Tilapia Nutrition

Leena Palande Feb 6, 2019
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Tilapia, known for its delightful taste, is one of the most popular fish consumed in the United States. Here are some tilapia nutrition facts; because these fish are loved by all types of communities. Read on to know whether the fish is bad for heart...
Hundreds of species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichlid tribe are known as 'tilapia fish' in the layman's language. Because of their large size, fast growth and delicious taste, tilapias play a major role in fish-farming activities. Tilapia is the third most important fish in aquaculture after carps and salmonids.
It is a rich source of protein. The most important characteristic of this fish is that it is a fast growing and short-lived fish. It does not accumulate high levels of mercury as it follows a vegetarian diet. Besides, it is available at relatively low expense.
By consuming aquatic vegetation, tilapias help clean the water and hence are purposely cultivated in the canals that provide drinking water. The information on nutrition facts of tilapia may help clear all doubts in the minds of people who love to eat it often.

Nutritional Value of Tilapia

Cooked, (dry heat) tilapia, 3.5 oz (100 g) Contains:
  • Calories: 128 kcal
  • Protein: 26 gm
  • Carbohydrate: 0 gm
  • Total Fat: 3 gm
  • Saturated fat: 1 gm
  • Unsaturated fat: 2 gm
  • Trans fat: 0 gm
  • Cholesterol: 57 mg
  • Fiber: 0 gm
  • Selenium: 54.40 mcg (78% DV)
  • Vitamin B12: 1.86 mcg (31% DV)
  • Niacin: 4.74 mg (24% DV)
  • Phosphorus: 204.00 mg (20% DV)
  • Potassium: 380 mg (11% DV) 

Nutritional Benefits of Tilapia

  • One ounce of tilapia contains 27 calories. As you can see, tilapia provides a substantial amount of protein without adding many calories to your diet.
  • It contains no carbohydrates. It is also known as the 'food fish of the 21st century'. It can be included in a high protein low carb diet.
  • It is very rich in phosphorus, niacin, selenium and vitamin B12 and is a good source of potassium. Vitamin B12 helps boost your energy levels by promoting the process of metabolism and potassium helps maintain heart health. 

Tilapia and Heart Health

Some studies show that eating tilapia is not good for those who suffer from heart problems, as farm raised tilapias have very low levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and perhaps worse, very high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. But compared to bacon, it has high protein and low fat content. Moreover it is richer in other vitamins and minerals than bacon.
So, according to other study groups, it is not fair to call tilapia as worse food, just because it contains less omega-3 than salmon and more omega-6 than bacon. Instead, it should be fed properly; so that tilapia consumers would receive the essential nutrients.
Omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure. They also help lower the risk of certain cancers. Omega-6 fatty acids help lower cholesterol levels but they are responsible for increased risk for blood clots, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and certain cancers.

Healthy Way of Consumption

Instead of frying tilapia, you should opt for grilled, boiled or steamed tilapia which will help you cut down on total fat in the diet. And still, if you want to fry or sauté it, you may use canola or olive oil.
Try cooking the fish in coconut milk, as in ginataang tilapia. Calories and tilapia nutrition may change according to the ingredients of the dish and the method of preparation.

Nutrients in Fried Tilapia

Grilled or fried tilapias and tilapia tacos are consumed widely. Fried Tilapia (274 gm) will contain:
  • Calories: 282 kcal
  • Protein: 25.3 gm
  • Carbohydrate: 8.3 gm
  • Total Fat: 16.4 g
  • Saturated fat: 3.3 gm
  • Sodium: 95 mg
  • Cholesterol: 53 mg
  • Fiber: 1.9 gm

Nutrients in Grilled Tilapia

1 fillet of 89 gm will contain:
  • Calories: 80 kcal
  • Protein: 14 gm
  • Carbohydrate: 1 gm
  • Total Fat: 2.5 gm
  • Saturated fat: 0.5 gm
  • Unsaturated fat: 1.5 gm
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 50 mg
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sodium: 360 mg
  • Potassium: 280 mg
Thus, tilapia is a good source of proteins, when consumed in the right way. It is good to eat fish regularly, at least twice a week.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (USDA), among all fish, tilapia has one of the lowest levels of mercury. As you now know the tilapia nutrition facts, you can opt for a variety of fatty fish; for instance, you can combine tilapia with omega-3-rich fish (like tuna, salmon, and mackerel) for a more balanced mix of fats.