3

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I hate fish; is it really that essential?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 13, 2010 at 6:33 PM

I know, all the blogs & books really pile on the fish, but I can't stand it unless it's heavily battered and fried, which is probably not a good idea :)

CLO is out of the question. I tried it once and gagged and heaved for an hour. I take 2x1200mg fish oil caps twice a day and that's about all I can do.

The fish that are supposed to be the best are oily, stinky, disgusting ones like mackerel, sardines, wild salmon. I can handle totally bland, neutral white fish like roughy or sable, but I'm not sure if their nutrients are worth the expense. I eat plenty of pastured beef, poultry, eggs and such. What am I missing by avoiding fish, if anything?

Medium avatar

(7073)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

hey 42, this is great, vitamins survive the pasteurizing process should the butte you snagged sounds really good. I think adding liver and/or blood sausage to the mix would be a good thing to do and lots of sunshine.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 17, 2010
at 02:10 PM

I used to dislike fish as a kid- the first fish I ever ate was smoked alaska black cod and I skipped the fish and ate the blubber! The next fish I liked was trout I caught myself in a creek and pan fried. Then it went to steelhead from the river. and now fresh fish from a friend (we share fruit & veggies).

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 15, 2010
at 06:58 AM

hey 42, this is great, vitamins survive the pasteurizing process so the butter you snagged sounds really good, that and the eggs and chicken, well, you are doing fine. I think adding liver and/or blood sausage to the mix would be a good thing to do (and lots of sunshine). If you are still worried there is always the insect option......

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 14, 2010
at 06:38 PM

Love ya back! :;

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 14, 2010
at 05:50 PM

thanks Glenn, love ya......

C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on March 14, 2010
at 02:46 PM

I have a source for actual free-range eggs, and eat about a dozen per week. I also buy pastured chickens and snagged about 4lbs of pastured butter on sale at Whole Foods. Not raw, but beats the factory stuff. I'm eating all the "right" animal protein and fats, I guess, except the fish. Everything is pastured/grass-farmed.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 14, 2010
at 01:35 PM

Good answer, Louisa!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 14, 2010
at 04:56 AM

I buy fermented cod liver oil pills...quite expensive, but very high quality. I only take them occasionally when I'm being too sedentary.

5cd18bfcafadc56292971e59f2f1faf6

(2475)

on March 14, 2010
at 01:25 AM

@Patrik -- now that you mention it, I don't think I've ever had fish that fresh! Definitely something to add to the todo list for life.

Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on March 14, 2010
at 12:01 AM

I don't like fish very much, either. I can tolerate salmon and halibut, but I dread cooking them as I always fear overcooking. I used to love sardines when I was a kid, but now, not so much. I take my fish oil caps. I'll keep trying. Not giving up yet!

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 13, 2010
at 11:50 PM

@PaleoDave --- the problem is that really fresh fish is amazing and completely non-smelly -- however, it gets that fishy smell very fast. I learned this when I used to spearfish in college -- eating fish that I had shot in the head 3 hours prior ruined me for grocery store and restaurant (even 5 star) fish forever.

5cd18bfcafadc56292971e59f2f1faf6

(2475)

on March 13, 2010
at 10:04 PM

Interesting question. If we're really supposed to eat so much of the stuff, why does it smell so bad?

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6 Answers

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1
Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 14, 2010
at 08:32 AM

There are three things that are of issue here with the lack of fish (esp. CLO) in your diet: Omega 3 vitamin A and vitamin D.

1) Omega 3: Can you find a source of 'real' free-range eggs? I mean the ones from a farm where the chickens are running around all day with no fences? These chickens will naturally pick up grubs and insects which makes the eggs higher in Omega 3. I would go for these over the eggs that are fortified with Omega 3 at the factory - i.e. hens that are fed fish meal, but that could be an alternative if you do not live near a farm. Indigenous people who have no access to fish make a habit of eating grubs and large insects and you will get the same benefit by letting the chickens do it for you. ;) You may find switching to eating farm-raised, 'real' free-range chickens may also be of benefit.

2) Vitamin A and D: Include some blood sausage regularly in your diet, which contains Vitamin D (and is very tasty) and get out into the sun as much as you can. For your Vitamin A requirements, eat liver, esp. if you can manage to eat some raw (just undercook it so it stays pink in the middle). But perhaps you could try including some raw butter in your diet, which is naturally high in A and D vitamins, (not strictly Paleo, I know).

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 14, 2010
at 06:38 PM

Love ya back! :;

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 14, 2010
at 05:50 PM

thanks Glenn, love ya......

