Caviar isn’t bad for you, but it’s expensive and can contribute to overfishing.
Caviar is expensive: even if it isn't bad for your health, it's certainly bad for your wallet. If you can afford it, though, you'll get a healthy dose of vitamins. Caviar has some essential vitamins - it contains vitamin A and vitamin E, which are both needed for various different organs to function properly. An ounce of caviar won't deliver the doses of A or E that you need for the day, but it's a step in the right direction.
Caviar is rich in omega-3 fats. A diet with the right ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fats can help to slim the waistline, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and prolong your life. Eating caviar on its own won't get you there - you need sources of omega 6 in your diet to reap the benefits, and you need to maintain the right ratio. If you're looking for omega 3, however, caviar is one way to get it.
There are important minerals in caviar, too - it's got a healthy dose of zinc and iron, which boost the immune and circulatory systems respectively. There's not a ton of either, but there's enough to bear mentioning. If you're suffering from a deficiency of one or the other, caviar could be one step towards rebalancing the minerals in your diet.
Caviar doesn't generally have elevated levels of toxic heavy metals or mercury. An environmental assessment provided in the sources below looked at heavy metals in both wild and farmed sturgeon; they found levels that were within the regulatory limits set by the United Kingdom. That means that moderate consumption of caviar probably isn't going to lead to heavy metal poisoning. Heavy consumption of caviar, though, is still a big question mark - probably because caviar is too expensive for there to be enough heavy users for a statistically significant sample.
Caviar isn't just unsustainable for the wallet - it's also unsustainable for some sturgeon populations. Food and Water Watch reports that certain sturgeon species, like the Beluga Sturgeon, are in decline from overfishing. It takes a while for sturgeon to mature to the age where they can be harvested for caviar - longer than global demand can keep up with. If you're eating caviar, seeking farmed sturgeon or American varieties may be the best option.
Possible long-term side effects
- weight gain
- long-term effects not well understood
- source of:
- vitamin a
- vitamin e