Is it safe to have salmon every day?

Eating oily fish provides a host of health wins. But is it a good idea to eat salmon every day?

Grilled salmon fillet. (Image: Bridget Joness)

What happens if you eat salmon every day?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests eating 8 ounces of fish per week. Depending on your preferences, some or all of that could be salmon. You can spread it throughout the week however you choose.

The main benefit of regularly eating salmon is that it’ll boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Here are the benefits of omega-3s in short:

- Might improve heart health

- May reduce blood pressure

- Possibly linked to breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer prevention

- May reduce risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

- May reduce the amount of arthritis meds needed to soothe symptoms

For pregnant peeps: The FDA recommends eating 8 to 12 ounces of seafood (from low-mercury sources) per week — and salmon is one of the lower-mercury fish you can consume. Salmon appears on the FDA’s “Best Choices” list for pregnancy-safe fish, meaning it’s lower in mercury than many other species.

Image: iStockphoto


Nutrition in salmon

This depends on what type of salmon you’re eating. Different types of salmon have different nutritional values. We used the most common type of salmon to appear on U.S. plates (farmed Atlantic salmon) for reference. You can expect to get the nutrients below from 3 ounces of salmon.

For the percentage of your Daily Value (DV), we’ve given the figures for males and females aged 19 to 30 years, but your intake requirement for some nutrients varies depending on your age, pregnancy status, and health needs.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are our basis for these values, so feel free to check out the guidelines for your own nutritional situation.

   Amount  Percentage of DV: Females Percentage of DV: Males
Calories   175 Varies depending on health goals Varies depending on health goals
Protein 18.8g 40.8% 33.6%
Fat 10.5g 30-42% 30-42%
Carbs 0g 0% 0%


4 reasons to eat salmon every day

1. You can eat it as part of a Mediterranean diet

Want to know why people praise the Mediterranean diet so much? It’s because this diet is low in red meat and saturated fat and potentially supports human health (including by helping you reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes).

Salmon can stand in for red meat while boosting your intake of other nutrients.

Garlic Caper Butter Baked Salmon. (Image: Inspired Taste)

2. It’s a solid source of protein

We all love protein, right? And no, it’s not just for gym rats — a protein-rich diet can support bone strength, healthy aging, and other awesome things that we generally care about.

And salmon is up to its gills in protein! Research suggests that adults under 65 should eat 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight every day. That comes to 55 to 57 grams for males and 47 to 48 grams for females.

A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon provides 22 to 25 grams of protein. Sweet!

3. It might help you lose weight

Wanna know what else protein-rich foods are great for? Shedding those unwanted pounds!

A 2014 research review noted that high protein foods like salmon make you feel full after you eat them. This might mean you’ll eat fewer calories overall, which could contribute to weight loss.

4. They provide a *bunch* of vitamins

A 3-ounce serving of cooked salmon provides significant amounts of the following vitamins and minerals:

  Amount Percentage of DV: Females Percentage of DV: Males
Vitamin B12 2.38 mcg 99.1% 99.1%
Vitamin D 447 IU 74.5% 74.5%
Vitamin B6 0.55 mcg 42.3% 42.3%
Thiamine 0.289 mcg 26.2% 24.1%
Riboflavin 0.115 mcg 10.4% 8.8%
Potassium 326 mg 12.5% 9.5%
Vitamin A 58.6 IU 8.3% 6.5%


Considerations around eating salmon

You might have heard that salmon contains mercury — and that’s completely true. But salmon is pretty low on the list of fish containing the most mercury.

You’re not really at any risk of mercury poisoning by simply eating fish. The health benefits of salmon far outweigh the minimal risk of harm from its limited mercury content.

Medically reviewed by Jerlyn Jones, MS MPA RDN LD CLT — Written by Nicky Cade


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