Salmon: Health Benefits and How To
(HealthCastle.com) Salmon is quite simply one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It's great for light but substantial meals, especially if you're trying to reduce your meat intake, and you can eat it in a wide variety of ways, from sushi to canned to grilled to baked. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish a week, particularly fatty fish like salmon. Let's take a look at the nutrition data to find out why!
Nutrition Data for Salmon
One 3 oz serving of cooked Chinook salmon contains:
Calories: 196 kcal
Carbohydrates: 0 g
Fat: 11 g
Protein: 22 g
Fiber: 0 g
Glycemic Index: Low
Gluten Free: Yes
Health Benefits of Salmon
The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon help to boost HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. DHA, a particular type of omega-3 acid, has been shown to be particularly important in lowering cholesterol and improving heart health. Salmon is one of the best food sources of DHA, with 1,000 to 1,500 mg per 3 oz serving.
Other Health Benefits
With its high content of protein, iron, and Vitamin B12, salmon can help to boost athletic performance. The omega-3s in salmon may be beneficial for intestinal heath, and may have anti-inflammatory effects.
How to Choose Salmon at the Store
There are many species, and they all offer something a little different:
- Chinook (King or Spring) is highest in fat and omega-3s. It has a deep red color and is the richest and most flavorful salmon.
- Chum is lowest in fat and omega-3s. It has firm flesh and is often used in products like patties and canned fish. Because of its low fat content, marinate and baste it before grilling.
- Coho (Silver) is mild in flavor and often used in processed products like burgers, sausages, and canned fish. It has low fat and omega-3 content.
- Sockeye salmon has intense flavor and firm flesh with relatively high fat and omega-3 content. You can find sockeye fresh, frozen, smoked, or canned.
Farmed vs. Wild
Farmed salmon contains more PCB contamination than wild salmon. Further, some environmentalists are concerned about the effects fish farming has on the environment. Look for wild salmon or farmed salmon raised in contained on-shore pens.
At the Store
When buying fresh salmon, look for fish that is firm and moist and that does not smell "fishy."
How to Get More Salmon in Your Diet
- Throw some salmon steaks on the grill for a healthy alternative to burgers.
- Pan fry salmon fillets for a quick weeknight dinner, as in this Pan Fried Salmon with Lemon Capers Sauce.
- Used canned salmon to make an easy salmon salad to serve on crackers as an hors d'oeuvre or in a sandwich.
- Bake salmon in the oven, as in this Baked Salmon with Garlic and Dijon.