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Sea Bass Health Benefits
Even though bass is low in total fat, both varieties are excellent sources of two omega-3 fatty acids: Eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. These fatty acids help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing levels of cholesterol, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Sea bass provides 0.8 grams of combined EPA and DHA, while freshwater bass has 0.65 grams in a 3-ounce serving. One serving supplies 40 to 75 percent of your daily intake, depending on the type you eat and your sex, because men need more than women, according to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine.
The two types of bass provide 6 to 11 percent of your daily value for magnesium and potassium. They’re both good sources of selenium, but sea bass provides 57 percent of the daily value, while freshwater bass has 20 percent, according to NutritionValue.org. Your body depends on selenium to produce antioxidants and to synthesize thyroid hormones. They also have different amounts of vitamin B-6 and B-12. Sea bass is a rich source of vitamin B-6, containing 20 percent of your daily value, which is three times more than you’ll get from freshwater bass. Freshwater bass provides 33 percent of your daily value of vitamin B-12, compared to only 4 percent in sea bass.
Mercury Levels and Recommendations
Mercury emitted from industrial facilities lands in bodies of water and results in mercury-contaminated fish, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Consuming mercury is a health concern for everyone, but it’s especially critical for pregnant women and young children because mercury interferes with normal development of the nervous system. Striped and black bass, two freshwater varieties, contain a moderate amount of mercury, which means that vulnerable people can consume six servings or less per month. If you find Chilean sea bass in the store, be aware that it’s high in mercury and should be limited to three servings or less per month.