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All about “Grouper”

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Health profile

Grouper, a lean fish, is an excellent source of iron, phosphorus and vitamin B2. In addition, like all fish, it contains an appreciable amount of complete proteins. This tropical fish deserves to be discovered.

Active ingredients and properties

The grouper is a fish with little fat and is therefore considered a lean fish. The regular consumption of fish would provide several health benefits. A round table of international scientists also concluded that the consumption of one to two fish meals per week was associated with a decrease in mortality from coronary heart disease 1 . Research has not focused specifically on the effects of grouper consumption, but this fish still contains active ingredients that are well documented scientifically.

Omega-3 fatty acids . Grouper contains eicosapentaenoic acid ( EPA ) and docosahexaenoic acid ( DHA ), two fatty acids from the omega-3 family. These fatty acids act as precursors of chemical messengers promoting the proper functioning of the immune, circulatory and hormonal systems. Several epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (mainly from fatty fish) exerts favorable effects on cardiovascular health and reduces mortality from cardiovascular disease 2. These fatty acids are known to act on several planes in the body. They act in particular by reducing blood pressure , blood triglycerides and the formation of blood clots , thus reducing the risks of atherosclerosis . In addition, studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may play a role in regulating mood and preventing depression 3 . Finally, these fatty acids are said to exert anti-inflammatory effects , which could be useful in the treatment of certain pathologies such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis 4.

Even if the optimal amounts of omega-3 fatty acids to consume are not established with certainty, scientific studies show that the daily consumption of 0.5 to 1.8 g of EPA and DHA would allow to enjoy the benefits related to it 5 . A portion of grouper contains about 0.3 g of these fatty acids 6 , which is almost 6 times less than the same amount of salmon, a fatty fish.

Proteins . Fish is an excellent source of complete protein since it contains the nine essential amino acids, which are not produced by our body and must come from our diet. Proteins are used primarily to form, repair and maintain tissues, such as the skin, muscles and bones. They are also used for the formation of digestive enzymes as well as hormones. In addition, several animal studies have shown that fish protein improves insulin sensitivity and increases glucose uptake by the body 6-8. Note that ongoing studies in humans will confirm or refute these results. A recent study has shown that consuming protein from marine sources lowers blood lipid levels after a meal more than protein from other sources . 12 In short, it is not only the omega-3s in fish but also their proteins which would make them foods to integrate more often in our diet.

Other properties

Is grouper antioxidant? Data not available.
Is grouper acidifying? Data not available.
Does the grouper have a high glycemic load? There is no glycemic load for fish.

Most important nutrients

See the meaning of the nutrient source classification symbols

 Phosphorus . The black grouper is an excellent source of phosphorus (see our fact sheet on Phosphorus nutrients ). Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body after calcium. It plays an essential role in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. In addition, it participates among other things in the growth and regeneration of tissues and helps to maintain normal blood pH . It is one of the constituents of cell membranes.

 Iron . The black grouper is an excellent source of iron. Each body cell contains iron. This mineral is essential for the transport of oxygen and the formation of red blood cells in the blood. It also contributes to the production of new cells, hormones and neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses). It should be noted that the iron contained in animal foods (including fish) is very well absorbed by the body, compared to iron from plants.

 Vitamin B2 . The black grouper is an excellent source of vitamin B2. This vitamin is also known as riboflavin. Like vitamin B1, it plays a role in the energy metabolism of all cells. In addition, it contributes to tissue growth and repair, hormone production and the formation of red blood cells.

 Calcium . The black grouper is a good source of calcium. Calcium is by far the most abundant mineral in the body. It is mainly stored in the bones, of which it is an integral part. It contributes to the formation of bones and teeth, as well as to the maintenance of their health. Calcium also plays an essential role in blood clotting, maintenance of blood pressure and contraction of muscles (including the heart).

 Vitamin B3 . The black grouper is a source of vitamin B3. Also called niacin, vitamin B3 collaborates in many metabolic reactions and contributes particularly to the production of energy from the carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and alcohol that we ingest. It also participates in the DNA formation process , allowing normal growth and development.

What is a “portion” of grouper worth?
Weight / volume Grouper various species, cooked, 100 g
Calories 118
Protein 24.8 g
Carbohydrates 0 g
Fat 1.3 g
-saturated 0.3 g
– monounsaturated 0.3 g
-polyunsaturated 0.4 g
-Omega 3 0.26g
Dietary fiber 0 g

Source  : Health Canada. Canadian Nutrient File , 2005.


Fish are among the nine most common food allergens in Canada. People allergic to fish react abnormally to proteinswho are there. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, a person with an allergy to a particular fish or seafood may also be allergic to other species in the same group. For example, a person allergic to grouper could also be allergic to salmon since both are fish. On the other hand, a person allergic to one type of fish or seafood (crustacean or fish or mollusk) will not necessarily be allergic to the other types. It is strongly recommended that people allergic to these foods consult an allergist before introducing new ones into their diet.

Raw fish! Raw , smoked or marinated
fish can contain bacteria, viruses and even parasites that only cooking can destroy. It is therefore recommended for people more susceptible to toxic infections including pregnant women, young children and people with weakened immune systems to avoid eating raw, smoked or marinated fish, unless they are cooking it.

