Making Mealtime Meaningful: Discover how we're giving back with the 12T Cares program →

If you enjoy eating freshwater fish occasionally, then a new study may be of interest to you. It shows that eating only one helping of freshwater fish, such as trout, could be toxic.

Environmental Research is where the information was published. It showed that if you eat fresh fish, even if only a single serving once per year, you could be in trouble.

Photo: Pexels/Juan Vargas

It may be harmful to your health because that single serving is reportedly similar to drinking water containing perfluoroalkyl substances for a month.

Perfluoroalkyl substances are nothing to ignore. They have been linked with increased cholesterol, reproduction problems, and immune system suppression. Those who take vaccines may also not be as protected.

Photo: Pexels/Deane Bayas

Dr. David Andrews was the lead in the study. According to USA Today, he said that those who consume freshwater fish, especially who eat the fish after catching it regularly, are at risk of “alarming levels of PFAS in their bodies.”

Many of the 9000 chemicals associated with PFAS are restricted or banned. They were often found in nonstick cookware, food packaging, and other items but were removed because of their toxicity.

One of the problems with PFAS is that our system does not break down the chemicals. They continue to build up in the body and create more and more problems.

Photo: Pexels/Kindel Media

EGW reports that Dr. Tasha Stoiber, the co-author of the studies, said that they also don’t disappear from the environment, so when they are flushed or thrown away, they continue to stick around.

Five hundred fish fillet samples from the United States were used as part of the two-year study between 2013 and 2015. The fish of the Great Lakes reportedly have the highest level of PFAS, as well as those that were caught near cities.

Compared to some commercially caught fish on the market, the freshwater fish in the U.S. was reported to have about 280 times greater levels of those chemicals. Those chemicals come from industrial polluters, such as wastewater treatment plants, airports, municipal landfills, and manufacturing facilities.