Salmon is commonly prized for its health benefits.
It is a fatty fish that is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, which most people don’t get enough of.
However… not all salmon is created equal, unfortunately.
Today, a lot of the salmon we eat isn’t caught in caught in the wild, but bred in fish farms.
The Difference Between Wild and Farmed Salmon
Wild salmon is caught in the wild, in its natural environment… oceans, rivers and lakes.
The annual global production of farmed salmon has increased from 27,000 to more than 1 million metric tons in the past two decades (2).
Whereas wild salmon eats other organisms found in its natural environment, farmed salmon is given a processed high-fat feed in order to produce larger fish (3).
Bottom Line: The production of farmed salmon has increased dramatically in the past two decades. Farmed salmon has a completely different diet and environment than wild salmon.
There Are Some Important Differences in Nutrition Composition
As you can see in the table, nutritional differences between wild and farmed salmon can be pretty significant.
Farmed salmon also contains some Vitamin C, which is added to the feed.
Conversely, wild salmon is higher in minerals, including potassium, zinc and iron.
Bottom Line: Wild salmon contains more minerals. Farmed salmon is higher in Vitamin C, saturated fat, polyunsaturated fatty acids and calories.
Difference in Polyunsaturated Fat Content
There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats… Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
These fatty acids have important roles to play in the human body.
We need both in the diet, otherwise we end up sick. That’s why they are termed the “essential” fatty acids (EFAs).
However… we need to get these fatty acids in a certain balance.
Most people today are eating too much Omega-6, and the delicate balance between these two types of fatty acids is heavily distorted towards Omega-6.
Many scientists have speculated that this can drive increased inflammation and may play a role in the pandemics of chronic diseases like heart disease and others (8).
For this reason, the Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio is about three times higher in farmed salmon, compared to wild.
However… I don’t really think this is a cause for concern. Even though farmed salmon contains Omega-6, the O6:O3 ratio is still excellent (at 1:3-4), it’s just less excellent than that in wild salmon, which is at 1:10 (10).
Salmon, both farmed and wild, should lead to a massive improvement in Omega-3 intake for most people, and is often recommended for that purpose.
Bottom Line: Farmed salmon is much higher in Omega-6 fatty acids than wild salmon, but the amount is still too low to be a cause for concern.
Farmed Salmon is Much Higher in Contaminants
Fish tend to accumulate potentially harmful contaminants from their environment.
One study investigated over 700 salmon samples from around the world and found that on average, the PCB concentrations in farmed salmon were eight times higher than in wild salmon (20).
Those contamination levels are deemed safe by the FDA but not by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Researchers suggest that if the EPA guidelines were applied to the farmed salmon they tested, recommendations would be to restrict salmon to no more than once per month.
However, many argue that the benefits of consuming Omega-3s from salmon outweigh the health risks of contaminants, which is a reasonable assumption.
While it is hard to say for sure, we know that risks are far fewer if you eat wild salmon instead of farmed.
Bottom Line: Farmed salmon contains much higher amounts of contaminants like PCBs, but the amount varies between fish from different regions.
Mercury and Other Trace Metals in Salmon
The current evidence for trace metals in salmon is conflicting.
However, one study found that wild salmon had levels three times higher (22).
Levels of arsenic have been found to be higher in farmed salmon, but levels of cobalt, copper, and cadmium higher in wild salmon (23).
In any case, trace metals in either variety of salmon are found in such low amounts that they do not appear to be a cause for concern.
Bottom Line: For the average person, trace metals in salmon do not appear to be found in harmful quantities. This goes for both farmed or wild salmon.
Is Wild Salmon Worth the Extra Cost and Inconvenience?
It is important to keep in mind that farmed salmon is still very healthy.
Farmed salmon tends to be much larger and contains higher amounts of Omega-3s.
Wild salmon is also much more expensive than farmed and may not be worth the extra cost for some people. Depending on a few things, it may be inconvenient (or impossible) for you to access wild salmon.
However, because of the dietary differences, farmed salmon also contains much more potentially harmful contaminants than wild salmon.
While these contaminants appear to be safe for the average person consuming moderate amounts, some experts have recommended that children and pregnant women only eat wild-caught salmon… just to be on the safe side.
Salmon is Healthy, no Matter Which Way You Slice it
It is a good idea to eat fatty fish such as salmon once or twice a week for optimal health.
The only real concern with farmed salmon is organic pollutants like PCBs. If this is something you’re concerned about, then do some research on the origins of your salmon and choose one that wasn’t bred in polluted waters.
Given the high amount of Omega-3s, quality protein and beneficial nutrients, I believe that the benefits of eating salmon (whether farmed or wild) far outweigh the negatives for most people.
I personally eat farmed salmon every week, and I am not at all concerned about it. I would choose wild if I could, but unfortunately it is not available to me right now.
If wild salmon is easily accessible to you, then that’s a better option. But farmed salmon is still healthy… just slightly “less healthy” than wild salmon.
Editors note: Click here to Find a Local Farmer
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Do You Know Your Body’s Most Important Weight Loss Secret?
By J. Davis III
Tags: HEALING | HEALTHY FATS | REMEDIES
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
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You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works...
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
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What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
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Natural Diabetes Treatment Works Better Than Prescription Drugs *PROOF*
By Richard Neal
Tags: HEALING | REMEDIES | PREVENTION
According the latest statistics, diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes in the United States is reaching epidemic levels:
Total: 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the population have diabetes.
Diagnosed: 21.0 million people.
Undiagnosed: 8.1 million people (27.8% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed).
Source: CDC Website
Drugs Treat Symptoms, Not Disease
Pharmaceutical companies have been trying to shut these doctors down simply for revealing the truth about diabetes.
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#1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat
By J. Davis III
Tags: HEALING | PREVENTION
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
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