Healthy Eating: How Much Salmon Should I Eat Per Week?

grilled salmon
Cooke teriyaki salmon on a plate. (Image: Wiktory/iStock/Getty Images)

Salmon is a peach/pink fatty fish with a flaky consistency. Salmon contains important protein and unsaturated fats, which have health benefits. Low in mercury, you can eat salmon several times a week and, according to the Health Unit website, you can eat salmon up to 14 times per week.

Health Benefits

Salmon is part of the protein food group. Protein-based food sources contain amino acids, which work to create proteins within the body. These proteins are used in cells and tissue production. Salmon also contains unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential because the body cannot make them and you can only get them from food. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the body, which lowers the risk of developing diseases such as heart disease and arthritis. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Servings per Week

The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish, such as salmon, at least two times per week. The recommended serving size of fish is 3.5 ounces cooked or 3/4 cup of fish flaked. To reap the most health benefits from salmon, prepare it by baking, steaming or grilling. The American Heart Association states that salmon contains two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids, which work to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Risks

Although salmon contains mercury, it is at a low level. Fresh or frozen salmon is generally low in mercury with a measurement of 0.01 parts per million mean mercury concentration in a 3-ounce serving. Cook your salmon fully before eating it to minimize contaminants. Buy wild salmon to minimize the mercury content.

Considerations

Instead of buying prepared salmon, buy fresh or frozen salmon to get the most from the nutrients. For an added boost in polyunsaturated fat health benefits, pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto your salmon after cooking it. Olive oil is high in unsaturated fat and works to reduce the risk of inflammation and heart disease.

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