Oily fish are given this name because their body fat is distributed throughout their flesh unlike white fish which store fat in their livers. Many oily fish are excellent sources of vitamin D, a nutrient found in few other foods. All oily fish supply us with the two really useful essential fats known as EPA and DHA, perhaps better known as omega 3’s and dark oily fish meat from fish like sardines and pilchards are great for energy-boosting iron.


How Much To Eat

Boys and men can eat two to three servings a week of oily fish but girls and women of childbearing age should stick with no more than one serving a week because oily fish carry pollutants that could damage an unborn child. Women past childbearing age can eat the same amount as men.

Did You Know?

Eating fish has several key benefits:
- a good intake of omega 3 oils have been found to help reduce drugs needed to treat psoriasis.
- it can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- it is believed to play a role in helping to build and maintain peak bone density and slow calcium depletion.
- it can play a role in reducing blood pressure.
- it can help build and maintain haemoglobin levels in blood.

Choosing and Storing Fish

Scale, gill and gut fish before storing for a maximum of three days in the fridge.

Fresh fish should have bright, bulging eyes, firm flesh and a fresh smell.



Canned anchovies are rich in sodium with 100g supplying almost a level teaspoon.

Brown Trout


Trout has one of the lowest levels of fat in the oily fish group and one of the highest in potassium.



Herrings are one of the richest known food source of vitamin D with levels of up to 30 micrograms per 100g.



Smoked herrings which are traditionally served grilled at breakfast. Excellent source of vitamin D.



The fat in mackerel can vary between 6 to 23g per 100g. Smoked mackerel has a strong flavour and is good for making pate.



Larger than sardines but with less flavour, pilchards need to be served with a strong sauce which usually accompanies them when canned.



The vitamin D levels in Pacific salmon are higher than Atlantic with the former having up to 20 micrograms per 100g. Smoked and canned salmon is high in sodium.



When canned, sardines retain their bones and therefore make an excellent source of calcium. 100g supplies 540mg which is over two thirds of a womans daily needs.



Canning Tuna destroys all of the EPA and virtually all of the DHA as well as significantly increasing sodium.