how you can safely eat it.
Is It Possible To Eat Raw Fish?
It is indeed possible to eat raw fish. I mean, have you ever heard of sushi, sashimi, or even tuna tartare?
In some cultures, eating raw fish is very common. As we said, sushi is a very popular food in Asian countries.
Japan is probably the first country you think of when you think of sushi.
Over the years, sushi has become very popular all over the world and including in the United States. You can’t have sushi without raw fish.
However, just because eating raw fish is very common, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with risks.
There are certain ways you need to prepare raw fish and things to look out for so you don’t get sick.
This is something we will touch on later in the article. The main point is that you can eat raw fish, and many people in the world have done so for centuries.
What Are the Risks of Eating Raw Fish?
Eating raw fish is delicious but can come with a lot of risks. Anything you do or consume comes with risks. Fish is no different. The risks include:
- Eating raw fish can cause parasites. One such parasite is called Liver flukes, which are parasitic flatworms. They cause a disease called opisthorchiasis that can cause issues with several organs.
- Roundworms can also infect your body and cause symptoms like pain, vomiting, fever, and lack of appetite.
- Tapeworms are another common parasite you can end up with. They can cause a disease called diphyllobothriasis that causes diarrhea, constipation, and/or stomach discomfort.
- Bacterial infections such as Salmonella and Listeria can also occur. Common symptoms include stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Finally, fish can have a lot of pollutants in their system. If you happen to consume fish that have high amounts of pollutants, then this can cause you to be at risk for diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes.
- There also is a risk of getting infected with mercury poisoning since raw fish can sometimes carry this.
So, as you can see, there are a lot of risks involved with eating raw fish. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t benefits to eating raw fish. There are a decent amount of benefits, but you do need to be aware of the risks so you can make an informed decision.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Raw Fish?
Eating raw fish does have risks, but it also has quite a lot of benefits for your body. This includes benefits like:
- Raw fish doesn’t have a high amount of heterocyclic amines, which can be found in fried or grilled fish. This is something that can lead to a greater risk of cancer in people.
- You’ll also find that raw fish is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which can be very healthy for your body. Chances are you’ve heard of omega-3 being in fish at some point, either on a commercial or just in passing.
- Overall nutrition can be lost when cooking fish. This is common in other meats as well that are cooked as.
While there may not be as many benefits as there are risks to eating fish, it still does come with some health benefits you might not get when eating it cooked. So, if you can stand it, consider preparing the fish raw and not cooking it maybe now and then. Your body will thank you in the long run for the extra nutrients it’s going to get.
How Can You Safely Eat Raw Fish?
There are things you can do to ensure that your fish is at its healthiest before you eat it and to make sure it stays that way until you do so. We’ve compiled a list of safety suggestions you can follow to make sure your fish is safe, which includes:
- Before eating the fish, make sure that the fish isn’t smelly, is firm, and has no discoloration, sliminess, or sponginess. If the fish is any of these things, then it needs to go straight to the garbage can and not your stomach.
- Make sure that when you buy your fish, it’s from a reputable dealer.
- After you’ve got your fish, you need to freeze it. Freezing it for a few days will let you kill any pesky little parasites.
- Using general food safety is also a way to ensure you stay safe while eating raw fish. Wash your hands and clean off every single surface that the raw fish has touched. Of course, you should be doing this in general due to how easily things can become contaminated.
By following all these steps, you’ll be able to ensure that if you insist on eating raw fish, you will be very safe while doing so.
And there you go, all you food lovers out there! We have told you that while there are risks to eating raw fish, there are also a lot of benefits.
Many people do it, too, due to how popular sushi is. There are also things you can do to ensure that you are making sure your raw fish is safe before consumption.
So, consider grabbing some sushi or something. It doesn’t have to be sushi. You’ll find plenty of different ways to eat raw fish, and if you prefer it cooked, well, there are plenty of recipes for that as well!
You might also be interested in the following:
- Can You Eat Raw Lobster?
- Can You Eat Raw Octopus?
- Can You Eat Raw Scallops?
- Can You Eat Raw Shrimp?
- Can You Eat Raw Crab?
- Can You Eat Raw Tuna?
- Can You Eat Raw Salmon?
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.