Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Are You Eating Swai Fish? 4 Reasons to Stop  

Consuming some kinds of fish that were caught in the wild can be very good for your health. Some seafood choices are high in healthy fats like omega-3s and serve as muscle-building protein sources. Swai fish, on the other hand, tend to be more affordable options because fish typically have a high price tag.

Swai fish is preferred by many consumers, including food retailers, due to its lower cost; however, there are significant issues with this fish that you should be aware of. Even though a pound of swai fish will set you back approximately $2, its potential health risks make it significantly more expensive.

Additionally, would you believe that when you pay top dollar for catfish, grouper, flounder, and sole, you frequently consume swai that has been raised in factories?

You might be more careful about the kinds of fish you eat in the future after learning about the numerous health and farming issues associated with swai.

What Are Swai Fish?

Swai fish is a white fish with a flaky texture and a mild flavor. It is a type of catfish that lives in freshwater and is native to Vietnamese rivers. It is also known as the iridescent shark, basa fish, and Vietnamese catfish, but it is neither a basa nor a type of shark.

Swai fish went through an identity crisis in the early 2000s, when it was still sold in the United States under the name “catfish,” which led to an abundance of names.

When Congress enacted a law in 2003 stating that only American catfish could be referred to as such, the market was flooded with a variety of names; however, the Vietnamese fish industry appears to have settled on swai today.

However, you won’t track down the fish in Alabama, Louisiana, or Mississippi. Swai cannot be sold in these states, where the catfish industry is very big.

The nutritional value of a four-ounce fillet of swai is approximate:

  • 80 calories,
  • 19 grams of protein,
  • 0.5 grams of fat,
  • 30.2 milligrams of sodium (depending on the amount),

and 50.4 milligrams of cholesterol were found in 100 grams of swai (or pangasius) fish by Purdue University researchers.

Naturally, the nutrition content of Swai fillets is affected by the cooking and coating ingredients, which typically add more sodium, carbs, and fat.

Is Swai Fish Protected to Eat?

The answer is no. This is not due to the food’s nutritional value, but rather to how swai is typically raised and fed.

What makes swai fish harmful to you? The fundamental motivations to never eat swai fish incorporate the presence of hazardous microorganisms, the utilization of anti-toxins to treat wiped-out fish, the dirty water conditions, and the steady mislabeling of swai. ( It is one of the fish you should never eat for these reasons.)

1. Swai fish is not subject to the same stringent inspection regulations as other imported catfish because it is not technically considered a catfish.

That is an issue since anti-microbials that are restricted in the U.S. are many times tracked down in fish items from Vietnam, alongside microbes like E. coli.

Even though swai fish must still pass inspections, the U.S. catfish industry is still skeptical that issues like polluted water are being addressed in Asia.

Nearly 26,000 pounds of swai fillets sold at Aldi’s stores in the United States were recalled in the summer of 2016. The fish hadn’t passed the federal inspection.

However, the fact that careless handling was discovered is pretty impressive. Antibiotic drug residue is never tested on more than 2% of imported seafood.

According to one study, imported Vietnamese fish like swai had the highest number of health violations in the United States. Swai fish’s biggest problem is that it is raised in factories, which leads to widespread antibiotic use. When fish are mass-produced from the wild, there are consequences, just like when meats are raised in factories.

First things first, fish raised in factories are suffering. Yes, even your goldfish despises being in small, confined spaces.

Like humans, these fish are more susceptible to disease when they are stressed.

How are diseases treated in fish raised in factories? You are correct if you guessed antibiotics. We are aware that you are what you eat.

Furthermore, fish ranches accompany a ton of side effects that can’t be unloaded into streams lawfully. Farms contain a plethora of chemicals, including disinfectants, antibiotics, and drugs to combat parasites, in these fish. Swai fish’s mercury levels and other heavy metal residues are also cause for concern.

Fish advocates argue that everyone should raise fish on farms rather than capture strained populations in the wild. However, factory fish like swai must eat, and their diets mostly consist of GMO corn, grains, and fishmeal made from small, wild fish.

