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smoked salmon

Smoked Salmon Nutrition

Health and your heart: the benefits of smoked salmon

There is no magic health pill, but if there was, it would certainly list salmon as an ingredient. Studies have established that a diet rich in fish, especially fatty fish (fish with a high fat content) is crucial to the well-being and health of individuals.

Don’t run away screaming when we say the word ‘fat’, in this case, fat doesn’t equal flab. That’s because we’re talking about Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which are ‘healthy’ fat, responsible for benefits such as:

  • lowering blood pressure
  • lowering triglyceride (fat in the blood) levels
  • reducing the risk of blood clots
Omega-3 acids are the building blocks of nerve tissue and brain cells, so it is crucial to add them to our diet. Since salmon has a high fat content, it stores more of these miracle fatty acids in its flesh, therefore providing the most benefits to the consumer.

The Journal of the American Medical Association, the watch-dog of America’s health, established back in 1995 that a healthy diet should include at least one serving of a fatty-fish per week, to reduce the risk of cardiac arrests and certain cancers. This not only is important for individuals at risk, but also those with a history of heart problems, since it can reduce the risk of arrhythmias, or irregular heart beats, according to Dr. David Siscovick, from the University of Seattle’s Cardiovascular Health Research Unit. The American Heart Association’s guidelines indicate that fish high in omega-3s, like salmon, should be consumed at least twice a week (even more if you have a history of heart disease or problems).

Role in weight-loss diets & more

Smoked salon plate

Doctors, nutritionists, fitness gurus, and probably about any person you know whose on a healthy weight-loss diet, literally can’t stop singing the praises this peachy-pink treat. Because smoked salmon is widely available at restaurants, as well as social events (brunch, anyone?), this food is the dieters’ dream. You can find smoked salmon appetizers just about anywhere you eat out, so it makes a perfect ‘dining out on a diet’ solution. You are no longer left with a plateful of flavorless, crunchy broccoli. Today, most nutritionists advise you to slap on the smoked salmon and enjoy flavor while avoiding ‘dieters’ guilt’. This is perfect for those following low-carb or carbohydrate limited diets (such as Atkins), because it is full of proteins and healthy fats, with no carbs.

Runner’s World, a premier fitness magazine, Nutrition Editor Dr. Liz Applegate maintains that while salmon is high in fat, it is unsaturated fat, which helps lower cholesterol. In a world of expanding waistlines and contracting arteries, this is good news. According to Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian and author of Leslie Beck’s Nutrition Guide for Women, a diet which includes foods high in omega-3 fatty acids contributes to reducing inflammation and joint pain. For those who are conscious of their health, and very active, whether at work or recreational, including smoked salmon can have many post-workout benefits (not to mention that it’s incredibly delicious).

Feeling a little blue? A little smoked salmon can help lift your spirits, since researchers have found that omega-3s can help stabilize mood. Scared about breast cancer? A study based on Japanese women, whose diet if based on high consumption of food, reported that they have a much lower incidence of breast cancer than Western women. In the Greenland Eskimo population, whose diet is mainly salmon-based, observations have established a low incidence of coronary heart disease.

Presumed risks

Although recent information appearing in the prestigious journal Science has created huge controversy over certain risks associated with pollutants in the water getting to salmon, these risks have yet to be well established, and are largely based on animal studies. Also, the main risk comes from farmed European salmon. Unless you are at high risks of certain cancers, for now, the benefits of salmon far outweigh the risks, especially if you are at the high end of the heart disease spectrum. Another thing to take into account is that the research was based on acceptable levels of pollutant as set by the Environmental Protection Agency, not the FDA, which actually regulates what is safe for human consumption. The levels they consider acceptable are very different, and under the FDA, the levels of pollutants found on salmon are deemed perfectly safe for human consumption. Pinneys of Scotland, of Anna, Dumfriesshire,holds the Royal warrant to supply smoked salmon to the Queen of England…and if it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s probably good enough for us.

No one food is magical. Every food should be consumed in moderation to be safe, but smoked salmon makes a great alternative to grapefruit if you’re watching your diet, and your health. To maximize the health benefits of smoked salmon, pair it with low-fat cream cheese on a whole wheat bagel for a healthy breakfast. Or slice it over a salad filled with greens, and includes capers and chives to bring out flavor. Bottom line: if you want to live a longer, healthier life, while slashing your risk of heart disease and cancer, it’s a pretty good idea to go for the smoked salmon.

Smoked Salmon Nutritional Information

This can vary according to the type of smoked salmon you are consuming; different species have different fat contents, and therefore will have more or less calories. Also the smoking will affect the salt/sodium content. But the basic proteins and minerals remain pretty much the same.

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Serving size: about 3 oz, (4 slices) cooked, about 85 grams

Nutrition Facts   Percentage daily value
Calories (kcals) 120 to 140  
Calories from fat (kcals) 60  
Total fat (g) 6g 9% DV
Saturated fat (g) 3g 15% DV
Cholesterol 40mg 13% DV
Sodium 430mg 18% DV
Total Carbohydrates 1g 0% DV
Protein 12g 23% DV
Vitamin A Trace 2% DV
Vitamin C Trace 0% DV
Calcium 11mg 0% DV
Iron 0.85mg 3% DV
Sodium 784 mg  
Potassium 175 mg  
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3.25 lbs - $118.00

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Once you've tried it, you may not eat other smoked salmon again.

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