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.

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

Four important things to consider when purchasing or using vitamins and supplements.

Grass-fed meat contains more anti-inflammatory fats, and more vitamins and minerals, than grain-fed meat.

Learn how these well-known herbs you might already have in your kitchen or garden can help you safely wind down.

When considering whether or not to go decaf, it's helpful to note which of these decaffeination methods was used on your coffee beans.

Be an informed consumer – consider these five tips when purchasing gluten-free products.

Dry your own summer herbs now, for use all winter long.

Subscribe to Newsletters

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
17 + 2 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.