The fish is promoted by its beneficial effects on the heart, joints and brain, but knowing the amount of a single portion can sometimes be confusing. Different organizations have different definitions for portion sizes, but the general recommendations of how much you should eat over the course of the week are well established. Your own health conditions can affect the amount of fish you should consume, so keep that in mind when calculating your own ideal portion.
Traditional serving size
A traditional portion of fish may vary from 3 to 6 ounces, depending on the type of fish and its preparation. American Heart Association considers 3, 5 ounces of cooked fish or about 3/4 cup as a single serving. A can of tuna contains about 5 ounces while it is stated to be 2 ounces or 1/4 cup as an appropriate portion on the nutrition label. The American Dietetic Association's exchange lists calculate the use of 1 ounce serving of fish. Several restaurants and chefs at home serve more than the amount of a portion in a single meal. To estimate a single portion without weighing or measuring it, 3 ounces of fish are generally the size of a woman's palm.
One ounce of fish contains approximately 35 calories and 1 gram of fat, placing it in the fairly lean protein category, according to the American Dietetic Association. A 3-ounce serving of fish can have between 0.1 and 1.9 grams of heart-healthy omega-3s with Atlantic salmon, bluefin tuna and sardines topping the list.
The American Heart Association recommends eating about two servings of fish per week, 6 or 7 ounces of fish to take advantage of the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Most people should try to keep fish consumption below 12 ounces per week or about three to four servings to avoid mercury contamination. A single serving of shark, swordfish, tilefish and mackerel contains unhealthy levels of mercury, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children should avoid consuming even a small amount of these fish and limit their servings to two a week with a low-mercury fish such as salmon, catfish, haddock and canned tuna.
Some people should have extra portions of fish every week. People with heart disease should try to get 1 gram or more of omega-3 EPA and DHA derived from fish every day and people with high triglycerides may need as much as 4 grams per day, according to the Cleveland Clinic.Individuals who want to get fish benefits but eat less than the recommended amount per week should consider taking a fish oil supplement.