How often should I eat salmon? When you ask yourself this question, there is one thing to keep in mind at all times. This nutrient-rich fish has amazing health benefits for your heart and bones. it is also a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients. Salmon can be eaten fresh or canned with some lemon juice. Find out how much salmon is good for you and the benefits of eating it.
Eating fish, as part of a balanced diet, offers several nutritional benefits. But, how do the mercury levels in fish impact your health?
Fish does a body good. It’s a low-calorie protein source that contains several nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for your heart and brain. But, can too much of a good thing be harmful?
First the facts: Americans ate an average of 16.0 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2017, according to the latest report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Of that amount, 90% falls within the “best choices” for seafood, as defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), meaning it has low levels of mercury. Fish and shellfish in this category, such as salmon, catfish, tilapia, lobster and scallops, are safe to eat two to three times a week, or 8 to 12 ounces per week, according to the FDA.
Halibut, grouper, mahi-mahi, albacore tuna and canned tuna fall under the FDA’s “good choices” category and should be eaten no more than once a week. Swordfish, orange roughy and bigeye tuna are best avoided, as they contain the highest levels of mercury.
“It’s a real concern, if you’re not careful about limiting the amount and frequency of eating fish known to have high levels of mercury,” says Jennifer Boozer, DO, a family medicine physician at Keck Medicine of USC and clinical associate professor of family medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
All fish contain some level of mercury, even fish in the “best choices” category. High levels of mercury do not usually cause health issues for most people, except for young children and women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or nursing. High mercury levels can damage a developing fetus or cause damage to the nervous system in young children. Mercury can also stay in your body for up to a year, so if you’re planning on getting pregnant, or even if you’re of childbearing age and may become pregnant, you should follow the recommended amounts of fish consumption.
If you’re not in an at-risk category and want to eat more than three servings of fish per week, stick to fish that are in the “best choices” category, and opt for farm-raised American fish, whenever possible. U.S. farmed fish and shellfish are required to meet state and federal standards; these are some of the most stringent in the world, according to NOAA.
Eating salmon every day: What are the possible effects?
OK, so you’ve been eating salmon every day and now you’re wondering if you’re overdoing it. What’s going to happen if you get too much of this good thing?
Take a deep breath and relax. Even though you don’t need to eat salmon *every* day, making it a regular feature in meals won’t hurt you. In fact, salmon is an excellent source of many nutrients, including:
- omega-3 fatty acids
- vitamin D
- vitamin B12
And it *can* provide a bunch of vitamin D, but this varies depending on whether the salmon is wild or farmed — according to the limited research, wild salmon has the edge on vitamin D content.
There’s more stuff in salmon that helps you than harms you.
Let’s take a look at how much salmon you can nosh on!
How much should you eat every day?
There’s no official recommendation on how much salmon you should eat per day, so you’ll have to go with your soon-to-be-fish-filled gut. If you want to eat it every day, take a look at the weekly recommendation and think about how you could spread it out.
Do you want to go with bigger amounts but eat less frequent servings? Or eat a smattering of salmon every day?
If you’re determined to go with daily salmon consumption, think about it. Small slices of salmon on toast? Sushi? Sashimi? There’s more than one way to get salmon into your diet on a daily basis. Get creative with it.
How much should you eat every week?
The FDA recommends that you eat at least 8 ounces of seafood per week. And again, why not get inventive with it?
After all, you can either divide that up into daily portions or treat yourself to a grilled salmon steak or hearty chunks in a salad. You can make up your own rules!
What are you putting into your body when you chow down on salmon?
It depends on what type of salmon you’re eating. Different types of salmon have different nutritional values. We used the most common type of salmon to appear on U.S. plates (farmed Atlantic salmon) for reference. You can expect to get the nutrients below from 3 ounces of salmon.
For the percentage of your Daily Value (DV), we’ve given the figures for males and females aged 19 to 30 years, but your intake requirement for some nutrients varies depending on your age, pregnancy status, and health needs.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are our basis for these values, so feel free to check out the guidelines for your own nutritional situation.
|Amount||Percentage of DV: Females||Percentage of DV: Males|
|Calories||175||varies depending on health goals||varies depending on health goals|
That’s some pretty useful stuff, right?
Different types of salmon: Farmed vs. wild-caught
You’ll generally see two types of salmon in your local supermarket: wild-caught and farmed.
