How to Select the “Superfood of the Sea” to Optimize Benefits

There’s no shortage of information on the benefits of salmon, the omega-3 rich superfood of the sea. But there isn’t a lot that distinguishes between the types of salmon available on store shelves.

And guess what? That info can be pretty important.


Because not all salmon are “created” equally.

Some salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, an essential fat that humans do not produce on their own. Omega-3’s are noted for playing important roles in heart health, brain health, cholesterol levels, brain function, inflammation, and more.

But those benefits are linked, largely, to wild salmon. Farmed salmon, on the other hand, even given the deceptive “organic” label, lags far behind in nutrition, according to experts.

While farmed salmon boasts an impressive nutrient profile, rich in omega 3, vitamin D (one of the few food sources of this important vitamin), iron, zinc, and potassium, farmed salmon has much less.

It also has some things you might not want, like potentially harmful contaminants, saturated fat, and pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. The higher levels of saturated fat and omega-6’s are likely the result of the diet these fish are fed and the fact that they don’t spend their lives swimming upstream.

So, when you’re looking to buy salmon to improve the overall health if your diet, wild salmon is the way to go. But how can you tell the difference? Here are some tips that might help you distinguish between farmed and wild (if it’s not written on a label).

The color. Farmed salmon will have a light pink hue and more white marbling. Wild salmon, on the other hand, will be more a deep, reddish-orange colour.


The price point: Wild salmon is going to have a higher price than farmed. You’ll be unlikely to find it for less than $10 per pound. Put simply, you get what you pay for.

The origin: If it comes from Alaska (in the U.S.) or British Columbia (in Canada), it is likely wild and fished sustainably. Almost all Atlantic salmon (east) is farmed. It’s also a safe bet that most restaurant salmon unless noted, is farmed.

The time of year: Salmon season typically runs from May-September, so if you’re buying it in that range, it is likely wild.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.