Healthy fats are essential fuel for our bodies and minds, but not all fats are equal. Both farmed and wild salmon are excellent sources of disease-preventing omega-3s (good fats). Farmed salmon is higher than wild salmon in overall fat and calories, it’s also higher in inflammatory omega-6 fats (bad fats). While wild fish have a far better fatty acid ratio of omega-3 fats (anti-inflammatory fats) to omega-6 fats (pro-inflammatory fats) that ratio is skewed in farmed salmon due to their size and diet, here are the dirty facts.
Research shows that wild salmon has a more robust content of vitamins and minerals per calorie compared to farmed fish. The difference in the nutrition breakdown, wild salmon eat other organisms found in its natural environment, where farmed fish are fed a higher-fat processed diet to produce larger fish. Wild salmon tends to pack more calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium than farmed salmon.
Research also showed that wild salmon contains the antioxidant astaxanthin (what makes salmon meat appear dark pink). This anti-inflammatory molecule has benefits that include possibly improving muscle endurance. Wild salmon get their fill of the antioxidant by chowing down on astaxanthin-rich plankton, while farmed salmon only get a man made version that’s created from petrochemicals like coal.
So as they say, “You are what you eat” in reality “You are what your food eats”!