Salmon are incredible fish. These migratory fish are born in freshwater, migrate to the ocean, and then come back to fresh water to reproduce. At least that is the case for wild salmon. There are also farmed salmon that still have great health benefits, but their upbringing does result in a different nutritional breakdown. Salmon are also impressive because they undergo an extreme makeover when they get ready to make the journey to their spawning waters. They transform, changing colour and shape to adapt to the different type of water. This is a smart fish that’ll do you a lot of good.
Salmon Nutrition Facts
Salmon nutrition facts change from wild to farmed raised salmon. The wild variety is considered healthier but both are great choices to have in your diet. As a general rule food that comes from the wild is going to be healthier, and contain fewer contaminants than a farmed equivalent.
A big difference you’ll notice is farmed salmon has significantly higher levels of omega-6 with a minimal increase of omega-3. While both omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids, they should be eaten in a relatively balanced proportion. Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to get omega-6 than omega-3. The ratios of these fatty acids are completely out of balance in farmed salmon. This imbalance can lead to inflammation, while a balanced ratio will lower inflammation.
Besides omega-3, salmon also contains many important vitamins. It contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, folate, and vitamin A.
As we just mentioned, salmon can contain some dangerous contaminates. Fish can become contaminated by eating food already containing contaminates. These contaminants include dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury and other trace metals, and several chlorinated pesticides. While contamination occurs in both farmed and wild salmon, it has a far greater risk of being present in farmed salmon. Salmon is supposed to be regularly checked for contamination levels, and the FDA has strict guidelines that fish have to meet before they’re sold. The FDA says these low levels of contaminates are fine for human consumption. However, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, these levels are still too high and are dangerous.
Benefits of Salmon
Despite any possible contamination, it’s generally agreed that salmon of any kind is such an important source of omega-3 that it should be in your diet. Most people don’t get enough omega-3 and experience side effects from an unbalanced ratio of fatty acids. We already mentioned that not getting enough omega-3 can lead to inflammation. Excessive inflammation is dangerous and can lead to heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, many types of cancer, and other life-threatening diseases. Not only does omega-3 help prevent inflammation, it also helps alleviate inflammation you’re suffering from.
Ogmega-3 is also beneficial for ocular health. It helps protect the retina from the damaging effects of light. It also helps protect from oxidative stress, which leads to many ocular diseases.
This fish is a healthy source of omega-3 and other nutrients you need in your diet. Wild salmon is the healthiest choice, but any salmon is going to help promote optimal health. From looking at salmon nutrition facts, it’s clear this is a good whole food to add to your diet.