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Cod vs. Catfish — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Erna Harutyunyan by Erna Harutyunyan | Last updated on October 24, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Cod
vs
Catfish

Summary

Cod is notably higher in seleniumvitamin B6vitamin D, and vitamin B1, offering substantial benefits for overall health. On the other hand, catfish are richer in vitamin B12phosphorus, and vitamin B5. Catfish's significantly higher coverage of vitamin B12 can be advantageous for meeting daily nutritional requirements. Furthermore, catfish contain considerably lower levels of vitamin D than cod. Notably, cod contains lower levels of saturated fat than catfish, making it a preferable option for individuals aiming to manage their saturated fat intake.

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Introduction

In this article, we'll discuss the distinctions between cod and catfish and how those changes affect people's health.  

Classification

Cod is a member of the family Gadidaegenus Gadus, and order Gadiformes.

A varied category of ray-finned fish includes catfish. They are a part of the Siluriformes order, which has several different families. 

Appearance

Due to their lengthy barbels that resemble cat whiskers, freshwater catfish have earned the name. The look, flavor, aroma, texture, and ways of preparation of these species vary. Catfish have up to eight barbels on the chin, while Atlantic cod have a large head, a blunt snout, and a prominent barbel (a feature resembling catfish whiskers) beneath the lower jaw. An Atlantic cod's body, fins, tail, and head vary in color from a light yellowish-green to olive and red, with darker spots all over. Catfish can range in color from silver to grayish blue or olive green. Pacific cod are also known as gray cod due to their color, which is brown or grayish with black spots or patterns on the flanks and a whiter belly

Taste and Use

Catfish has a moist and fishy flavor, while cod has a non-fishymild, and somewhat sweet flavor. Cod has a strongfishy smell. It occasionally could smell like melon and cucumber while using supplements. 

Due to the algae they consume, catfish may smell unpleasant and dirty. Cod has a tender-firm texture, whereas catfish have a juicythick texture and white, occasionally pinkish, flesh. Both can be prepared using various culinary techniques, including grilling, baking, or frying.

Nutrition

Cod and catfish are the food kinds discussed in this article. To learn more about the differences between these two fish, view the nutrition infographics at the bottom of the page.

Macronutrients and Calories

Cod and catfish display distinct differences in their macronutrient profiles. A 100-gram serving of cod contains 0.86 g of fat, whereas catfish contains 7.19g. While cod contains 0.39g of other macronutrients, catfish has none. Cods' water content is 75.92g, slightly higher than catfish's 74.65g. Catfish exhibit significantly higher fat content than cod, while cod has more protein.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Cod
3
:
Contains more Protein +23.8%
Contains more Fats +736%
Equal in Water - 74.65
23% 76%
Protein: 22.83 g
Fats: 0.86 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 75.92 g
Other: 0.39 g
18% 7% 75%
Protein: 18.44 g
Fats: 7.19 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 74.65 g
Other: 0 g
Contains more Protein +23.8%
Contains more Fats +736%
Equal in Water - 74.65

Calories

Cod and catfish are categorized as low-calorie foods

Catfish has a slightly more excellent calorie content than cod because of its higher fat content. It has 144 calories per 100g, compared to 105 calories in 100g of cod. 

Protein

Both fish are highly recommended protein sources since they are so high in protein. Cod, however, has a higher protein content than catfish. It has 22.83g of protein per 100g, compared to 18.4g in catfish.  

Fats

Cod has lower trans fatsaturated fat, and monounsaturated fat levels than catfish, which is seen when comparing the two species. Furthermore, compared to catfish, which has more significant levels of polyunsaturated fats and omega-6 fatty acids, primarily eicosadienoic acid, cod has higher concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA and EPA.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Cod
1
:
Contains less Saturated Fat -89.4%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +2412.1%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +363.7%
29% 21% 50%
Saturated Fat: 0.168 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.124 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.292 g
26% 51% 22%
Saturated Fat: 1.586 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.115 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1.354 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -89.4%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +2412.1%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +363.7%

Cholesterol

Cod contains less cholesterol than catfish. Catfish has 66 mg of cholesterol per 100g, whereas cod has 55 mg.

Carbohydrates

Both fish and low-carbohydrate diets suit those with diabetes because they have no carbs.

