Healthsomeness Written Logo

Tilapia

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Tilapia Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 78.1 g
Calories: 96 kcal
Protein: 20.1 g
Fat: 1.7 g
Saturated fat: 0.6 g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 50 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B3: 3.9 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B9: 24 μg
Vitamin B12: 1.6 μg
Vitamin E: 0.4 mg
Vitamin D: 3.1 μg
Vitamin K: 1.4 μg
Calcium: 10 mg
Iron: 0.6 mg
Magnesium: 27 mg
Phosphorus: 170 mg
Potassium: 302 mg
Sodium: 52 mg
Zinc: 0.3 mg

Tilapia refers to nearly one-hundred species of white fish, and is one of the most farmed fish in the world. While this means that cooking tilapia is easy whatever kind of food you like (whether that’s Thai food or fish and chips), tilapia are also subjected to some pretty terrible farming procedures, so try and buy quality where you can. With astonishingly high levels of lean protein, tilapia is an ideal food for those looking to lose weight the healthy way.

Nutritionally, tilapia is most significant for one thing: the huge amount of lean protein available for extremely few calories. 100g of cooked tilapia contains 129 calories, but also provides 52% of your Daily Value (DV) of protein. That’s a huge amount! On top of that, tilapia also contains a number of extremely important nutrients: 37% DV of vitamin D, 31% DV of B12, and 10% DV of potassium. All are completely essential, and adequate intake will help with everything from cognitive ability to bone formation. However, tilapia does also contain a lot of cholesterol (19% DV per 100g cooked), so those with pre-existing heart problems may want to avoid it.

Recently, tilapia has come in for something of a bad press: the main issue being its bad ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Sensationally claimed to worse for you than bacon, the main accusation against tilapia (low amounts of omega 3 to omega 6) is not incorrect, it’s just nonsensical.

As we know, a high omega 6 to 3 ratio increases your risk of depression and inflammatory disorders, but the problem with this is that tilapia includes very little of either of these two fats! Tilapia contains about 2g of fat total per 100g, and only around 300mg of omega 3 and 600-900mg of omega 6, which, frankly, is extremely little. Eating some salmon will get your balance back to healthy levels in no time!

On top of that, while it is important to talk about healthy fats, there is a significant benefit to being a high-protein, low fat food. High amounts of protein increase satiety and may aid weight loss. In addition to helping weight loss, high-protein foods like tilapia are essential for any sporting endeavour where you need to maintain muscle at a low body fat percentage, be that bodybuilding or combat sports.