If you’ve just started focus on eating healthier, you’ll often find salmon, more than any other fish. Why is that? What makes salmon so healthy? First, most fatty fish are healthy, they have high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to play an important role in the health of the brain and heart. These fish include salmon, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna. Some fatty fish, such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish, have the potential for high levels of mercury
The type of salmon you choose makes a difference.
If you can, avoid farmed salmon, although it’s far cheaper. It has fewer vitamins and a less healthy balance of omega-6 to omega-3. Wild salmon contains 3.4 grams of Omega-3, while the farmed kind contains 4.2 grams. While that might seem better, the difference comes from the amount of omega-6. Wild salmon has 341 mg, while farmed has 1,944 grams of omega-6. Studies show that the American diet already has too much omega-6. It also has more saturated fat. Wild salmon is more expensive, but it’s worth the extra investment. The difference in the profile comes from the type of food the two eat. Farmed fish eat processed food for fish, while wild salmon eat what nature provided, various invertebrates. It’s similar to the difference of nutrition between grass fed beef and grain fed beef. Grass fed is healthier.
Salmon has high amounts of protein.
The amount of protein you get depends on the type of salmon you’re eating. Three ounces of wild Atlantic salmon and sockeye salmon both have 21.6 grams of protein. Coho salmon has more with 23.3 grams. The amount of potassium also makes a difference. Wild Atlantic salmon contains the most with 534 grams, while sockeye and Coho salmon both have 387 for a 3-ounce serving.
Salmon contains potassium and phosphorous.
Phosphorous is necessary to help calcium build strong bones and teeth. Salmon is high in phosphorous, with a three ounce serving containing from 218 milligrams to 286 based on the type you serve. Wild salmon contains the least with sockeye salmon containing the most. Salmon also contains potassium, which helps support your muscle functioning and keeps your heart beating normally.
- Salmon contains a higher amount of selenium that gives your immune system a boost and keeps your thyroid in good working order. You need approximately 55 micrograms a day. A three ounce serving of pink salmon has approximately 44 grams and sockeye, wild and coho salmon has about 36 micrograms.
- Salmon is heart healthy. It’s the omega-3 fatty acids that help protect your heart by keeping your blood vessels in food health. It helps prevent clots, lowers blood pressure and lower triglycerides.
- If you choose salmon, rather than red meat, you’ll lower your cholesterol, which helps reduce the potential of clogged arteries that increases the risk of heart attack.
- Salmon can fit into any type of diet. It doesn’t contain any carbohydrates, making it good for low carb diets. It also is versatile and can be made a number of ways, including grilling or baking.
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