Catfish Health, Nutrients and Benefits

Catfish are one of the oldest and most widespread fish species, adapting well to their environment. They thrive worldwide, with the exception of some places with extreme temperatures. This article details the nutrients, benefits, and downsides of catfish.

Nutrition Facts

This common fish has a terrific nutritional profile.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of fresh catfish provides (1Trusted Source):

    • Calories: 105

    • Fat: 2.9 grams

    • Protein: 18 grams

    • Sodium: 50 mg

    • Vitamin B12: 121% of the Daily Value (DV)

    • Selenium: 26% of the DV

    • Phosphorus: 24% of the DV

    • Thiamine: 15% of the DV

    • Potassium: 19% of the DV

    • Cholesterol: 24% of the DV

    • Omega-3 fatty acids: 237 mg

    • Omega-6 fatty acids: 337 mg

In addition to being low in calories and sodium, catfish is packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Catfish is a low calorie, high protein seafood that’s a great source of nutrients, including vitamin B12, selenium, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Catfish is a good source of various nutrients but low in calories, making it nutrient dense.

It is packed with lean protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissue and muscle, as well as for hormones, enzymes, and other molecules.

One 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of catfish provides 32-39% of your daily protein needs in only 105 calories, compared to salmon providing half of your daily protein needs but over 230 calories. Nutrient-dense protein sources like catfish may aid weight loss by boosting feelings of fullness.

This fish is also a great option for people who are watching their calorie count but want to make sure they’re getting enough nutrients.

Contains omega-3 fatty acids

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends eating up to 8 ounces of fish or other seafood each week (3Trusted Source).

One reason for this recommendation is that catfish and other seafood tend to provide more omega-3 fatty acids than other foods (4Trusted Source).

Omega-3 fatty acids are renowned for their role in brain health.

Although more research is needed, they may even help treat neurological and mental conditions, including memory loss, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression (5Trusted Source6Trusted Source).

What’s more, omega-3s are linked to improvements in skeletal muscle strength, heart health, and even the gut microbiome — the collection of healthy bacteria in your gut (7Trusted Source8Trusted Source9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

A review of 23 studies in over 1 million people associated eating fish with an overall lower risk of death — and a 7% reduction in the chance of death for every 200 mg of omega-3s consumed daily (11Trusted Source).

Given that your body cannot produce omega-3s on its own, you need to get them through your diet. One 3.5-ounce (100-gram) catfish fillet delivers 237 mg, or 15–20% of the Adequate Intake (AI) for adults (5Trusted Source).

While catfish does provide omega-3s, it is a leaner fish that provides fewer fatty acids than a fatty fish like salmon.

A 3-ounce serving of fatty fish like salmon can contain up to 1,800 mg of omega-3s compared with a 3-ounce serving of catfish which contains only 200 mg of omega-3s (12Trusted Source).

A good source of vitamin B12

A single 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of catfish boasts up to 121% of the DV for vitamin B12, which many people are deficient in (1Trusted Source).

Though several fish are high in this vitamin, catfish is a particularly outstanding source.

Adequate vitamin B12 levels are tied to several potential health benefits, including improved mental health, protection against heart disease, and prevention and treatment of anemia (13Trusted Source14Trusted Source15Trusted Source16Trusted Source17Trusted Source18Trusted Source19Trusted Source20Trusted Source).

All the same, further studies are needed on some of these benefits (21Trusted Source).

Cooking methods for catfish

Catfish can absolutely be part of a balanced diet, but cooking methods greatly influence how healthy it is.

This table examines how various cooking methods affect the calorie, sodium, and fat contents in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of catfish (22Trusted Source23Trusted Source24Trusted Source):

  Dry heat without oil Baked or broiled
with oil
Breaded and fried
Calories 105 178 229
Fat 2.9 grams 10.9 grams 13.3 grams
Sodium 50 mg 433 mg 280 mg

Though catfish is commonly fried, other cooking options result in lower calorie, fat, and sodium contents.

Compared with dry heat cooking, frying catfish in oil adds as many as 124 calories and over 10 grams of fat. In contrast, some healthy dry heat cooking methods include baking, broiling, grilling, roasting, and pan frying.

NOTE

How you cook catfish significantly affects its calorie, fat, and sodium levels. For a healthier option, stick with a dry heat method like baking or broiling.

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1 Comment

  1. Cool 😎


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