Smoked Fish A Danger?

Commented on April 27, 2015
Created April 23, 2015 at 11:41 AM

I've been eating a lot (250-500g) of smoked (beechwood) mackerel recently, i absolutely love it and it feels like the most nutritious food in my diet, i'm just wondering if this is ok in the long term?

There were recent articles in the newspaper about processed meats being associated with cancer etc but i'm not sure if the study is another victim of the 'healthy user bias' we see so often, or is there actual carcinogenic chemicals formed during the smoking process that should be avoided?

It seems smoked & salted meat is a very 'paleo' method of preservation that our bodies should be fairly adjusted to

Thanks for any info!

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2 Answers



on April 27, 2015
at 01:18 AM

Almost certainly the same compounds that decrease your health in cured meats exist in cured fish. It may be the histamines, the black pepper (google black pepper toxicity), or the extra salt. It could be the lack of enzymes. I eat a bit of both (cured fish and cured meat), but I can see that very fresh meat and fish is best.

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on April 27, 2015
at 10:03 AM

Good looking out, i've been eating lots of black pepper recently but will reduce it, i didn't think salt would be an issue really i think its generally unfairly demonized, i was also unaware that smoked fish would lack enymes that freshly cooked fish would retain...

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on April 24, 2015
at 06:01 PM

I've never seen anything implicating the smoke and salt, just the other preservatives and the fat. The damning studies are on highly preserved red meat, not fish. Here's a highly cited one.



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on April 24, 2015
at 06:23 PM

Cheers, the only ingredients in my mackerel are mackerel, salt & black pepper so that's good, i figured it would be more problematic with other preservatives commonly found in red meats, i've wound it in a bit anyway and sticking to about 150-250g as there's no need to be eating half a kilo of mackerel everyday!


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