Medium avatar

(7073)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

hey 42, this is great, vitamins survive the pasteurizing process should the butte you snagged sounds really good. I think adding liver and/or blood sausage to the mix would be a good thing to do and lots of sunshine.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 14, 2010
at 01:35 PM

Good answer, Louisa!

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 15, 2010
at 06:58 AM

hey 42, this is great, vitamins survive the pasteurizing process so the butter you snagged sounds really good, that and the eggs and chicken, well, you are doing fine. I think adding liver and/or blood sausage to the mix would be a good thing to do (and lots of sunshine). If you are still worried there is always the insect option......

C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on March 14, 2010
at 02:46 PM

I have a source for actual free-range eggs, and eat about a dozen per week. I also buy pastured chickens and snagged about 4lbs of pastured butter on sale at Whole Foods. Not raw, but beats the factory stuff. I'm eating all the "right" animal protein and fats, I guess, except the fish. Everything is pastured/grass-farmed.

1
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 13, 2010
at 11:55 PM

I really hated fish too. I remember as a kid my mom tried to trick me into eating some at a restaurant and I spit it up all over the floor in front of everyone. I hated smelling it, seeing it, touching it, and god forbid tasting it.

When I went paleo I really wanted to broaden my "omnivores" diet. Learning that many of the healthiest cultures were coastal boosted that desire. I relied essentially on fish oil for some time, but I feel the quality of fish is higher and there are some issues with fish oil like PCBs, oxidation, and environmental impact.

My first fish was salmon. I essentially would bury it in a spicy coconut milk sauce and choke it down. Later I found raw salmon drenched in soy sauce was fairly palatable. Now that I know better, I realize that there are better fish to start with. Black sea bass and red snapper are two very mild fish I can enjoy with minimal sauce.

I still pretty much rely on sauce to eat fish, but there are a few that I really really like. Black sea bass is one....I also have really taken a liking to shrimp, scallops, lobster, and crab. I like that I can now enjoy things like a fish fry or a clam bake and that I don't have to rely on oil.

I keep trying to like sardines and mackerel, but they are tough for me to eat. Maybe I'll eventually completely conquer my fishy aversion. My theory on the aversion is that it isn't natural and is a consequence of having "shallow" tastebuds which is caused by industrial food. At the same time I overcame this aversion, I also overcame dislike of fermented foods and gamey meats, other foods not enjoyed by shallow tastebuds.

1
03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 13, 2010
at 07:24 PM

Good (and entertaining!) question. The answer depends on who you ask. Stick with the fish oil caps for sure.

I wouldn't discount the value of milder fish once in a while. And the "oily, skinky" stuff--like sardines and anchovies--can be cut up and put into other seafood recipes where they won't be as noticeable.

There's also the seafood that you actually see in the SAD, like shrimp and, sometimes, scallops. I'll have to look into where they stand in the paleo scheme.

0
C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on March 14, 2010
at 04:05 AM

I forgot to mention that I love shellfish e.g. lobstah (hey, I live in New England), shrimp, crab, clams, etc. far more than finned fish and eat them whenever I have the chance. Unfarmed, of course.

OK, I guess I don't need to worry about choking down fin-fish. Blorf. It's funny, my mom hates all fish except salmon, and I can't stand salmon but can handle plain white fish.

I take Costco-branded fish oil caps, probably not the best eh? Ingredients mention soy. Ugh. Why is there soy in my fish oil?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 14, 2010
at 04:56 AM

I buy fermented cod liver oil pills...quite expensive, but very high quality. I only take them occasionally when I'm being too sedentary.

0
95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on March 14, 2010
at 12:08 AM

I don't like the little smelly critters much either, and I totally can't abide CLO, but I do love good sashimi, and between that, various Cantonese-ish wok experiments, and grilled stuff I eat plenty of seafood. Try grilling shrimp with Old Bay seasoning and some of the the Kerrygold herbed butter -- for that matter, try grilling a wild salmon filet and serving it with good butter and a slightly peppery spice blend -- good stuff.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 13, 2010
at 08:13 PM

If you absolutely skip eating all fish make sure you get enough omega 3's and vitamin D some other way.

What about Caesar salad with nice stinky anchovies mushed into the dressing?

I don't think it will amount to a huge problem if you just avoid stinky fish! (I love sashimi and sushi and most cooked fish.)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 17, 2010
at 02:10 PM

I used to dislike fish as a kid- the first fish I ever ate was smoked alaska black cod and I skipped the fish and ate the blubber! The next fish I liked was trout I caught myself in a creek and pan fried. Then it went to steelhead from the river. and now fresh fish from a friend (we share fruit & veggies).

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