Friday, May 8, 2009

Salmon ... Choose Wisely

Salmon was just recently listed among the "Top 10 Foods for Healthy Hair" by WebMD. Why? It is incredibly rich in protein, omega-3, vitamin B-12, and iron -- nutrients that are vital to the hair and scalp. Salmon isn't just good for the hair though. Studies have indicated that omega-3 may decrease the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and more. (See Omega-3 post.) So go for that salmon entrée why don't ya? Wait! Not so fast …

* Great source of protein (more than catfish; almost 6x more than tilapia)
* Better source of B vitamins than tilapia
* More magnesium, phosphorus, potassium than tilapia
* Significantly more selenium than tilapia and catfish
* Excellent source of omega-3 (about ~4000mg per serving vs ~60 mg in tilapia and ~470 mg in catfish)
* Farm raised salmon is 97% responsible for human exposure to contaminants (e.g., PCBs, etc.)”; tilapia, shrimp, trout, and pangasius collectively account for less than 3%
* PCBs have been associated with "neurological disorders and cancer"
* Wild salmon carries a significantly lower content of contaminants than farm raised

Yes, salmon is a excellent source of nutrients. However, when purchasing this fish, go for wild instead farm raised to be on the safer side. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a 2004 study recommend eating no more than one 8oz of your average farm raised salmon a month due to the level of contaminants.

Nutrition - cooked wild salmon
Farm vs Wild
Health risks when consuming farm raised salmon
Contaminants in farm raised fish
Nutrition cooked wild tilapia
Nutrition – cooked wild catfish


Brandiss said...

Does canned salmon provide enough nutrients?

Loo said...

Good question. Here are some nutrition facts on canned salmon: . It looks like it provides enough nutrients!