You might notice that farmed salmon is usually a bit bigger and plumper-looking, while wild salmon tends to be smaller and more expensive. So the farmed salmon has to be the better choice, right? Plus, it’s been bred in captivity, so *surely* that’s a more ethical choice than plucking a wild fish from its natural life?
But wait — something seems a little fishy here.
Fish farmers keep salmon in little cages in the sea, and the fish eat an artificial diet that makes them bigger. This means that once they reach your plate, they’re higher in omega-6 fatty acids and lower in omega-3s than wild salmon, although either type of salmon is a nutritious choice.
Wild-caught salmon might cost more, but it may also be higher in certain nutrients. It’s also important to remember that the health risks associated with farmed salmon are still super small — if wild salmon is beyond your budget, it’s better to eat farmed salmon than to cut it out of your diet completely.
Try to buy responsibly sourced salmon too. It’s better for the fish and for you. (More on that later!)
Can you eat salmon every day during pregnancy?
Not *every* day. But it’s safe to eat salmon for nearly half of the week!
If you’re pregnant, it’s best to limit your seafood intake to 8 to 12 ounces per week, even though omega-3 fatty acids are pretty awesome for the development of a new human.
All fish have *some* mercury content, and too much mercury might harm your little one as they prepare to enter the world. So go for lower-mercury seafood — yes, salmon included.
The good news is that salmon appears on the FDA’s “Best Choices” list for pregnancy-safe fish, meaning it’s lower in mercury than many other species.
When You Eat Salmon Every Day, This Is What Happens To Your Body
There are plenty of fish in the sea, and we’re not talking about your dating prospects. But among all of the diverse sea life that’s swimming around out there, salmon has a distinct color and flavor that sets it apart from the rest. It also has a rich, fatty texture, which rounds out the flavor profile of this unique fish.
Additionally, there are a wide variety of health benefits you reap from eating salmon, according to the Mayo Clinic. That makes the pink fish an excellent addition to your diet, and something you should work into your meal planning on a regular basis. It’s also something that’s easy to prepare, as you can grill, bake, pan sear, or smoke salmon. There’s lots of great ways to cook salmon perfectly. And if it’s high enough quality, you don’t have to cook it at all! And yes, it’s safe to eat every day, according to Harvard University.
So if you’re someone who eats salmon every day, do you wonder how it’s beneficial to your body? And did you know there may be some negative effects that you might be at risk of? Read on to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly about what happens when you eat salmon every day.
Are all salmon created equally?
If you’re not a big seafood eater, you might not know that you can get salmon either farmed or wild. But if you are a fish aficionado, it’s likely that you know several forms of salmon exist, and you might even have a preference for one or the other. But in both cases, trying to get intel regarding the different types of salmon might deluge you with misinformation.
Fortunately, there are experts out there who know the facts on fish, including Molly Kimball, registered dietitian for Ochsner Health System. “Wild-caught is the gold standard, but I certainly don’t want to discourage anyone from eating farmed salmon,” she explained in an interview with Nola.com. “From a cost perspective, it might be hard for people to pay the price of wild-caught.” So depending on your budget, you can choose which works best for you.
As far as environmental concerns, Tim Fitzgerald, director of impact in the oceans program at the Environmental Defense Fund, told Time magazine that several companies – Atlantic Sapphire, Kuterra, and Verlasso, for example — are farming salmon sustainably, which is an improvement in the industry. So opt for those purveyors if you’re able.
Your eyes will thank you for if you eat salmon every day
The eyes are the window to the soul, or so goes the old adage. So if you’re interested in keeping your peepers as healthy and happy as possible, chowing down on salmon every day might help you do just that, says Dr. Jonathan Wolfe, an optometrist in Ardsley, N.Y. “Your eyes will feel less dry because the Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon can improve the quality of the oil layer in your tear film,” he told The List. “This important oil layer is produced by small glands on the margins of our eyelids, and serves to prevent the tears that lubricate our eyes from evaporating too quickly.”
In addition to keeping your eyes properly lubricated, eating salmon every day can also be a boon for your retinal health, as noted by Healthline. Those omega-3 fatty acids can also help to contribute to your visual development, making it an overall win-win for your ocular health in more ways than one. So, why not try to eat salmon every day for your eye health?