Vitamins

Cod is richer in Vitamin AVitamin A RAEVitamin DVitamin CVitamin B1, and Vitamin B6 and lower in Vitamin EVitamin B2Vitamin B3Vitamin B5Folate, and Vitamin B12 compared to catfish. Furthermore, catfish contain substantially more vitamin K than cod.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Cod
6
:
Contains more Vitamin A +2250%
Contains more Vitamin D +300%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +266.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +59.9%
Contains more Vitamin E +19.8%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +26.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +350.6%
Contains more Folate +50%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +164.8%
Contains more Vitamin K +2400%
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 2.548
Equal in Choline - 78.7
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 3% 17% 36% 4% 22% 19% 48% 11% 66% 6% 132% 46% 1%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 1% 20% 9% 0% 6% 24% 48% 49% 41% 9% 348% 43% 7%
Contains more Vitamin A +2250%
Contains more Vitamin D +300%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +266.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +59.9%
Contains more Vitamin E +19.8%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +26.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +350.6%
Contains more Folate +50%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +164.8%
Contains more Vitamin K +2400%
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 2.548
Equal in Choline - 78.7

Minerals

In a 100-gram serving, cod contains 14mg of calcium0.49mg of iron, and 42mg of magnesium, while catfish has 9mg of calcium0.28mg of iron, and 23mg of magnesium. Catfish, however, surpasses cod in terms of phosphorus content (247 mg) and potassium content (366 mg), compared to cod at 138mg and 244mg, respectively. Cod contains 78mg of sodium, whereas catfish have 119mg. Both cod and catfish have the same zinc content of 0.58mg. Regarding trace minerals, catfish edge out cod with 9.9 g of selenium compared to cod's 37.6 g.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Cod
6
:
Contains more Calcium +55.6%
Contains more Iron +75%
Contains more Magnesium +82.6%
Contains less Sodium -34.5%
Contains more Manganese +11.1%
Contains more Selenium +279.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +79%
Contains more Potassium +50%
Equal in Zinc - 0.58
Equal in Copper - 0.039
Equal in Manganese - 0.018
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5% 19% 30% 60% 22% 11% 16% 12% 3% 206%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 3% 11% 17% 106% 33% 16% 16% 14% 3% 54%
Contains more Calcium +55.6%
Contains more Iron +75%
Contains more Magnesium +82.6%
Contains less Sodium -34.5%
Contains more Manganese +11.1%
Contains more Selenium +279.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +79%
Contains more Potassium +50%
Equal in Zinc - 0.58
Equal in Copper - 0.039
Equal in Manganese - 0.018

Acidity

Both catfish and cod have slightly acidic properties based on their potential renal acid load (PRAL) scores. Catfish have a PRAL of 9.8 (acidic), while cod has a PRAL of 9.9 (acidic).

Weight Loss and Diets

According to the research, eating lean and fatty fish can help people on calorie-restricted diets lose weight (1).

Obese people lose more weight when they eat cod fish weekly than without seafood (2). Compared to mice given chicken, cod-fed animals exhibited smaller white adipocytes and less fatty tissue mass (3). Cod is a beautiful choice for a low-fat diet since it has less fat than catfish. Cod is a better option for a low-calorie diet since it has fewer calories per 100 grams. Conversely, nutrient-rich protein sources like catfish may promote feelings of fullness, promoting weight reduction. This fish may be an option for people who are watching their caloric intake and want to ensure they get enough nutrients.

Cod and catfish are great keto-friendly fish options since they contain no carbohydrates. Both are permitted on the Mediterranean and pescetarian diets.

Health Benefits

Up to 8 ounces of fish or other seafood per week are advised by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)(4). Catfish, cod, and other seafood often contain higher omega-3 fatty acids than other meals, which is one reason for this advice(5).Omega-3 fatty acids are widely known for their positive effects on brain health.

They may potentially aid in treating neurological and mental problems, including memory loss, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression; however, additional study is required(6). Omega-3s are also associated with benefits in heart healthskeletal muscular strength, and even the gut microbiome, a group of good bacteria in your gut(7,8). Only 200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids are present in a 3-ounce catfish meal (9)A high omega-3 intake may be achieved by regularly taking fish oil supplements or consuming fish like cod and catfish twice to three times per week to reach at least 500 mg/day(10). An analysis of 23 trials involving more than 1 million participants found that eating fish generally reduced mortality risk and that every 200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily decreased mortality risk by 7%(11).  

