Food For Healthy Bones

Irma Jennings - INHC - Holistic Bone Coach

Fishing for Healthy Bones

June 8, 2015
Irma Jennings

Fishing For Healthy Bones

My bones love fish for lots of reasons.

For one thing, fish is a great source of lean protein to make your bones flexible so they bend without breaking. And fish can also give you plenty of healthy omega-3 fats.

But my bones are also picky about what fish they eat. Because depending on where your fish comes from, you might be getting more than you bargained for.

Here’s what I mean.

Fish for healthy bonesJust like factory farms that raise animals in cruel CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), fish farms raise sick fish.

Farmed fish is crowded into tanks or net pens where disease spreads quickly.  They are often fed food that’s not natural for a fish to eat, like genetically modified corn, soy, and canola oil. Some even get pellets of chicken feces, and pig and duck waste. Yuck.

And because fish don’t exactly thrive on that nasty food, they’re also fed antibiotics, chemicals, and growth hormones to speed up production. I don’t want to feed that stuff to my bones.

Fin fish or wet, as the trade calls them, can have some problems when farmed. If the fish are confined in cages off shore they have very soft flesh, even mushy, because they can’t move or exercise. Occasionally from undeveloped countries there were problems with antibiotics and other things that are not best consumed.

Alan Armstrong, Restaurateur - Restaurant Consultant Since 1998

Farmed fish also aren’t as nutritious as wild fish. In fact, farmed salmon is fattier than wild salmon but it’s the wrong kind of fat. Farmed salmon can have about 50% less of the healthy omega-3 fats. It has much more of the less healthy omega-6 fats because it eats corn and soy.

And fish raised on the farm are more contaminated. According to the Environmental Working Group, farmed salmon are the most PCB-contaminated protein source in the U.S. food supply.

In an EWG study 70% of farmed salmon purchased in grocery stores contained PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) at levels that raise a health concern. Farmed salmon had 16 times the levels found in wild salmon and 3.4 times the levels found in other seafood.

These toxins bind to the fat molecules in the fish. When you eat the fish, the toxins get stored in your fat cells. They can cause cancer, brain and memory problems, and other harm.

Fish farms also carry high environmental costs like water pollution. And they spread diseases to wild fish populations that happen to be swimming in the neighborhood.

In short, fish farms are bad for animals, for your health, and for the environment.

That’s why I avoid farmed fish. The most common farm raised fish are salmon, tilapia, sea bass, catfish, and cod. All Atlantic salmon sold in the U.S. are farmed.

Always ask your fishmonger whether the fish you’re buying is wild-caught. It will be harder to find and probably more expensive than the farmed version.

But your bones deserve the best.

When I eat out, I ask my server if the fish is farm-raised. If it’s Pacific, it’s probably wild. But if it’s Atlantic, it’s almost always farmed.

A good rule of thumb is to look for seafood labeled “Alaskan.” By law, it can’t be farmed.  Here's a brand that I use for quickly adding protein to my salad.

photo 2 (2) 2wild salmon BPA free

Finally, don’t be fooled by “ocean raised” labels. It sounds good, but even farmed fish are “ocean raised” in floating pens near the ocean shore. They’re still not wild.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 4.41.35 PM If fish were farmed correctly they could be a good source of healthy protein. But    unfortunately we’re not there yet. Until the industry is reformed, I’m passing on farmed fish and eating on the wild side (like me!).

To make shopping for fish easier, check out this Seafood Watch App

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From my bones to yours,


Printable Recipe click HERE

Yummy Lemon Salmon Burgers
Recipe tweaked from

Two 7.5 oz wild caught salmon in BPA free cans with bones
1 pasture raised eggs
1/4 chopped parsley
2 T chopped onions
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs - (for my gluten free bones, I use almond crumbs left over from making almond milk or gluten free panko)
2 T lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon oil (I use coconut oil)
preheat over to 375 degrees

2 T mayonnaise
1 T lemon juice
1 pinch dried basil

Combine all ingredients
Shape burgers - use a 1/4 cup to measure size
Place burgers a baking sheet and brush melted coconut butter on top of the burgers
Bake for 10-15 minutes

My question for you.

When it comes to choosing the right foods to optimize your bone health, what is the single biggest challenge, frustration or problem you’ve been struggling with?

Please let me know so I can write content that meets your needs.

Plus I have wonderful alkaline salad dressing waiting for you on the other side to thank you for your time 🙂.

Click here to share your challenges ----> HERE

From my bones to yours,


Your holistic Bone Coach

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30 Essential Foods for Bone Health

From my bones to yours,
Irma Jennings, INHC
Your Holistic Bone Coach
[email protected]

30 Essential Foods for Bone Health
30 Essential Foods for Bone Health
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