Lox, also called smoked salmon, can be eaten as an appetizer or entree for any meal. Salmon is among the healthiest finfish to eat because of its nutritional content and low rate of contaminants. A joint bulletin between the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration states that salmon is low in mercury and can be part of a healthy diet. Consult your doctor about your diet and the health benefits of lox.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Salmon, particularly wild salmon, is among foods with the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, are healthy fats that may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that you eat at least two 3.5 oz. servings of fatty fish, such as salmon, per week to improve your heart health and reduce your risk of coronary artery disease and abnormal heartbeats associated with sudden death, slow the growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque and lower your blood pressure.
Fish is a rich and healthy source of protein. Proteins are essential nutrients that contain amino acids. Your body needs proteins for cell structure, enzymes and regulation of cellular metabolic processes. Unlike red meat, poultry and dairy, foods that contain high amounts of saturated fat, salmon is a lean protein not high in saturated fat. Reducing your intake of saturated fat can lower your risk of heart disease. Saturated fat increases blood cholesterol and buildup of plaque inside your arteries, leading to the development of coronary heart disease.
Lox is a source of certain vitamins, particularly niacin and vitamin B-12. Niacin, also called vitamin B-3, can increase your HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol. Vitamin B-12 is vital for production of DNA and red blood cells that transport oxygen from your lungs to your cells. Vitamin B-12 is found exclusively in animal foods and is frequently deficient among vegetarians and older people with malabsorption problems.
Lox is also a source of certain minerals, particularly sodium, potassium and selenium. However, excess sodium may increase your risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Potassium is an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in your body and plays a vital role in healthy heart function and skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, particularly to support normal digestive and muscular function. Selenium is a trace element and antioxidant that you need to support certain enzymes called selenoproteins and to protect cells from harmful chemicals and toxins.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency; Consumption Advice: Joint Federal Advisory for Mercury in Fish; 2004
- University of Michigan Integrative Medicine; Healing Foods Pyramid; 2010
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Omega-3 Fatty Acids; 2010
- American Heart Association; Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids; 2010
- Harvard School of Public Health; Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, in with the Good; 2010
- United States Department of Agriculture; National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference; 2010