Is Basa Fish Healthy? Here's All You Need to Know


Basa is a type of white fish native to Southeast Asia. In the countries that import it, it’s often used as a cheap alternative to cod or haddock due to its similar taste and texture.

However, despite its popularity, it’s been claimed to carry some health risks.

What Is Basa Fish?

Basa is a type of catfish belonging to the Pangasiidae family. Its formal scientific name is Pangasius bocourti, though it’s often called basa fish or bocourti in the United States. Its flesh has a light, firm texture and a mild fish flavor — similar to cod or haddock. In fact, it’s often sold as boneless fish fillets and used in the same way.

Nutrition Facts

Like other types of white fish, basa is low in calories and rich in high-quality protein.

Calories: 158

Protein: 22.5 grams

Fat: 7 grams

Saturated fat: 2 grams

Cholesterol: 73 mg

Carbs: 0 grams

Sodium: 89 mg

Due to its low calorie and high protein content, it can be a beneficial food for those on a diet — not unlike other types of white fish.

It also contains 5 grams of unsaturated fats, which include some omega-3 fatty acids.

Health Benefits

White fish like basa provide you with high-quality protein and not many calories.

Eating fish has also been linked to a number of health benefits, including longevity and a lower risk of heart disease.

Here Are Some More Benefits-

- People Who Eat Fish May Live Longer

- Provides High-Quality Protein

- Low in Calories

Hence, we can say that basa is low in calories and high in protein. Eating lean fish like basa has been linked to longevity and a reduced risk of heart disease. This suggest that it’s a healthy addition to a balanced diet. You must try it once!!

Now, Question Arises -

Is It Safe to Eat?

In general, eating any type of fish is associated with some risks. This is because fish can contain industrial waste contaminants like mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These compounds can build up in your body and have toxic effects.

However, it’s been suggested that the way basa fish is farmed and the environment in which it lives may make this fish a higher-risk food.

Some Observations

Some studies have found that imported catfish — including basa fish — from Vietnam have not met international standards for safety.

One study also observed that 70–80% of the catfish exported to the European countries Germany, Poland, and Ukraine were contaminated with Vibrio bacteria — a common cause of food poisoning.

To minimize your risk of food poisoning, make sure to cook basa properly and avoid eating it if it’s raw or undercooked.

Therefore, we can say that basa fish is generally considered safe to eat however there are some studies pointing out concerns such as basa fish farmers using chemical agents and drugs to control pathogens and parasites in breeding ponds. Ultimately, when cooked properly all the way through, the benefits outweigh the risks. This is the common belief maintained by most.

Written by - Gunika Manchanda