FoodIs your sushi safe? The health risks linked to butterfish consumption revealed

Is your sushi safe? The health risks linked to butterfish consumption revealed

Sellers often recommend this fish. If you want to avoid trouble, do not buy it under any circumstances.
Sellers often recommend this fish. If you want to avoid trouble, do not buy it under any circumstances.
Images source: © Adobe Stock

5:59 PM EST, January 23, 2024

Despite being frequently recommended by sellers, it's best to steer clear of butterfish to avoid potential problems. Known also as escolar and oilfish, butterfish is recognized for its creamy meat. But is the taste worth taking a risk on your health? In this article, we will delve deeper into the characteristics of this fish, unravel its mysteries, and evaluate its health implications.

Identifying a butterfish

Butterfish, also referred to as escolar or oilfish, are sea-dwelling species found in tropical waters. They're valued for their gentle flavor and creamy texture. The meat of butterfish is protein-rich and contains several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin D, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It also has a healthy dose of fats, including omega-3 fatty acids.

Though butterfish might seem a culinary delight, it's sadly not as healthy as it appears. Its fatty, butter-like meat contains copious amounts of fats and paraffin esters, which can have detrimental effects on the human digestive system.

Hazardous compounds in butterfish

Regrettably, butterfish also contain harmful elements, such as paraffin esters. These waxes are not digestible by the human body. Consuming them can give rise to several undesirable digestive issues like:

  • abdominal pain,
  • diarrhea,
  • vomiting,
  • nausea,
  • rash,
  • swollen tongue,
  • respiratory difficulties.

Symptoms of butterfish poisoning often surface about three hours after intake. They generally disappear on their own within 24 hours.

Safe preparation of butterfish

To lessen the threat of side effects after eating butterfish, it's advisable to cook it for an extended period to sieve out harmful compounds. Before eating, have a small portion to watch out for any adverse reactions. If you don't experience any symptoms within an hour, you can safely consume butterfish.

Even though butterfish might seem an attractive choice, one should exercise caution and consume it sparingly. If you wish to appreciate this fish's flavor, remembering to prepare it safely and limit the quantity of butterfish meat consumed is essential. This is particularly crucial if you're prone to allergies or digestive issues.

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