Fish or Beef – Which is Better in an Adrenal Fatigue Diet?


Fish or beef in moderationA record has been broken for the very first time in history, at least in modern history. 2011 was the year marking the shift between fish production, and beef production as fish exceeded beef. The following year, in 2012, fish production upped beef by even more. As time progresses it appears that more and more people are eating fish which was produced on a farm as opposed to caught in the wild. This shift is making history in food production, and raises the question on which is better to incorporate in our diet – fish or beef?

Of course, this seems to be good news. Generally fish is considered to be much healthier than other types of meat, especially red meat. It is thought to be better for the environment as well. Unfortunately, however, things are not looking quite so positive. A lot of the exact same issues seen in beef production are now being seen in fish production. Concentrated animal feeding, or CAFOs, is now carrying over to fish. It does make more sense for companies to make this change considering the fact that the fish-market is booming, but it isn’t the best thing.

The first signs of this shift between fish and beef were seen in the 1970s. From that year to this point fish consumption has doubled and it is expected that things will continue to rise along the same lines. In the 70s an ordinary person would usually eat about 25 pounds of fish in a given year. Today that number is up to 42 pounds for an ordinary individual and beef consumption is down to only about 20 pounds each year per individual.

Fish are obviously a good source of protein, like other meats, but the big health benefit about them which has been more widely recognized and publicized in recent years is the advantages of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. Beef, on the other hand, is thought to be less healthy compared to fish primarily due to its fat content. The methods used to produce beef are not very popular in many people’s opinions, either, as they are thought to be bad for the environment and often inhumane. The objective of the industry is to produce as much cattle for consumption as possible and often through less-than-approved-of means.

Fish or beef with lemonMany fish are actually almost extinct because of overfishing. This is all due to the fact that as a planet we are wanting more fish, but the ocean only has a limited supply that we are exhausting in some respects. There are other issues, as well, in regards to fish farming. Some of these problems include overcrowding, unnatural diets, disease, and pollution. Often times these issues contaminate wild species when they share the same environment. Some of the diseases that are being spread include piscine reovirus, infectious salmon anemia virus, and salmon leukemia virus. They are fed drugs and chemicals, such as synthetic pigments, pesticides, and highly toxic copper sulfate. This is ingested when humans consume the fish. Many fish are also fed soy-products which produce more waste and thus end up polluting the environment. The sad matter is that it looks as though things will only be getting worse as time progresses.

The Toxins in our Food Contribute to Adrenal Fatigue

The toxins in our food, whether from fish or beef, start building up in our body. This makes the task of our kidney and liver (detoxification) more and more difficult. The body, in its effort to combat the problem, automatically resorts to defending itself by producing ever higher quantities of cortisol. The long-term production of cortisol, in an effort to deal with the problem, leads to myriad health conditions that are byproducts of an adrenal overload. Symptoms that manifest due to this include muscular and joint pain, headaches, constipation, headaches, and a general feeling of lethargy and fatigue.

Dr. Lam’s Perspective on Eating Fish or Beef

Fish or beef and processed foodsFor those of us with Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, this creates a tricky situation. A proper diet for adrenal fatigue is critical to recovery, and eating fish is an important component of that diet. It helps in getting the right balance of omega-3 fatty acids, and has traditionally avoided the problems of industrial beef or chicken production. Now, however, the disease and pollution problems that result from the rise in fish farming can contribute to toxin overload in the AFS weakened body. Even if we make sure to avoid farmed fish and eat only wild caught fish, the extra pollution to the environment can poison and sicken free swimming fish and still find its way into our bodies. This potential hazard is the unfortunately reality we have to live with and another stressor to watch out for in the modern world, whether we eat fish or beef.

Fish or beef