A fish is any member of a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous andbony fish, as well as various extinct related groups. Most fish are ectothermic (“cold-blooded”), allowing their body temperatures to vary as ambient temperatures change, though some of the large active swimmers likewhite shark and tuna can hold a higher core temperature.
Tilapia is the common name for nearly a hundred species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichlid tribe. Tilapia are mainly freshwater fish inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes and less commonly found living in brackish water.
Tilapia has progressively grown in popularity since 2002 when it first entered the top ten list of the most frequently consumed seafood products in the United States. It is currently the fourth most popular type of fish behind tuna, salmon and Alaskan pollock, and the third most popular aquaculture or farm raised seafood product behind shrimp and salmon. Since 2006, Americans have consumed over 1 pound of tilapia per person each year. Predictions suggest it will remain a popular selection due to its mild flavor and taste, versatility in preparation, and competitive prices.
The bigger problem with tilapia is where and how this fish is frequently farmed. It’s nearly impossible to find U.S.-bred tilapia fillets because our colder climate requires these tropical fish to be grown in expensive indoor tanks.
Farm-raised tilapia has always been a popular source for fish, not only because it’s widely available in the U.S., but it’s also very inexpensive. However, before you stock up on tilapia, you may want to know about its correlation to inflammation. Recent studies have concluded that eating tilapia may worsen inflammation that can lead to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and a world of other serious health problems.