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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Weight Management arrow Is Salmon Good for Weight Loss? Here's The Answer

Is Salmon Good for Weight Loss? Here's The Answer

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: May 19, 2023
7 min read 1524 Views 0 Comments
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Learn how salmon can help you lose weight, stay healthy, develop strong bones, keep a sharp mind, and keep your skin radiant. Also, find tips for adding salmon to your daily menu.

Is salmon good for weight loss

The red salmon, known for its bright color and buttery flavor, is one of the most popular fish choices in the United States. Grilled, smoked, steamed, or raw, this fish is good for dinner, a snack, or breakfast. 

It seems like a natural choice for a healthy diet because of its origins and legends about its nutritional benefits. 

However, can salmon help you lose weight?

Let’s look closely at the properties of this fish and find out how it can benefit your weight loss and health.

Is Salmon Good for Weight Loss?

Salmon is a great food if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Research suggests that nutrients, healthy fats, and high-quality protein in salmon prevent excess fluid retention, boost metabolic rate, and promote weight loss.

Salmon contains a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which boost your weight loss efforts to achieve better and longer-lasting results. This increases the rate at which food is converted into energy, which helps you lose fat.

Several studies show that omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are effective in preventing obesity and correcting metabolism as well as reducing the waist-to-hip ratio, especially when combined with a healthy lifestyle.

Eating protein-rich foods like salmon promotes the building of muscle, which also contributes to weight loss. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.

In both low-calorie and standard-calorie diets, eating more protein than recommended improves body composition by decreasing fat mass and preserving fat-free mass.

Is Salmon Good for You?

Eating salmon regularly can enhance thyroid function, reproductive health, brain function, and bone strength, in addition to burning fat and providing the much-desired muscle definition.

Salmon is an oily fish that contains a significant amount of protein and omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. While protein helps gain and maintain muscle mass, these essential omega-3 fatty acids help burn fat and fight inflammation. 

With 100 grams of raw salmon, you’ll get a lot of B vitamins, especially vitamin B12 at 133% of the daily value, half of the daily value of selenium, as well as phosphorus, copper, and potassium. It is also a natural source of vitamin D, which helps make your bones stronger.

This combination of nutrients in salmon can support hormonal balance, protect the cardiovascular system, and promote mental health.

How Much Protein Is in Salmon?

Protein content varies among different types of salmon, but on average, there are 22–25 grams per 100 grams.

Salmon is the superstar among seafood, providing you with high-quality protein and all the nutrients you require. However, its nutritional value slightly varies from type to type. For instance, farmed salmon has more calories and fat, whereas wild salmon has more protein.

Salmon’s nutritional value can also change depending on how it’s cooked. Even though canned pink salmon, smoked salmon, and salmon fillets are both high in protein, canned salmon provides more nutrition since it contains salmon flesh, skin, and bones.

Moreover, canned salmon has fish oil on top of protein, unlike filets, which might lose that oil during cooking.

4 Incredible Benefits of Salmon

You can enjoy salmon in even more ways than eating a healthy diet or succeeding in weight loss.

Because it’s a powerhouse of minerals, nutrients, and healthy fat, it’s the best booster for your heart, brain, immune system, and ability to fight chronic diseases.

Here we’ll talk about all the good things this wonderful fish can do for you.

#1 May support cardiovascular health

Improve your heart health by eating omega-3-rich fatty fish regularly.

Studies have shown that a diet high in omega-3 fats may help treat high blood pressure, improve blood vessel function, reduce triglycerides, and ease inflammation, which may reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis.

#2 Supports brain function

Boost your brain function by eating wild salmon at least twice a week. 

By eating salmon regularly, you can boost memory and focus and fight cognitive decline. Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids in wild salmon protect brain health and improve your ability to learn and multitask.

#3 Boosts the immune system

Enjoy superficial health benefits of salmon, including eye health, skin health, bone health, etc.

Salmon is a natural source of vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient for stronger bones and high energy levels.

#4 Contains antioxidants

Protect yourself from diseases with salmon’s antioxidant astaxanthin, considered a “medical food.”

