Can you eat striped bass?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat striped bass?” and discuss what are the benefits and risks of eating striped bass.

Can you eat striped bass?

Yes, you can eat striped bass. There are over a hundred different species of bass in the globe, all belonging to the Bass genus. 

One example is the striped bass, which may be found mostly along the United States east coast.

Striped bass have stout bodies with seven to eight continuous horizontal stripes on each side, from their gills to their tail. They are light green, olive, steel blue, black, or brown on top, with a white or silver iridescent underside.

What are the benefits of eating Striped Bass?

The benefits of eating Striped Bass are the nutrients provided by the fish. The consumption of fish is related to many health benefits.

Fish provides low fat protein, omega-3 fatty acids and important minerals and vitamins. Regular consumption of fish brings positive effects in health, such as the reduction of the cholesterol levels and the incidence of heart diseases, decrease of the risk of a preterm delivery, and enhancement of the cognitive development (3). 

Omega-3 fatty acids are important in the prevention of arteriosclerosis and autoimmune disease and are also necessary for neural development of children (4).

Proteins in fish are easily digestible and are considered as superior from a nutritional point of view due to the excellent amino acid composition.

Fish is an important source of vitamin D, which is related to bone health. Deficiencies in vitamin D may increase the risks of bone fracture and are related to diabetes and heart diseases.

Fish contains calcium, which provides rigidity to the skeleton and plays a role in many if not most metabolic processes.  

Selenium is also found in fish. Selenium counteracts the negative effects of Mercury in the body. Low levels of selenium have been associated with myocardial infarcts and increased death rate from cardiovascular disease. 

What are the nutrients found in Striped Bass?

According to the US Department of Commerce (2), one serving of 100 g of Striped Bass (raw) contains: 

  • Calories: 97 
  • Protein: 17.73 g 
  • Total Fat: 2.33 g 
  • Total Saturated Fatty Acids: 0.507 g 
  • Carbohydrate: 0 g 
  • Total Sugars: 0 g 
  • Total Dietary Fiber: 0 g 
  • Cholesterol: 80 mg 
  • Selenium: 36.5 mcg 
  • Sodium: 69 mg

What are the risks of eating Striped Bass?

The risks of eating Striped Bass are the possible high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury in their meat.

PCBs are water and environmental contaminants that can be present in fish. Several human health studies have related the exposure to PCB to diabetes, liver toxicity, cancer, and deficits in immune and neurological function (5).

Methylmercury (MeHg) counteracts the cardioprotective effects of omega-3 fatty acids. Neurological effects such as decreased measures of intelligence, difficulty in memory and cognition, and problems with gross and fine motor skills are some negative effects of the ingestion of high levels of mercury. 

Particularly vulnerable to the potential harmful effects from mercury exposure are infants and children because of their smaller body sizes, metabolism, and rapid growth.

Studies reported total PCB levels ranging from 0.15 to 0.28 ppm for striped bass and 0.14–0.97 ppm for bluefish. Studies mentioned high levels of mercury found in the composition of Striped Bass (3). 

How to prepare Striped Bass? 

The recommended methods to prepare Striped Bass are cooking by baking, grilling and microwave cooking. These methods are the best to preserve the nutrients from the fish.

The fatty acid profile of fish and consequently its nutritional composition can be significantly altered during cooking and the degree of alteration varies according to the method used. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are susceptible to oxidation and thermal damage due to excessive heating (6). 

Changes in fatty acids during cooking can be related to three mechanisms: oxidation, loss of fatty acids by diffusion (during baking) or exchange of fatty acids between fish and oil (during frying). 

According to studies comparing different methods of cooking Bass fish, such as frying, boiling, baking, microwave cooking, grilling or steaming, the way that proved to be most suitable for causing the least damage to the lipid profile of the fish was baking, grilling and microwave cooking, which did not alter significantly the fatty acid composition of sea bass filets. 

When fried in sunflower oil, the sea bass filets absorbed C18:1n-9 and C18:2n-6 and lost saturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat striped bass?” and we discussed what are the benefits and risks of eating striped bass.

Reference

  1. Andersen, Linnea K., et al. The status of striped bass, Morone saxatilis, as a commercially ready species for US marine aquaculture. J World Aquac Soc, 2021, 52, 710-730.
  2. Atlantic Striped Bass. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. United States Department of Commerce.
  3. Burger, Joanna, and Michael Gochfeld. Perceptions of the risks and benefits of fish consumption: Individual choices to reduce risk and increase health benefits. Environ res, 2009, 109, 343.
  4. Khalili Tilami, Sarvenaz, and Sabine Sampels. Nutritional value of fish: lipids, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Rev Fisher Sci Aquac, 2018, 26, 243-253.
  5. Pascual, Florencia. Polychlorinated Biphenyls as a Cardiovascular Health Risk: A New Threat from an Old Enemy?. Environ Health Perspec, 2020, 128, 114003.
  6. Yanar, Yasemen, et al. Cooking effects on fatty acid composition of cultured sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) fillets. J Muscle Foods, 2007, 18, 88-94.

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