You’ll feel more energetic when you eat salmon every day
Always on the go because of work and family commitments? Perhaps you’re training for that half marathon and want to make sure your energy levels are at peak performance? Consider adding salmon into your daily diet, as it could help keep the pep in your step, says Kylie Ivanir, a registered dietitian at the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University. “You will feel more energetic due to the high B12 content,” she explained to The List. “Half a filet can provide you about 80 percent of the recommended daily intake of B12. Salmon is also high in the rest of the B vitamins, which provide your cells with energy.”
In addition to the benefits you get from the B12 in salmon, the protein boost will help you recover from any injuries you might have sustained, according to dietitian Cynthia Sass, a sports dietetics specialist in Tampa, Fla. “We tend to forget that healing really means building new cells,” she shared in an interview with Runner’s World. “And your body needs protein to make those new cells.” So, if you eat salmon every day, you may just help yourself achieve fitness goals.
You might lose weight if you eat salmon every day
Some people are able to eat whatever they want and maintain a slender figure, as they’re naturally blessed with a fast metabolism. For the rest of us, however, that’s just not the case, and often we’d like to lose a couple of pounds. If that sounds like you, consider making salmon a central protein in your diet as it can help you lose weight, says registered dietician Kylie Ivanir. “You will lose fat because salmon is a high protein/low calorie food,” she revealed to The List. “A serving size (approx three to four ounces) is only 200 calories and about 25 grams protein. Eating high protein foods increases your metabolic rate and keeps you full.” Sounds like a solid strategy!
Making salmon your protein of choice is especially advantageous if you usually eat red meat, according to the American Heart Association. That’s because the fat in salmon is healthy for you, whereas red meat is high in saturated fat — and that’s not good for you in excess! If you want to try to eat salmon every day and lay off the beef, you should know what happens to your body when you stop eating red meat.
If you eat salmon every day, you can improve your cholesterol levels
According to the CDC, 95 million Americans who are age 20 and over have total cholesterol levels over 200 mg/dL, which is considered elevated. Additionally, almost 29 million American adults have total cholesterol levels over 240 mg/dL, which is considered very high, and can have serious consequences for your health.
If you’re included in either of those statistics, choosing to eat salmon every day might just be a good idea. That’s because the fish, when prepared in a healthful manner, can help you get your levels in check, according to Kylie Ivanir, a registered dietician. “Your bad cholesterol (LDL) will drop due to the low saturated fat and high Omega-3 content in salmon,” she shared with The List. “Low LDL is critical for optimal artery function and heart health.”
Once again, this health benefit will likely be amplified if you swap in the salmon and swap out red meat on a regular basis, as noted by the American Heart Association.
Your brain reaps rewards when you eat salmon every day
Curious about what foods you should eat for healthy brain function? Well, good news: if you eat salmon every day, you’re going to be less at risk for brain diseases. That’s thanks to specific omega-3s in the fish, says Christie Naze, a registered dietitian with The Heart’s Kitchen. “Consuming EPA and DHA supports the health of the brain at all stages of life,” she explained in an interview with Chicago magazine. “It is beginning to become clear that low DHA status may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, and with cognitive impairment associated with aging.”
That’s not all, either, as eating salmon can help you beat the blues, according to Marcy Kirshenbaum, a clinical nutritionist with Enhance Nutrition. “By supporting the brain with healthy anti-inflammatory fats, depression may decrease,” she added. “Omega-3 is an important part of healthy cell membranes, which must be fluid and flexible to function properly. Nerve cells depend on membrane fluidity, so a reduction in fluidity can impact behavior, mood, and mental function.”
Your skin will be happy if you eat salmon every day
Arguably one of the best things that salmon can do for your appearance is help your skin be radiant, according to Dr. Rachel Nazarian, a dermatologist based in New York. “I consider salmon to be one of the superfoods for skin health,” she revealed in an interview with HuffPost. She added that the benefits from the fish are so good that if it was low enough in mercury, she’d eat salmon every day. That’s quite the endorsement!
Once again, it’s the healthy fat in salmon that’s so good for you, and that gives you the best health benefits. “When you have a high level of good fat in your body it feeds the skin and allows the skin to make this healthy oil and allows the skin to be healthier,” she continued. “That’s what gives skin the glow.”
There’s one more reason that salmon is great for your skin, according to Nazarian: It contains astaxanthin, “a chemical compound known as a keto-carotenoid,” which boosts collagen production and has anti-aging effects. Salmon’s also a food that’ll help you achieve better hair.