Research confirms that astaxanthin helps prevent and treat a variety of diseases, such as cancer, chronic inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal and liver diseases, eye and skin diseases, exercise-induced fatigue, and male infertility.

How Often Can You Eat Salmon?

You can eat salmon twice a week if you want to lose weight or more if you want to build muscle mass or gain weight. Consuming salmon is good for maintaining muscle mass, but it might also lead to weight gain if you go over your calorie allowance.

Keep your calorie intake under 1,500 (for women) or 1,800 (for men) calories, and provide room for a calorie deficit if you want to lose weight.

Fish like salmon are high in calories, fats, and protein, so they make a great stand-alone dinner with greens and veggies. It’ll keep you full for hours and keep you from picking up unhealthy snacks.  

Is Pink Salmon Good for You?

While pink salmon has slightly fewer nutrients than its red brother, it offers the same health benefits. By eating pink salmon, you will get omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, protein, and vitamin B12.

Pink salmon is often farmed and more widely available than deep red salmon. It is also less expensive because it is easier to cultivate.

The key difference between farm-raised pink salmon and wild-raised red salmon is the concentration of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients.

In a study of the nutritional value of farmed salmon, the omega-3 content in 100 grams of 76 different fish species ranged from 717mg to 1,533mg.

Farmed fish typically contained more omega-3s than wild-caught fish, but they also contained more saturated and polyunsaturated fats. 

In comparison, 1.6 grams of unhealthy fat are present in one serving of pink salmon, which is about half of the number of unhealthy fats found in the same amount of flank steak.


Can you lose weight by eating salmon every day?

Despite its many health benefits, cooked farm salmon is a fat fish, and it contains 204 calories in 100 grams, which include 13.4 grams of fat and 22.1 grams of protein. To lose weight, it’s recommended to limit your salmon consumption to two portions a week as long as it doesn’t violate your calorie deficit.

Is chicken or salmon better for weight loss?

Chicken, and particularly chicken breast, has more protein, less fat, and fewer calories than salmon, making it a better choice for weight loss. As chicken breast has only 165 calories in 100 grams, including 31 grams of protein and only 3.57 grams of fat, it will help you maintain the calorie deficit you need for weight loss.

How many carbs are in salmon?

Salmon has no carbohydrate content; it is composed of water, healthy fats, and protein. It is safe to say that, if consumed in moderation, salmon is a perfect fit for a low-carb diet because it keeps you full without affecting your blood sugar levels.

Can you eat salmon skin for weight loss?

Yes, salmon skin is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein that will keep you satisfied longer and can therefore help with weight loss. You should, however, cook it and be mindful of the serving size, just like with the salmon flesh.

3 Simple Ways to Eat More Salmon

The best way to live longer is to eat fish regularly, especially baked or grilled, instead of red and processed meats with fried foods.

There are countless ways to make salmon part of your diet, but here are a few quick tips for the day:

Breakfast can be made tasty and nutritious by serving smoked salmon fillets with hard-boiled eggs and cream cheese on whole-grain bread. Throughout the day, it will make you feel energetic and control your appetite. However, you should keep an eye on the sodium content of smoked salmon so as not to exceed your daily sodium intake.

Lunch with a grilled salmon salad with lemon juice and olive oil will be just right to keep you full until dinner time. To make a grilled salmon salad, brush red onions and salmon with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, grill, and serve with lettuce and diced tomatoes.

Dinner will feel just right if you bake salmon fillets with lemon slices and thyme sprigs in the oven. Fill half your plate with two vegetables – ideally one green and one orange or yellow. Just toss the vegetables with olive oil and spread them out on a sheet pan while you cook the salmon.


Salmon is a nutritional powerhouse that can help promote weight loss and get numerous benefits along the way, such as a stronger heart, a sharp brain, healthy vision, wrinkle-free skin, and so much more.

It is a natural source of vitamin D, B vitamins, selenium, and other minerals that are necessary for a healthy thyroid – a key to successful weight loss.

Salmon stands out among other high protein foods for its healthy fats that can do real magic for your health.

Whether or not you want to shed a few pounds, seafood consumption, especially salmon consumption, is a must for living a long and healthy life.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: May 19, 2023
7 min read 1524 Views 0 Comments

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