Grill it, pan fry it, or even eat it raw — salmon is one of the most versatile, nutritious, and easily accessible types of fish. Because it is available in so many forms (fresh, frozen, and canned), salmon can be incorporated into many cuisines and dishes.
While there are some notable differences between varieties (wild versus farmed, for example), salmon is packed with nutrients that are linked to positive health outcomes, including omega-3 fatty acids, and registered dietitian-nutritionists say that eating two or three servings of fish like salmon per week is a great way to reap the benefits. This guide explains all the benefits of salmon and how you can get more into your diet.
What Is Salmon Exactly?
Common Questions & Answers
“Wild salmon tends to be higher in vitamins and minerals, but farm raised is slightly higher in fat, including omega-3s,” says Sarah Gold Anzlovar, RDN, owner of Sarah Gold Nutrition, a virtual private practice in Boston. “Both are incredibly nutritious.”
Is Salmon Good for You?
“Our body can’t make those acids, so we need to get that from food,” says Angela Blackstone, RDN, of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “Those have been shown to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and blood clot formation, lower triglycerides, and reduce inflammation that can cause the arteries to harden.”
- Length of gestation
- Preterm birth and birth weight
- Peripartum depression
- Gestational hypertension and preeclampsia
- Postnatal growth patterns
- Visual acuity
- Neurological development and cognitive development,
- Autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and learning disorders
- Atopic dermatitis, allergies, and respiratory disorders
How to Buy and Store Salmon
“If buying fresh, cook and eat this fish within one to two days,” says Harbstreet. Frozen options last longer, up to three months. If freezing fresh salmon, pat dry and seal tightly, then freeze quickly. To thaw again, transfer to the refrigerator and thaw overnight.
There is little to no difference in nutrition information between fresh, frozen, or canned salmon, says Gold Anzlovar. The most important thing is buying salmon that suits your budget and that you’ll eat. You can also eat salmon raw if it is labeled sushi grade, meaning it was flash frozen right after catching the fish to kill any parasites or pathogens, says Gold Anzlovar.
What Type of Salmon Is the Most Sustainable?
Is Salmon Good for Weight Loss?
Salmon is recommended as a part of nearly every weight loss diet plan (except for a vegan or vegetarian eating style) including:
What Are the Risks of Eating Salmon?
Like any perishable food, salmon must be stored safely in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat to avoid any foodborne illnesses.
Recipes With Salmon
Overall, salmon is a nutritious choice full of good fats like heart-healthy omega-3s. To get in the recommended two servings per week, start with these recipes:
In general, salmon is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, a great source of protein, and one of the few dietary sources of all-important omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also full of other essential vitamins and minerals that make incorporating it into your diet on a regular basis a good idea.
Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking
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- Fish, salmon, Atlantic, farmed, cooked, dry heat. U.S. Department of Agriculture. April 2019.
- Vitamin B6. National Institutes of Health Office Of Dietary Supplements. January 2021.
- Vitamin B12. National Institutes of Health Office Of Dietary Supplements. March 2022.
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- Vitamin D. National Institutes of Health Office Of Dietary Supplements. June 2022.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch New and Updated Ratings. December 2021.