In 2008, I wrote two posts related to the Wake Forest University School of Medicine study that questioned the place of tilapia in a heart healthy diet. The issue of concern was the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids. Some health care professionals and researchers suggested that because the ratio of 3 to 6 was low, tilapia could actually cause inflammation instead of reduce it (like omega 3 fatty acids in salmon are said to do).
I noted in those posts 4 years ago that tilapia was a popular fish that was mild in taste, low in calories, saturated fat, and mercury and high in protein. In other words, it was a really great food. Right before starting this post, I had tilapia for dinner! (with roasted Brussels sprouts and baby corn).
In a special section of this month's Nutrition Action Health Letter several myths, scams and claims are challenged. The tilapia "caution" is one of them. The WFU study was summarized and the tilapia naysayer was identified as Dr. Andrew Weil. I have found him to be a little extreme with his nutrition advice at other times as well. This article doesn't say that tilapia has a higher ratio than was suggested by the WFU researchers, it just clarifies that the low ratio has NOT been conclusively linked to any adverse health outcome.
The American Heart Association considers tilapia to be a good choice and since we are talking about inflammation and its relation to heart disease, that is a good enough endorsement for me. To be clear - salmon is the better fish for heart health.