Is Costco Kirkland Signature Tilapia healthy? Why does tilapia have such a bad reputation?
Another Costco fish review! Today I’m reviewing the Costco Kirkland Signature Tilapia Loins. I picked this up thinking the tilapia loins look healthy and are a reasonable price. After a bit of google searching I discovered tilapia has a bit of a bad reputation on the internet!
Other Costco fish reviews on the blog are the Costco Kirkland Signature Atlantic Cod, High Liner Miso Glazed Cod, AquaStar Lemon & Cracked Pepper Cod, Trident Wild Pacific Salmon Burgers, Kirkland Signature Mahi Mahi and High Liner English Style Battered Pacific Cod.
You can find the Costco Kirkland Signature Tilapia Loins in the freezer section by the other frozen fish. The item number is 1139689.
Tilapia is a light, flaky, mild-flavored white fish. It’s texture is much firmer/denser than cod or salmon. I find the Kirkland Signature Tilapia Loins don’t have a fishy smell when cooking it or taste at fishy. Sean my husband appreciated the lack of fishy smell in our house!
The tilapia really doesn’t have too much flavor but I tried a few bites that tasted like lake water so despite the tilapia loins not being at all fishy, they did taste a bit….dirty, musty and earthy. I used salt & pepper to season my tilapia loin and imagine you can use all sorts of seasonings and sauces on tilapia.
I paid $21.49 Canadian for the 1.36 kg bag of tilapia that has eight to 12 tilapia loins in it. How many loins you get in the bag depends how big your loins are but each loin is 113-213 grams.
Each tilapia loin is individually vacuum-packed in plastic so you can easily take out one single portion to thaw overnight. Once thawed the package states the tilapia needs to be consumed within two days.
Do not refreeze the tilapia and keep your Costco tilapia in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it.
You can choose to bake, saute or grill the tilapia and cooking instructions are on the bag. Tilapia is great for fish tacos, to be served as “fish and chips” or even used in a stir-fry.
The best before date listed on my bag of tilapia is 14 months from the date I purchased it.
Initially when I look at the nutrition information I think “this is super healthy”. The only ingredient listed is tilapia and one whole portion is 21 grams of protein, zero grams of fibre, sugar and carbohydrates, 35 mg of sodium one gram of fat and 110 calories.
This is a low calorie, high protein, low fat option.
So then why do some people think tilapia is unhealthy?
Through my research I found that tilapia has an unbalanced omega-6 fat to omega-3 fat ratio. Meaning it has very little omega-3 fatty acids (what salmon has that makes it so healthy) and high omega-6 fatty acids, omega-6 is believed to cause inflammation that can lead to heart problem and arthritis.
Also tilapia is usually farmed and some farms feed tilapia an unhealthy diet consisting of corn and soy instead of lake plants. Farms are also known to keep them in extremely cramped conditions where disease can spread easily.
There’s also concern that tilapia farmers use antibiotics and additives. As well farming tilapia can be seen as harmful to the enviornment because if tilapia escape the area they’re farmed in they can contaminate the water and spread disease to the wild fish in the area.
Are Costco Kirkland Signature Tilapia Loins healthy?
The good news is that the Kirkland Signature Tilapia Loins are from Indonesia and Indonesia is known for it’s ethical and eco-friendly tilapia farming.
Tilapia from Indonesia are the first farmed fish to meet the Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification standard. This means the fish are responsibly farmed, no bad diets are antibiotics and enviornmental impacts are minimized.
The Costco tilapia loins are lake grown and raised without the use of antibiotics. In my opinion tilapia isn’t unhealthy as long as you’re getting it from a reputable source like Costco.
Tilapia is low in calories, has a ton of protein, is also a good source of vitamin B12, potassium and niacin. If you’re concerned about the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, just be aware that a lot of healthy foods like nuts and seeds (which I think are extremely healthy) are loaded with omega-6 fatty acids.
Give it a try!
If you’ve had tilapia before and don’t mind a bit of an earthy flavor I think this is a mild tasting, versatile, non-fishy, reasonably priced white fish.
Have you tried this tilapia? What did you think?
Please note that this review was not paid for or sponsored by any third party. This product was purchased by Costcuisine for the purpose of producing this review. The opinions in this review are strictly those of Costcuisine. Costcuisine is not affiliated with Costco or any of its suppliers. In the event that Costcuisine receives compensation for a post from the manufacturer of a product or some other third party, the arrangement will be clearly disclosed (including where the manufacturer of a product provides Costcuisine with a free sample of the product).