How Much Salmon Is Safe To Eat Per Week – Cooked salmon helps you get more omega-3s and B vitamins, but you should choose the wild variety whenever you can.
Salmon is a source of protein for many people, and it’s clear why this fish stands out as a nutritional star: It’s unique in heart-healthy fats called omega-3 fatty acids.
How Much Salmon Is Safe To Eat Per Week
This fish is actually a great source of protein and can replace less healthy forms of nutrients on your plate like fatty beef or sausage. You’ll also find that salmon is rich in nutrients that support brain, heart, and bone health.
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Salmon is one of the most popular seafood in the United States, surpassed only by canned shrimp and tuna. According to the US Geological Survey, there are several species of salmon, including Atlantic salmon and Pacific salmon, including chinook, coho, chum, sockeye and pink salmon.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, Atlantic salmon are endangered, and commercial and recreational fishing for them is prohibited in the United States. For that reason, the Atlantic salmon you find in the supermarket is farm-raised.
It’s currently recommended that Americans eat two meals of fish per week, and salmon is a great way to anchor those meals.
A 3.5-ounce portion of cooked salmon equals one serving. A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked wild coho salmon contains:
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Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid, and salmon is known to be a good source of them. These fats are essential because the body cannot make them on its own.
According to the Harvard Institute DH, omega-3 fats are a catalyst for the production of hormones that control blood clotting, inflammation, and the contraction and relaxation of artery walls. Chan School of Public Health. They also play a role in gene function.
Presumably because of these many functions, omega-3s help prevent heart disease and stroke, and help control rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and eczema. They have even been linked to protection against cancer and other conditions, the university says. However, more research is needed to confirm these links.
The omega-3 fats you find in seafood are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), while the type most commonly found in plants is called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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“Omega-3 fats, especially those found in animal sources like salmon, are very beneficial for heart health,” says Karen Conger, RD, a registered dietitian at UW Medicine. “Omega-3 fats in plants have to be converted into ALA, DHA and EPA, which is not a very efficient process – so you don’t get as much bang for your buck as you do with animal sources.”
Notably, large population-based studies have shown that consumption of boiled or steamed fish is strongly associated with reduced systemic vascular resistance and reduced incidence of coronary heart disease and heart failure, after a 2014 review in Thanafos.
How Much Salmon Can You Eat Each Week? As recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA), eating two portions of fish per week – particularly fatty types such as salmon, which are high in EPA and DHA – is associated with an increased risk of coronary and total mortality.
While fish oil supplements can be helpful, they can also cause side effects such as indigestion, loose stools, an increased risk of bleeding, or a weakened immune system if you take too much, according to the Mayo Clinic. Consult your healthcare provider if you want to take fish oil supplements and take blood thinners.
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According to a September 2015 study in the Journal of Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, getting omega-3s from foods like fish can increase your body fat just as much as fish oil capsules.
Salmon is an excellent source of protein with only 23.5 grams per serving and 1.1 grams of saturated fat. The AHA recommends that only 5 to 6 percent of your daily calories come from saturated fat (about 13 grams per day).
Saturated fats are found in high amounts in foods such as lean beef, lamb, pork, skin and butter, and eating foods high in monounsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fats such as salmon can help lower your blood cholesterol levels.
“Although salmon is very high in fat, it’s low in saturated fat, so I consider it a lean protein,” says Conger. “That protein helps with muscle synthesis and muscle repair throughout the day.”
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Salmon is a good source of complete protein, meaning it provides all the amino acids the body cannot make on its own. According to the US National Library of Medicine (NLM), our bodies need protein to build and maintain bones, muscles, and skin.
Between 10 percent and 35 percent of your daily calories should come from protein. While most Americans get enough protein, many can get it from healthier sources like salmon, according to the Ohio State University Extension.
Salmon provides an impressive array of B vitamins that play many important roles in your body. A 3.5oz serving of wild coho salmon provides:
According to the NLM, your body needs B vitamins to get or make energy from the food you eat and to make red blood cells.
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Animal proteins such as fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, fortified cereals, and rich grain products provide B vitamins, as do plant foods such as leafy green vegetables and beans.
Deficiency of B12 and B6 in particular can lead to anemia. In fact, up to 20 percent of adults over age 50 may be deficient in vitamin B12, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
It can cause cognitive problems such as reduced thinking and reasoning or memory. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in animal products and the body cannot make it on its own.
B12 is essential for red blood cell formation and plays a role in proper nerve function and DNA production.
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Salmon contains more vitamin B-12 than beef, making it a good source of vitamin B12. A 3.5 ounce serving of wild coho salmon contains 208% of the DV.
Salmon contains several important nutrients that play a role in keeping your bones strong and fracture-free.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, adequate protein intake is important for bone health, and many older adults don’t get enough in their diets. Some research has found that omega-3-rich foods may have bone-boosting benefits, but more studies are needed to confirm this link.
Salmon provides calcium and vitamin D, which work together to support your bones. “By eating canned salmon with bones, you get more calcium,” says Conger. “Calcium absorption requires the vitamin D in salmon. Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, salmon is a good source of it.”
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Up until age 30, your body builds new bone faster than old bone. Your bone mass peaks around age 30, and after that you lose slightly more bone mass than you gain.
Not getting enough calcium in your diet can lead to decreased bone density, early bone loss, and an increased risk of fractures, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Salmon provides 26 percent of the daily value of phosphorus, which is found in every cell in the body, but is mostly found in bones and teeth, according to the NLM. Its main function is to form bones and teeth. It works with B vitamins to help with kidney function, muscle contractions, normal heart rate and nerve signaling.
Because omega-3 fats play many roles throughout the body and brain, including building cell membranes, they can promote healthy brain cells and prevent brain degeneration, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
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Seniors who ate at least one serving of seafood each week performed better on cognitive tests than those who ate less, a five-year observational study in the journal Neurology found in May 2016.
In particular, people with the APOE-ε4 gene variant, which raises the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, may benefit from eating omega-3 fats.
On the other hand, an August 2015 American Medical Association study of 3,000 adults found that fish oil pills did not appear to impair cognitive function.
A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon provides 69 percent of your daily value for selenium, an essential trace mineral that acts as an antioxidant.
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Although rare, selenium deficiency may be associated with an age-related decline in brain function due to a decrease in the protective effect of selenium on cells, the NIH said.
Selenium’s brain benefits may be optimal at certain doses of the mineral. A November 2014 study in the journal Nutrition found that either too little or (slightly) too much selenium was associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms and negative mood in young adults.
In addition, the high levels of B vitamins in salmon help prevent dementia and increase the production of neurotransmitters, chemicals that send messages from neurons in the brain to the rest of the body, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
The body does not store B vitamins, and not eating enough can increase the risk of cognitive decline
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