Oily fish: list of species and their properties

Tuna, bonito, sardine, anchovy, salmon, herring, trout, mackerel...  Oily fish are some of the healthiest of foods, containing a high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as other benefits. We will show you which types of fish are included in this category, their characteristics and their main benefits.

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23 April 2018

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Fish is one of the staples of the Mediterranean diet, as well as being one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods. Fish is one of the main sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The most well known in this category is Omega-3, fats that help to prevent cardiovascular conditions by reducing blood pressure, increasing good cholesterol and reducing bad cholesterol and triglycerides.

Fish can be split into two large groups, white fish and oily fish, although these categories are not well defined since the level of fat can vary greatly according to various factors (time of year, reproduction). This grouping is based on nutritional rather than biological factors. Oily fish have an intramuscular fat proportion of over 5%. On the other hand, white fish have a proportion of only 2%. There is a middle group, semi-oily fish, such as sea bass or sea bream, which contain between approximately 2% and 5% fat.


Main types of oily fish

•  Tuna

•  Sardine

•  Mackerel

•  Bonito

•  Anchovy

•  Salmon

•  Herring

•  Trout

•  Eel

•  Conger eel

•  Dogfish

•  Swordfish

•  Turbot

•  Horse mackerel


Four servings of fish per week

Oily fish is also rich in high biological value proteins, such as essential amino acids, which are necessary for the body to function properly. Nutritionists recommend eating three or four portions of fish per week, two or three of oily fish and between one and two of white fish, which equates to eating around 700-800 grams of fish per week.