Is Tilapia A Real Fish?

Tilapia is one of the most popular freshwater flaky white species with huge protein. They can cope with poor water and keep their population flourishing in tough conditions. Despite tilapia being a native water species from Africa and the Middle East, people doubt- “is tilapia a real fish?”. 

If we’re talking about the tilapia grown in the firm, the answer is partially negative. The tilapia fish we have on today’s food menu is genetically modified. But, the forefathers of tilapia originated from natural sources. Therefore, we can indirectly say that tilapia is a real fish. 

Moreover, you can follow a similar cooking method like other fishes in the case of tilapia. They are good for human health and cover a lot of minerals like other fishes. Their fishy scent, texture, and body structure- everything proves that they’re a part of the fish community. 

Is Tilapia A Real Fish?
  • Save

Is tilapia a real fish?

Yes, tilapia is a real fish but slightly modified. They’re dependent on the water foods like other fishes and their habitat is indifferent from other fishes. To know more about tilapia, you can go through the following specifications. 

Body structure

Tilapia have laterally compressed and deep bodies. The body structure of tilapia matches with the Cichlid family of fishes. Their long dorsal fins are heavily spined like sunfish.

Food habit

Tilapia take phytoplankton, zooplankton, insects, and detritus as their regular food. Most of the young tilapia fishes are omnivorous. Herbivore tilapias are dependent on green plants.  


The habitat of tilapia is in the ponds, rivers, and lakes. They can also grow in brackish water. Despite being freshwater fish, the poor water isn’t an issue for their habitat. 

Cooking process

You can cook tilapia in your convenient way. It’s suitable for grilling, poaching, baking, frying, and steaming. Tilapia can be cooked perfectly at the internal temperature of 140-145 degrees. 


Tilapia fish tastes mild and contains some sweetness. It comes with a flaky texture and the meat is mild enough. You won’t get any fishy taste when eating tilapia in a well-cooked condition. 

Health benefits

Tilapia produces red blood cells and provides a bunch of vitamins to your body. The presence of low fat makes it one of the healthiest foods. 

Storing process

Like other fishes, tilapia needs to be stored by freezing. You can store the cooked tilapia for around 3-4 days in a refrigerator. If you store tilapia with a plastic freezer bag, it can be stored for over six months. 

Lifetime of tilapia

Tilapia can live around 36 months. Until its final age, it can grow up to ten pounds in weight. However, this lifespan can be changed depending on water conditions, weather, regions, and others. 

Tilapia fish benefits and side effects

It’s time to discuss the benefits and side effects of tilapia fish. Here you’ll get a brief concept of these facts. 

Tilapia fish benefits 

  • Prevents cancer

Tilapia is a good source of Selenium which prevents cancer along with thyroid disease. You’ll get 88% of your necessary Selenium from a single tilapia fish. 

  • Develop the bone strength

The bones need a sufficient amount of calcium along with vitamin D. Besides, they need huge amounts of minerals like Magnesium and Phosphorus. Tilapia helps to increase bone density and strengthen your ability of bones. 

  • Other health advantages

Tilapia helps to reduce blood clotting on a larger scale. Along with lowering cholesterol, it lowers the chance of high blood pressure. If anyone eatsThe natural tilapia regularly, his or her strokes and heart failure possibility will be decreased. Some people have irregular heart beating problems. Hence, it’ll be resolved by tilapia fish. 

  • Serves nutrients

Tilapia is a great source of various nutrients. Per 100 gm tilapia fish, you’ll get 129 calories of energy. There are 26g proteins in the depicted amount of tilapia. Its vitamin B6 and 3% iron help to develop your health. 

  • Low in Mercury

Tilapia produced in clean areas are safe from mercury attacks. It’s produced on farms with a closed-tank system. So, there is the lowest mercury in tilapia fish. 

Tilapia fish side effect

  • Chance of ingesting pesticides

Tilapia is produced in crowded places and so, it contains pesticides intensely. Farm-raised tilapia contains PVC plastics and it creates a risk in the human digestive system. 

  • Presence of toxic bacteria

Tilapia comes with some bacterias which are injurious to the human body. It can create some impacts on the human immune system. Natural tilapia doesn’t contain these harmful bacterias and is less dangerous for humans. 

  • Health concerns

Tilapia is a cure against many diseases. But, it can also threaten some parts of the human body. Some people get caught by asthma if they take tilapia fish regularly. It contains omega-6 fat and this fat can slowly lead anyone to death. Moreover, slightly rotten tilapia can affect your digestive system. 


Here are some common questions on tilapia fish along with their answers. 

Is tilapia a real fish or is it genetically engineered?

Nowadays, natural tilapia is rarely found all over the world. Most of the species of tilapia are genetically engineered. They come with more protein and minerals after being modified. In the origin regions, the natural tilapia is found but they don’t cover much protein as the firm fishes. The natural or firm tilapia- both are real fishes. 

Is tilapia a good fish to eat?

Tilapia is a good fish to eat as they’re a great source of protein and fatty acids. If the tilapia is cultivated appropriately and cooked perfectly, it’s a decent fish to eat. Overeating tilapia can increase the amount of Omega-3 fatty acid in your body. Hence, it’ll create bad impacts on your body. 

Why is tilapia fake fish?

Sometimes, tilapia is called fake fish as today’s tilapia is different from African tilapia. The natural tilapia fish is stronger and stouter than the firm tilapia. But, the firm tilapia is modified for getting more meat as well as proteins. For huge modifications, the tag “fake fish” has been labeled on tilapia. 

Was tilapia created in a lab?

No, tilapia wasn’t created in the lab or any human being. The origin of this ancient fish is in Africa and the Middle East. This rumor spread around as today’s tilapia is completely different from the natural tilapia. From taste to size- everything is changed and that’s why people wrongly get it.

What You’ve Been Missing

Carp vs Tilapia: Which Is Better In Comparison?

How Long Can Betta Fish Go Without Food?

How to Catch Asian Carp – Top 4 Techniques


Tilapia is a delicious fish and it can be cultivated in freshwater ponds. Your confusion on “is tilapia a real fish” must be solved now. If you keep other freshwater fishes besides tilapia, you can easily relate to them. Tilapia is a huge source of protein in the cheap price range. 

Moreover, despite having a genetic modification, their instinct is similar to the fish. They eat and grow like other fishes and play an important role in the ecosystem. The storing process, the cooking process, and the preparation process- everything is fishy.

It’s scientifically proven that tilapia is good for your health and increases your food taste. You can find some health concerns about eating tilapia as your regular lunch or supper. However, you’ll surely regret it if you don’t eat this delicious, mildly tasted fish once in a lifetime.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap