Monday, May 3, 2010

Salmon: Wild or Farmed?

The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish per week (that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon) to help with heart health. Does it matter if one chooses farmed or wild salmon? Here are points to consider:

Cost: On average, farmed tends to be lower in cost than wild salmon.

Environmental Impact: Farms have more concentrated waste that can seep out and damage the ecosystem. The fish in farms are also more prone to parasites and disease due to living in close quarters, which may then impact nearby fish or require use of pesticides and antibiotics. Wild salmon can remain sustainable when not over-harvested. Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California are still considered sustainable fishing areas.

Nutrition: Wild salmon have higher levels of protein due to swimming long distances and high levels of antioxidants from their natural food source. Farmed salmon have higher fat content, which includes a higher level of undesirable pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids than wild.

Health: Farmed salmon often contain higher levels of hazardous heavy metals and toxins due to their higher fat content.

Taste: Wild salmon typically have a richer, more complex flavor.

Making the personal decision on the best source of salmon can be difficult. Read labels, or ask those working in the seafood department at your local supermarket.

For more information about seafood choices that are best for your family and the environment, visit Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch site.

- Rebecca Rajcich, dietetic intern, and Debra A. Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University

FALL 2015
Have questions about a program?
Request information »

More Health Tips

Touch is our first language in life. It is the most developed sense at birth and the last to leave us when we die.

Next time you are hungry at work, think about these options and reach for healthy and tasty snacks.

Follow these tips to minimize health risks when choosing food-safe plastic products.

Take a look at your pantry and refrigerator to see if any of these tips can extend the shelf life of your favorite items.

There are simple measures you can take to prevent low back pain and natural ways to treat it when it occurs.

Seasonal food cleansing supports the body’s innate detoxifying abilities to restore your vital energy.

Subscribe to Newsletters

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.