They say that salmon is one of the healthiest things you can eat. They’re packed with Omega-3 fatty acids and they’re a leaner option than other meats, right?
That all depends on where the salmon came from.
According to The Telegraph, an analysis of the fat content of smoked salmon proved pretty surprising. The salmon — which were farmed in Scotland — had more fat than pizza.
Salmon is typically advertised as lean, oily, and healthy; however, not all salmon are created equal. Fish that came from the Scotland farms were found to be three times more fatty than wild salmon.
Why? Some people call farmed salmon the “couch potato” of fish, since they do not swim as much as wild salmon do; this makes the farmed version fattier — just as with people who are couch potatoes.
Here’s the comparison in numbers: the study found that the pizza contained 6.4 grams of fat per 100 grams, the farmed fish had 14 grams of fat per 100 grams, and the wild fish had 3.2 grams of fat per 100 grams.
The farmed fish are fattier, but studies done by the United States Department of Agriculture have found that while farmed fish have a smaller proportion of Omega-3 fatty acids than their wild counterparts, they might contain more Omega-3’s altogether because of the increased levels of fat.
Perhaps the most famous wild salmon runs in the United States are in the Kenai River in Alaska, where the giant king salmon is the state fish. The best wild salmon for eating, canning, and smoking is considered to be red salmon, which run in late June and late July annually. Red salmon are just one of a few different kinds of wild salmon that run in Alaska — there are two runs each of king and silver salmon, with a run of pink salmon every other year.
So while we now know that salmon aren’t all the same and may not be quite as healthy as advertised, a quick look at the packaging will tell you where your salmon is from — or you could always go out to the river and catch it yourself.