Wild Vs Farmed Salmon – Omega-3 Content

  • In 2005 Environmental Science and Technology published a study which tested 603 samples of farmed Atlantic salmon and 135 samples of wild Pacific salmon purchased in 16 cities in North America and Europe for both omega fatty acid concentrations and contaminants. While the farmed salmon had higher total lipid levels, the wild Pacific salmon had a superior ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 of 10 to 1 compared to 3-4 to 1 in the farmed Atlantic salmon. The farmed salmon also had far higher levels of contaminants including PCBs, dioxins, and chlorinated pesticides compared to the wild-caught salmon.

Wild Vs Farmed Salmon – Vitamin D Content

  • In 2007 The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology published a study which found that farmed salmon had just 25 percent of the vitamin D content of wild salmon. Additionally, when baked salmon retained almost all of its vitamin D content compared to being fried in vegetable oil, which only preserved half of the original vitamin D content.

Cooking Methods & Oxidation Levels

  • In 2004 the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study which found that moderate pan frying and steaming of salmon did not change the fatty acid profile, nor did it increase lipid oxidation. It did however significantly increase the content of cholesterol oxidation products (COPs) – another oxidation product that is harmful to human health. Streaming increased COPs the most, while no difference was seen in salmon whether or not oil was used during pan frying.

Reduced Mental Decline

  • In 2013 The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological and Medical Sciences published a study based on the self-reported survey results of 5,988 women which found that consumption of tuna and other dark meat fish including salmon once or more per week was correlated with lower decline in verbal memory over a 4 year period. No beneficial associations were seen for shellfish or light-meat fish.

Improved Cognition in Children

  • In 2018 Clinical Nutrition published a study in which 205 children between the ages of 4 and 6 were given farmed Atlantic salmon or meat three times per week for 16 weeks. Scores on 2 out of 8 cognitive tests improved significantly more in the salmon group compared the to meat group. EPA and DHA levels also increased significantly more in the salmon group.

Improved Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease

  • In 2007 Atherosclerosis published a study in which 41 healthy adults consumed 125 grams/day salmon for 4 weeks (while otherwise maintaining their normal dietary routines) followed by a 4-week period of no salmon. Blood tests taken before and after each study period showed that salmon decreased blood pressure by an average 4 percent, triglycerides by 15 percent, LDL cholesterol by 7 percent and increased HDL cholesterol by 5 percent. According to the authors, these changes amount to an estimated 25 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.

Helps Women Meet Dietary Recommendations for DHA and EPA

  • In 2018 Nutrients published a study which found that based on a sample of 11,465 women of childbearing age (including pregnant women), 100 percent of women are not meeting the recommended dietary guidelines of 8–12 oz. per week of seafood. The authors note that the current deficiency in EPA and DHA is expected to have a long-term impact on both maternal and infant health. EPA and DHA quantities in salmon are far higher than most other sources of seafood, thus salmon is an optimal choice for filing the gap in DHA and EPA consumption.

Declining DHA and EPA content

  • In 2016 Scientific Reports published a paper which noted that the switch from marine-based feed to more sustainable plant-based feed in farmed salmon has lead to declining EPA and DHA levels. The authors note that compared to 2006, double the portion size is needed to obtain the same DHA and EPA quantities. However, sustainable feeds have also lead to a decrease in contaminants including dioxins and PCBs.

Benefits and Risks of Farmed and Wild Salmon

  • In 2005 the Journal of Nutrition published an article which stated that the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids from both farmed and wild salmon outweigh the risks of carcinogens. The risk associated with wild Pacific salmon however is lower and the benefit greater when compared to most farmed salmon. The authors do note that some varieties of farmed salmon have a risk/benefit ratio similar to wild Pacific salmon.

Raw Vs Baked Salmon – Effects on Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • In 2017 the Journal of Food and Nutrition Research published an animal study which found that both raw and baked salmon had similar effects on lipid profiles in rats and thus concluded that baking salmon does not alter its protein or fat qualities.
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