Is Farmed Salmon Good for Me too?

February 20, 2006

Is Farmed Salmon Good for Me too

 Competency # 13 FATS                     Reference: Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter, March 2006. 

 This is one of those topics that go around every couple of weeks.  Is farmed salmon as good as ocean-raised?  And what about mercury?  And what about the PCBs?  As we know, we are trying to clean up both of these contaminants from the environment.  PCBs may be banned, but mercury shows up from burning coal, and the whole world is doing more of that. As read in this column several weeks ago, we now know that pregnant mothers need omega fatty acids as much as the rest of us, and that you can measure increased intelligence in the children of fish eaters 5 years after the measured pregnancy. (And 15% positive swing in social adaptability)  That study concluded that the real risk of poor brain development mandated that pregnant women must find a way to eat more EPA and DHA, the fatty acids in fish.

 The key to understanding is judging by science based on what is common.  When 50% of us are slated to get coronary artery disease, a 1 in a million chance is worth taking compared to the 50% chance of coronary artery disease.  If Americans cut their consumption of fish by one sixth, we would have 8,000 more coronary artery disease deaths.  That’s what’s common. Here’s what I found out that’s new to me this week.  Farmed salmon has quite a lot of omega fatty acids in it!   Hurray!  I thought the cheap stuff wasn’t as good as the wild salmon. This table got published in the Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter this week. Seafood TypeOmega-3’s in 

3 oz of cooked fish 

1.   Farmed Atlantic Salmon1.8 grams 

2.   Herring. 1.7 grams 

3.   Wild Atlantic Salmon 1.6 grams 

4.   Blue Fin Tuna 1.3 grams 

5.   Canned Sockeye Salmon1.3 grams 

6.   Mackerel  1.0 grams 

7.   Swordfish  0.7 grams 

8.   Canned Tuna  0.2 grams 

9.   Wild catfish  0.2 grams 

10.  Farmed catfish  0.1 grams 

12.   Atlantic Cod (Friday’s fish fry)  0.1 grams 

 What will work for me:  I’m back on salmon.  It’s delicious and has the most omega threes.  Your brain needs it!  Your heart needs it.  As for Friday’s fish fry…..well.  Don’t do the fry.  The cod has little omega three in it, and the fry part is probably trans fats.   And we know that they are poisons: twice as bad for you as saturated beef fat.  So, do the baked, grilled, anything but fried.  

This column is written by Dr. John E. Whitcomb, MD, Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield, WI. (262-784-5300)