How Much Salmon Is Too Much?
It’s versatile, succulent, and full of good-for-you nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. But is it bad to eat salmon every day? Many people are aware of the numerous benefits of salmon, but is it possible to have too much of a good thing? In this article, we’ll explore the perfect amount of salmon for all types of eaters.
The Ideal Amount of Salmon Per Person
When it comes to salmon health benefits, there are many. Salmon is an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients that are essential for good health. Thanks to these salmon benefits as well as the fish’s high concentration of vitamin B12, vitamin D, potassium, and selenium, salmon can help to lower your risk of certain cancers, dementia, Alzheimers, and cardiovascular disease.
For these reasons, many experts recommend that adults consume at least two servings (a total of 8 ounces) of salmon per week.
But how much salmon is too much? Well, it is possible to consume too much salmon. Salmon is a fatty fish, and just like any other food, consuming too much of it can lead to weight gain and other health problems. While comparatively lower than other types of seafood, salmon also contains mercury, which can be harmful in large amounts. We strongly recommend you to have a balanced diet.
Therefore, it is important to eat salmon in moderation and to choose wild-caught salmon whenever possible. Considering your age and any dietary conditions, you may also want to adjust your salmon consumption based on the following recommendations.
How Much Salmon is Good for Kids?
The FDA and EPA recommend that children eat salmon twice a week. Due to the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, along with iodine, iron, and choline, salmon is considered a superior food to support the rapid brain development that takes place during early childhood. Supported by B vitamins, iron, and zinc, salmon can also support a child’s immune system.
However, they suggest a varied serving size based on their age:
Is Salmon Good for Diabetics?
Fortunately, many of the reasons salmon is healthy for the general public also apply to diabetics. While diabetics should make food choices based on their insulin resistance, cardiovascular health is also an important consideration. In fact, according to the CDC, individuals with type 2 diabetes are more than twice as likely than their peers to have heart disease or a stroke.
Because salmon is a heart-healthy food that’s high in protein and healthy fats—and low in saturated fats—both the American Health Association and the American Diabetes Association recommend that those with diabetes can eat 2 servings of salmon a week (about 7 oz total).
Is Salmon Good for Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is found in all animal-based foods and is either considered “good” or “bad” cholesterol based on how it improves HDL or LDL cholesterol levels. These high- and low-density lipoproteins either deliver cholesterol to the liver, where it can be safely removed from the body, or deposited in arteries where it builds up over time and causes a narrowing.
Helping to support good cholesterol levels, salmon’s high concentration of healthy unsaturated fats like omega-3s help to improve overall cholesterol levels. This means that cholesterol can be removed from the body and the arteries can remain unobstructed, helping to ensure adequate blood flow to the heart and brain, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
That said, those concerned about cholesterol can (and should) eat two servings of salmon a week.
Is Salmon Good for Gout?
For those with gout, animal-based foods high in purines can sometimes be problematic. Purines are chemicals found in certain foods and when consumed, can contribute to a waste product called uric acid. In the case of those with gout, the build-up of uric acid may lead to joint swelling, tenderness, and chronic pain.
While beef and some fish are problematic, some types are okay to eat in moderation. Black cod is among the safest seafood choices for someone with gout, as it contains just 88 mg per 100-gram serving.
While it contains slightly more purine, salmon is also a good choice. Most people with gout could eat two servings of salmon a week with minimal pain and complications.
Is Salmon Good for Weight Loss?
Salmon is one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. Even better, as a high-protein food it can also contribute to weight loss and maintaining weight loss. This is because protein regulates the hormones associated with feelings of fullness.
Salmon can be especially supportive of weight loss when it’s wild. Wild-caught salmon not only has fewer calories than farmed salmon (182 vs 206), but is also higher in protein (25 grams vs 22 grams) and lower in fat (8 grams vs 12 grams).
That said, if you’d like to lose weight, consider eating two servings of salmon a week—and be sure to opt for wild-caught.
Does the Type of Salmon Matter?
While two servings of salmon are recommended as part of a healthy weekly diet, certain considerations might want to be made for the type of salmon. For example, those with diabetes might want to choose baked, broiled or grilled salmon, as fried and breaded salmon may contribute additional calories and carbohydrates.
Salmon Skin Benefits
You may also be asking, is salmon skin good for you? The answer is yes! Salmon skin contains the highest concentration of antioxidants and beneficial omega-3s, which may reduce your chances of cardiovascular disease.
So, if you’re eating two recommended servings of salmon a week, it’s best to keep the skin on.
The only exception to this rule would be with farmed Atlantic salmon. Unfortunately, salmon skin is where the highest concentration of contaminants like pesticides and other toxins would be found. That said, to harness salmon’s full benefits, be sure to opt for wild-caught salmon.
Read: Salmon Skin FAQs Answered
Smoked Salmon Benefits
Smoked salmon is a healthy and delicious way to get your omega-3s, but it's important to eat it in moderation. Remember that smoked salmon is high in sodium, so if you have high blood pressure or are on a low-sodium diet, you should limit your intake of smoked salmon.
For most people, however, smoked salmon can safely be eaten twice a week.
Enjoy Salmon as a Regular Part of Your Diet
Let’s recap with two final questions. First, is salmon good for you? Yes, salmon is a great addition to any diet, thanks to its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and other nutrients that support good health.
But, as is the case with most of our favorite foods, there is an upper limit to how much salmon we should consume. So, how much salmon is too much? Well, if you’re eating more than two 4-ounce servings a week, you may consume mercury and fat at slightly elevated levels.
When consumed in moderation, salmon can offer numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Salmon has less of a fishy taste than other types of seafood, making it a good choice for those who don’t like eating fish but want to consume more protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Put simply, salmon is a delicious, versatile seafood that can also be delivered directly to your doorstep.
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