Some tilapia may be contaminated with antibiotics, and consuming the fish has the potential to contribute to the growing number of cases of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to Berkeley Wellness. Tilapia may also contain heavy metals, including mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic.
Farm-raised tilapia from the United States, Canada or Ecuador is a good protein source with very few health risks, according to Berkeley Wellness. The health risks of eating tilapia depend its source, and the publication recommends avoiding fish from most Asian sources, with the exception of Taiwan and China. Even with the risks, tilapia is safer than tuna, shark, sea bass or swordfish, as of 2015. Eating three servings per week provides less than 10 percent of the weekly limit for mercury.