As a result of the massive extraction of small fish from the water to feed the farmed fish, wild populations are left with less food, resulting in an unsightly and fishy cycle.

While there aren’t many examinations on ranch-fished swai, in essence, with regards to tilapia and salmon, obviously cultivated fish isn’t the most ideal choice — and swai fish falls in a similar classification.

3. Fraud and Fish Mislabeling Swai is a cheap fish that some people choose to eat. However, did you know that it is frequently sold under the name of more expensive fish like catfish, sole, grouper, and flounder?

A report by Oceana showed that swai (alluded to as Asian catfish) was one of the three sorts of fish generally regularly fill in for higher-esteem fish.

More than 200 sources, including journal articles and public documents from governments, were included in Oceana’s global fish fraud report. The researchers revealed that, except for one study, seafood fraud was discovered. In 58% of cases, the samples that were substituted for other kinds of seafood posed a health risk to customers!




Any possible advantages?

Even though eating swai fish can be very bad for you, some people still buy it because it tastes good and is cheap.

If you love swai, buy it from a reputable business that sells eco-friendly goods. Choose a product that bears the label of an eco-certification program. ASC Farmed Pangasius, Naturland, and BAP Certified are some labels to look for.

On the off chance that you can’t find a swai item with these kinds of certificates, then you’re in an ideal situation going with a better fish elective that has much higher measures of omega-3 unsaturated fats, similar to wild-got salmon.

Better Fish Choices

Swai isn’t the main possibly unfortunate and harmful fish. So, what other choices does that leave for pescatarians? Plenty.

A list of some healthy fish choices is as follows:

Salmon: Vitamins B12 and D, which many Americans are deficient in, are abundant in wild-caught Alaskan salmon. Salmon is also a serious food for the brain. Because it contains so many omega-3 fatty acids, it improves memory and prevents brain fog. Try this Blackened Salmon Recipe with massaged kale and anti-inflammatory spices to add salmon to your diet. Additionally, this Teriyaki Baked Salmon Recipe is delectable and simple to prepare.
Sardines: Sardines, which are caught in the Pacific and are another healthy option that can be found easily and added to dishes for a low price. Since they’re very low in the fish pecking order, sardines don’t experience the ill effects of maintainability given how other fish do. For such small fish, they protect bone health and reduce inflammation.
The Atlantic Mackerel Like wild-caught salmon, mackerel fish has a high nutritional value. It has a lot of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients. It is also known to support bone health and lower blood pressure.
Tuna: Albacore: Antioxidants and protein are abundant in wild-caught albacore tuna, and it may even improve brain function. Choose tuna steak over canned tuna for lower sodium content. Try this tuna pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives.
Supplements with fish oil: Obviously, you can get the omega-3 advantages of fish without eating them by picking an excellent phytoplankton supplement. Some fish have high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA because they eat phytoplankton.

Final Thoughts

Although there are few studies on swai fish, especially when compared to more common fish like salmon and tilapia, the information we do have is sufficient to raise significant concerns.
Swai fish could be sold with antibiotic residues and lower standards, but that’s only part of the problem. Additionally, almost all of the swai that is sold in the United States originates from factory farms.
Rather than choosing cheap swai, stick to fish low in impurities and high in omega-3 unsaturated fats, similar to wild-got salmon and Pacific sardines.


Q: Swai Fish is it clean or dirty?

Answer: Swai fish, one type of Vietnamese-imported fish, are frequently deemed “unclean” and raise several health concerns due to their inconsistent quality. Native to Vietnam, the swai fish (Basa) is mostly imported to the United States.

Q: Is Swai Fish Delicious?

Answer: Swai fish is tasty and reasonably priced. It is typically imported from Vietnam and has grown in popularity and availability in the United States over the past few decades. In any case, many individuals who eat swai may not know about the worries encompassing its creation on jam-packed fish ranches.

Q: Is Swai a Healthful Fish?

Answer: Swai is a good source of niacin and vitamin B12, as well as a good source of selenium. However, amounts may fluctuate according to the fish’s diet (5, 8). Swai doesn’t have especially solid eating regimens. Rice bran, soy, canola, and fish by-products are typically fed to them.

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