Cardiovascular Health

A decreased cardiovascular disease risk is linked to cod and catfish eating (12). The proportion of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is to blame for this. The human body cannot synthesize the long-chain, necessary fatty acids that these two molecules are. We have to get them food as a result. According to studies, the risk of heart disease increases when blood flow concentrations of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are out of balance(13)

Diabetes

Cod and catfish may benefit people with diabetes since they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

This rat study found that consumption of cod liver oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, is linked to many biochemical alterations, including decreased triglyceridemiagreater fatty acid oxidationhigher HDL levels, and lower LDL levels, which may be advantageous for diabetes. In turn, both insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia are decreased (14).Omega-3 fatty acids may dramatically lower fasting blood glucose levels, according to different research (15).

Inflammation 

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in catfish and cod, but more in cod. These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory properties (16). In addition, proteins found in cod may help regulate the inflammatory response while damaged skeletal muscle is being repaired (17).

Anemia 

Both catfish and cod are recommended for managing anemia due to their nutritional richness, with cod containing notably higher levels of vitamin B12. Regularly consuming these fish varieties may help reduce the risk of developing anemia and support overall blood health(18,19).

Downsides and Risks

The food catfish is regarded as having a modest quantity of mercury.

While mercury is safe for healthy middle-aged individuals, it can harm childrenteens, and expectant mothers (20). Cod is a healthy option for pregnant women since it doesn't have a lot of mercury in it. To lessen mercury poisoning, minimize your seafood intake(21). 

Article author photo Erna Harutyunyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: October 24, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian

Infographic

Cod vs Catfish infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Cod Catfish
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar Equal
Lower in Glycemic Index Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Cod Catfish Opinion
Protein 22.83g 18.44g Cod
Fats 0.86g 7.19g Catfish
Calories 105kcal 144kcal Catfish
Calcium 14mg 9mg Cod
Iron 0.49mg 0.28mg Cod
Magnesium 42mg 23mg Cod
Phosphorus 138mg 247mg Catfish
Potassium 244mg 366mg Catfish
Sodium 78mg 119mg Cod
Zinc 0.58mg 0.58mg
Copper 0.036mg 0.039mg Catfish
Manganese 0.02mg 0.018mg Cod
Selenium 37.6µg 9.9µg Cod
Vitamin A 47IU 2IU Cod
Vitamin A RAE 14µg 1µg Cod
Vitamin E 0.81mg 0.97mg Catfish
Vitamin D 46IU 10IU Cod
Vitamin D 1.2µg 0.3µg Cod
Vitamin C 1mg 0mg Cod
Vitamin B1 0.088mg 0.024mg Cod
Vitamin B2 0.079mg 0.1mg Catfish
Vitamin B3 2.513mg 2.548mg Catfish
Vitamin B5 0.18mg 0.811mg Catfish
Vitamin B6 0.283mg 0.177mg Cod
Folate 8µg 12µg Catfish
Vitamin B12 1.05µg 2.78µg Catfish
Choline 83.7mg 78.7mg Cod
Vitamin K 0.1µg 2.5µg Catfish
Tryptophan 0.256mg 0.22mg Cod
Threonine 1.001mg 0.833mg Cod
Isoleucine 1.052mg 0.82mg Cod
Leucine 1.856mg 1.396mg Cod
Lysine 2.097mg 1.677mg Cod
Methionine 0.676mg 0.539mg Cod
Phenylalanine 0.891mg 0.735mg Cod
Valine 1.176mg 0.894mg Cod
Histidine 0.672mg 0.404mg Cod
Cholesterol 55mg 66mg Cod
Trans Fat 0.063g Cod
Saturated Fat 0.168g 1.586g Cod
Omega-3 - DHA 0.154g 0.069g Cod
Omega-3 - EPA 0.004g 0.02g Catfish
Omega-3 - DPA 0.013g 0.018g Catfish
Monounsaturated Fat 0.124g 3.115g Catfish
Polyunsaturated fat 0.292g 1.354g Catfish
Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid 0.049g Catfish

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Cod Catfish
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet Equal
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet Equal

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
31%
Cod
46%
Catfish
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
38%
Cod
27%
Catfish

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Cod
Cod contains less Sodium (difference - 41mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Cod
Cod is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 11mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Cod
Cod is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 1.418g)
Which food is cheaper?
Catfish
Catfish is cheaper (difference - $1.3)
Which food contains less Sugar?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sugar (0 g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (0)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Cod - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171956/nutrients
  2. Catfish - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175166/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.