Q:

What are the nutritional differences between wild and farm-raised salmon?

Aug 22, 2011
Outside
Outside Magazine
Salmon

   Photo:Boca Dorada/Flickr

A:

The debate over farm-raised versus wild salmon boils down to two issues: healthy fat content and organic contaminants. Farm-raised salmon is known for having higher levels of heart-healthy omega-3s, while wild salmon is praised for having less cancer-causing contaminants.

This creates a dilemma between eating salmon that is healthier for your heart or salmon that has less contaminants. In a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers determined that for the majority of the population, the benefits of eating salmon with more omega-3s outweighed the risk of potential contaminants. The exception: high-risk populations like young children and women who are or may become pregnant.

A great way to avoid contaminants and enjoy the health benefits of salmon is to eat wild salmon and take a fish oil supplement for extra omega-3s. If farm-raised salmon is your only option, choose fish raised in North or South America over Europe where fish often has much higher levels of contaminants.

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