Is Salmon Unhealthy for Me?

Is Salmon Unhealthy for Me?

Many of you are familiar with the health benefits of fish. However, you may not be aware that salmon is not the best option for your health. Salmon is known for the Omega-3s and the ability to boost brain function, but it can be bad for you. According to studiesand research surrounding fish consumption, there has been a steady decline in marine ecosystems.

Do you know if you are buying wild or farmed salmon? Do you know the difference between the two? Below is some information about wild and farmed salmon.

Wild vs. Farmed Salmon

There are several different health benefits in wild and farmed salmon. Wild salmon is salmonthat is caught in the “wild,” which includes its natural environment like oceans or rivers. On the other hand, farmed salmon comes from actual fish “farms” known as aquacultures. Production of farmed salmon has increased over time and is less expensive than wild salmon. So, what exactly are the differences of wild and farmed salmon?

Wild Salmon

Unlike farmed salmon, wild salmon has more minerals. Although wild salmon is considered the healthier option, there are some fish from different regions that have higher levels of trace metals. The amount is still too low to be concerned about, but you should be aware.

Farmed Salmon

Containing higher levels of vitamin C, saturated fat, polyunsaturated fatty acids and calories, farmed salmon has less minerals than wild salmon. Being much higher in Omega-6 fatty acids, farmed salmon also has higher amounts of contaminants including PCBs. Again, there are not harmful amounts of trace metals found in salmon, but it depends on the fish. In other words, some fish show higher levels while others show lower levels of trace metals.

Is wild salmon better than farmed salmon?

When it comes down to deciding between wild and farmed salmon, wild salmon is always the better option. Wild salmon is healthier for you than farmed salmon, but for most people wild salmon is not accessible. Farmed salmon can still be healthy, just a bit less healthy than wild salmon.

Reasons why Salmon can be Bad for You

Some farmed salmon is painted pink.
The natural pink color found in wild salmon is dulled and turned into a beige color in farmed salmon. Because farmed salmon consume food like pellets made out of ground fish and soy, its pink color goes away. In order to address this issue, salmon farmers add color to the food that is fed to the salmon. It is significant to read the labels and make sure nothing says “color added.”

More salmon for us means less for them.

Obviously, the more salmon we consume, the less there is available for animals in the wild. Salmon is considered as a “keystone species,” which means it is very significant due to other species’ dependence. Limit your salmon intake and understand that a decrease in the salmon population can have a major impact on other species.

There are larger amounts of contaminants.

Mostly found in farmed salmon, there are large amounts of contaminants. Contaminants including PCBs are more likely contained in farmed salmon. PCBs are cancer-causing industrial chemicals and there are up to eight times more in farmed salmon. Other chemicals like dioxins or more commonly known as Agent Orange are also prevalent in farmed salmon.


There are several reasons why salmon is bad for you, but do not give up on salmon entirely. Although the cons appear to outweigh the pros of consuming salmon, it is still worth eating. Salmon can be healthy, it just depends on your awareness of what you are consuming, such as wild salmon is healthier in moderation or small amounts. Salmon, as well as other fish, can even help you lose weight.

Wild salmon helps you lose weight.

Halibut, oysters, scallop, light canned tuna, Pacific cod, and fish like wild salmon are great for losing weight. Be prepared to spend more money than you would on farmed salmon because wild salmon is more expensive. Wild salmon may be more expensive and harder to obtain, but it is more healthy to consume than farmed salmon. Even though salmon has a high amount of calories and fat, do not be fooled. Studies have shown that people not only lose weight when they consume wild salmon, but they also show signs of reduced inflammation.

So, is salmon healthy or unhealthy?

It depends. The answer really depends on how much research you have done and how much you understand the difference between farmed and wild salmon. If you want to eat more salmon while staying healthy, wild salmon is the best option for you.

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