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Is Salmon Safe to Eat? How Much?

We all love eating salmon. I mean, love it like mad, right? If I knew it was only good for me, I’d eat it at least once a week, but probably more. As it is now, I probably eat salmon about once every two months just out of fear that I’m going to get Alzheimer’s or some other drastic brain condition from eating the mercury and pesticides stored in salmon fat.

How Safe Is Salmon to Eat?

Mercury levels in salmon, specifically Alaska and northern Canada salmon, are some of the lowest known. This makes eating salmon quite safe for moderate consumption.

The American Pregnancy Organization recommends eating Salmon over tuna. Tuna has very high levels of mercury in comparison to salmon. They recommend around 8-10 ounces of salmon per week. Their recommendations are below.

Make sure to choose a variety of fish lower in mercury, such as salmon, tilapia, shrimp, tuna (canned-light), cod, and catfish. Consumption of white (albacore) tuna should not exceed 6 ounces per week.

If you’re eating salmon or tuna from a can, you can look for the brand, “SAFE CATCH.” They test every fish and label the results right on the can.

Wild Caught vs. Farmed Salmon

There is a large difference in nutritional value between wild-caught and farmed salmon. In test after test, wild-caught salmon have more calcium, less fat, and less chemicals in the fat. It is highly recommended you eat your own catch and avoid farmed salmon, which has very high fat levels and caloric intake.

Chart – Wild vs. Farmed Salmon Nutritional Value

The obvious choice is to eat wild-caught salmon whenever possible. There is no comparison in regards to which one is healthier. (from Healthline (.com))

It may be hard to self-regulate how much salmon you eat if you’re catching it in the Northern USA or Alaska… or Canada. We know! Please pay attention to the recommendations here, but know that if you’re catching your salmon in the pristine wilderness of the great white north, you probably don’t have to be concerned about consuming too much mercury.

On the other hand, if you’re catching your salmon in the mouth of a river that is lined with factories who probably discharge waste into the river – you probably shouldn’t be eating ANY of that salmon or other fish, right?

Mercury is a chemical that is commonly found in factory discharge as the result of chemical processes and by-product. Mercury collects in the brain over time and can cause brain damage. This is why we must be very careful about consumption. Other high-mercury containing fish are Tuna, Wahoo, Swordfish, Shark and other large ocean dwelling fish.


Check out our Salmon Fishing Guides here:

More Fishing Guides with All You Need to Know

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