What is it?
Salmon is an excellent source of nutrients and provide the body with valuable omega-3 fatty acids. However, due to the health benefits, salmon demand has grown in recent years and it has vastly changed how salmon is marketed. You can find salmon in three different ways: wild, farm-raised, and “wild-caught.” The difference between wild salmon, farmed salmon, and “wild-caught” salmon is razor-thin.
Farm-raised salmon are salmon raised in aquafarms and fed protein pellets in order to meet consumer demand. “Wild-caught” salmon are salmon caught in the wild. However, what complicates this term, and confuses many, is that often hatcheries will release farm-raised salmon into the wild where they will compete with wild salmon for food. Farm-raised salmon comprise, according to some estimates, nearly 80% of the salmon market and these fish are generally fattier and contain less omega-3 than their truly wild counterparts. If you’re looking to get more omega-3 into your diet, salmon (of any kind) is an excellent source for it. Wild salmon, above all other types, is the best source and also the best for the environment.
Why is it good for me?
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are vital for proper growth and maturation. More significantly, however, both omega-3 fatty acids are vital for the maintenance of healthy hearts and brains. In this respect, wild salmon are much better than their farm-raised counterparts. Omega-3 levels in wild salmon are much higher than in farm-raised salmon. Furthermore, farm-raised salmon are higher in omega-6 levels which actually promote inflammation and can be very harmful for your heart.
Farm-raised salmon are much fattier than wild salmon. This occurs because farm-raised salmon don’t get a chance to move around when raised in captivity. Salmon are popularly known to swim upstream as part of their annual migration, and this proves vital exercise and movement for the fish itself. In a study done by the USDA, farm-raised coho salmon (a species found in pacific ocean near Japan), were found to be an average of 2.7 times more fat than wild coho salmon. The significant benefit of wild-caught salmon is a leaner and healthier fish which translates to a leaner and healthier you.
Beyond the notable health benefits, there are also significant environmental benefits to wild salmon. Eating truly wild salmon (and not just “wild-caught” salmon) promotes environmental sustainability. Wild salmon are also devoid of antibiotics and pessticides that you would normally find in farm-raised salmon.
Where can I get it?
Wild salmon can be hard to obtain. Most of the salmon sold in America is farm-raised. Even wild-caught salmon isn’t necessarily wild salmon. The best way to find truly wild salmon is to go online and get it straight from an organic retailer. Salmon, in general, is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Adding this superfood to your diet will benefit your health greatly.