The ciguatera is poisoning caused by the accumulation of marine biotoxins (produced by microscopic algae) in fish. Large tropical fish, such as grouper and snapper, accumulate higher levels of ciguatoxin and may therefore pose a greater risk of poisoning . Symptoms including gastroenteritis, itching, and central nervous system dysfunction usually begin 1 to 12 hours after consumptionfish and no treatment is currently known to stop them. Generally, the cases reported were tourists who ate fish in the Caribbean. By buying tropical fish from a recognized and reliable fishmonger, as well as by limiting the consumption of these types of fish, it is possible to prevent ciguatera-type poisoning.

Fish is the main source of mercury to which we are exposed. This metal is naturally present in the environment, but the discharges caused by industrialization make the consumption of certain fish less safe for health. It is predatory fish that have high levels of mercury. Other fish species, such as grouper , have mercury concentrations below the Canadian standard of 0.5 ppm. They can therefore be consumed without danger to health. In addition, according to a study by Health Canada researchers, the levels of various contaminants (such as PCBs) found in fish sold in Canada is below the Canadian standard and therefore does not pose a health risk. However, we must remain vigilant since many of the fish we eat are imported from countries where the contamination rate is higher than in Canada 9,10 .

Grouper over time

Derived from the Spanish mero, the term ”  mero  ” appeared in French in 1714, to become a “grouper” in 1808.

“Grouper” is a generic term which designates fish belonging to some zoological genera distributed in all the warm waters of the globe. With its 98 species, the genus Epinephelus is the most representative of this group. These fish share many characteristics, including that of being carnivores, of changing sex during their existence and of living very long (some reach the venerable age of 50 years). Sedentary and territorial, they are fond of the rocky or coral bottoms of the coasts, which offer them numerous shelters to protect themselves from predators, as well as to spy on and catch their prey.

The grouper has been eaten for a very long time, its flesh being particularly tasty. It plays a considerable role in the local economy of tropical and subtropical countries and commands a high price on the markets. In order to meet growing demand, some species are now reared in cages, particularly in Southeast Asia.

Other types of fish which resemble it are sometimes marketed under the name of grouper, in particular the hurdy-gurdy, the badèche, the kelp (to distinguish from the alga which carries the same name), the flag, the croissant, etc.

Culinary uses

To access other recipes, you can go to the cooking recipes site, which offers, among others, the following recipes: grouper fillet, grouper recipes , grouper en papillote

Choose well

The grouper is found all year round, fresh or frozen, whole or in fillets. Fresh fish should have a pleasant smell of sea or cucumber. Do not hesitate to smell it before buying it and reject it if it smells of ammonia.

Culinary dishes

  • Skewers: cut grouper fillets into pieces and macerate them for half an hour in yogurt seasoned with hot pepper, garam masala (mixture of Indian spices), salt, pepper and lime juice. Thread them on skewers and cook them for four or five minutes, on or under the grill.
  • Marinated : marinate it in the vinaigrette of your choice before grilling.
  • In Creole: cut the grouper fillets into thin slices which will be placed in a dish with olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, thin slices of cucumber, lime and mango, and fresh coriander. Leave in the refrigerator for 6 to 12 hours, then serve very cold.
  • With tomatoes: place large slices of tomatoes in a large-bottomed pan, add a layer of grouper fillets, garlic, hot pepper, if desired, then another layer of tomato slices. Drizzle with olive oil. Heat over high heat for five minutes, cover and simmer for ten minutes.
  • With potatoes: cut potatoes into slices which will be cooked for five minutes in boiling water. Drain. In a gratin dish, place grouper fillets, salt, pepper and add the herbs of your choice (tarragon, chives, sorrel, lemon balm, etc.), then the potato rings. If desired, sprinkle with grated Parmesan, then bake at 175 ° C (350 ° F) for about 15 minutes.
  • Couscous: replace the meat and meat broth usually used for this type of dish with pieces of grouper and fish stock. For the rest, the ingredients and the cooking method are the same.
  • With salsa: serve grilled with mango and avocado salsa (with hot pepper, coriander leaves, sliced ​​green onions, garlic, lime).
  • Add it to a bouillabaisse or chowder .
  • Serve leftovers in salads , on a bed of greens or with chilled pasta.
  • Rich in cartilage, the buds make an excellent aroma. Also use the bones and the backbone.

Note: you can replace the grouper with mahi-mahi, pollock or farmed trout in the recipes offered in this section.


Refrigerator: like all fresh fish, it is best to consume it on the day of purchase. If you have to keep it for a few days, put it on a bed of ice in an airtight container that you can store in the bottom of the refrigerator.

Freezer: a few months.

Ecology and environment

The tasty flesh of the grouper and its sometimes impressive size have long made it a sought-after fish for recreational, artisanal and commercial fishing. It is also subject to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by vessels flying the flag of convenience. As a result, stocks of some species are in critical condition today.

Thus, the grouper, emblematic fish of the rocky bottom of the Mediterranean and the most popular marine species of the region, has become very rare. In 1986, the representatives of four protected marine areas of the French Mediterranean therefore set up the GEM (Grouper study group) with the aim of establishing an estimate of the populations of this species, better knowing its habits and understanding the causes of its rarefaction.

For their part, experts from the Seafood Watch Program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the United States and the Marine Conservation Society in the United Kingdom are seriously concerned about the survival of other grouper species. It is therefore recommended to consume this fish sparingly.

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