Baked or grilled salmon calories are low, considering the amounts of protein, good cholesterol, omega-3s and good fats they provide. If you are looking for an excellent source of protein that offers health benefits and low calorie counts, baked or grilled salmon is worth a try.
Baked or grilled salmon, when cooked without fat, supplies 55 calories per ounce. For a 4-ounce fillet, that comes to 220 calories.
Baked Salmon Nutrition
Baked salmon is one of the healthiest ways to prepare a salmon fillet. When cooked without oil, butter, or other fat, it provides only 55 calories per ounce. If you bake a 4-ounce fillet, you will add only 220 calories to your daily caloric intake and you'll also get over 25 grams of protein.
Foods like salmon that are high in protein may help you control your weight. A study published in the November 2014 issue of Nutrition and Metabolism suggests choosing healthier high-protein foods like salmon instead of other animal-based proteins for weight loss.
Baked salmon nutrition includes a large amount of good cholesterol and omega-3 fatty acids, plenty of protein, lots of vitamin B12 and various other minerals. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, salmon offers several potential health benefits, including the promotion of brain development in children and babies.
The American Heart Association notes that eating oily fish like salmon twice a week can promote heart health and reduce the risk of stroke.
Baking is the key to maintaining the healthy aspects of the fish without introducing new sources of fat or cholesterol. Baking is simple and effective and can be just as fast as frying if you start to heat the oven as you prepare the fish.
Sodium in Grilled Salmon
Salmon is relatively low in sodium. If the fish is grilled with no extra salt, the sodium levels will remain this low. However, if you tend to add extra seasonings and marinades to your salmon before grilling, you could be adding extra sodium, fat and sugars.
Read more: 15 Reasons to Kick Sugar
If you purchase pre-grilled salmon, you should check the sodium amounts listed on the package. Many pre-made salmon meals or fillets add sodium, fats or sugars during the cooking process. For example, a roughly 4-ounce grilled salmon fillet from Ukrop's has 190 milligrams of sodium.
If you are a fan of grilling your own salmon, pay attention to the spices, fats and marinades you are adding. Spice blends often contain added sodium. You are better off getting individually packaged spices if you are watching your sodium intake. You may also want to consider making your own spice blends.
Before purchasing a marinade, read the label. Check out the the amount of added sodium, sugars and fats. You should also be aware that even products marked as "lower sodium" may still include far more than you need.
For example, 1 tablespoon of reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce has 320 milligrams of sodium. It also has over 2.5 grams of sugar.
Baked vs. Grilled: What's Better?
When it comes to nutrition, both baked and grilled salmon offer identical nutrients. What varies is the cooking method itself. The other variable is the spices, marinades or fats you add during the cooking process or after cooking.
Whether you are grilling or baking, you can look for nonfat cooking sprays. These are very useful in helping to prevent the salmon from sticking to the cooking surface. Since they add zero calories and zero fat, using them will not take away from the nutritional value of the salmon.
Also, pay attention to what you serve with grilled or baked salmon. Salmon often pairs well with whole-grain rice, salads and other vegetables that are high in dietary fiber and nutrients.
Read more: 19 High-Fiber Foods — Some May Surprise You!
When it comes to which cooking method to use, it comes down to personal preference. Baking salmon is an easy method, and the salmon will absorb the flavors from any seasonings you add to it. Grilling salmon will often pick up a bit of a smoky, charred flavor. So it really depends on which you prefer and how confident you are of your baking and grilling abilities.
- USDA FoodData Central: "Salmon, Coated, Baked or Broiled, Made Without Fat"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Fish: Friend or Foe?"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Grilled Salmon"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Teriyaki Sauce, Reduced Sodium"
- Nutrition and Metabolism: "A High-Protein Diet for Reducing Body Fat: Mechanisms and Possible Caveats"
- American Heart Association: "Eating Fish Twice a Week Reduces Heart Stroke Risk"