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Crab meat vs. Salmon — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on February 01, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan
Crab meat
vs
Salmon

Summary

Crabmeat is richer in minerals and has lower saturated fats and cholesterol. The level of zinc in crab meat is 17 times higher than in salmon. On the other hand, salmon contains less sodium and has a higher amount of Vitamin B complex.

Introduction

In general, fish and crabs are the most popular marine food consumed by humans. In this article, we will discuss the main differences in the nutrition of crab meat and salmon. Salmons are long fishes; they can change their coloring from silver to pink. Crabs typically have a very short tail. They can live in fresh and land water.

Varieties

Salmons are a group of fish that belong to the family of Salmonidae. This family includes chars and whitefishes. There are many different types of salmon, but the most common species are Atlantic salmon, Chum salmon, and Masu salmon. Crabs belong to the Brachyura family, which contains 93 different families. The most common crabs to eat are Soft-Shell crab, Maryland Blue crab, and Dungeness crab [1].

Uses

Salmons and crabmeat are often interchangeably used in the kitchen. They are delicious and cooked. Both have entirely different tastes and are used in different dishes. In Charlotte, Island salmon is one of the significant sources of food. They are used in Salmon Pasta, Sesame-Crusted Salmon, and Salmon Tacos. Some species of crabs can be eaten whole, some with claws or legs [2].

Nutrition

Salmons and crab meat are rich in healthy compounds and macronutrients. However, to understand the difference between them, we created the nutritional infographic. Find it below.

Macronutrients and Glycemic Index

In general, the protein level of salmon and crab meat is equal. Besides, both contain no sugar or fiber and have the same glycemic index - 0. Crab meat contains more cholesterol.

Calories

Salmons contain more calories than crab meat. The calories level of salmon is almost two times higher. It contains 206 calories per 100 g, while crab meat contains 87 calories per 100 g [3].

Minerals

Overall, crab meat is richer in minerals than salmon. It contains more magnesium, copper, calcium, and iron. The level of zinc in crab meat is 17 times higher than in salmon. On the other hand, salmon contains more potassium and less sodium than crab meat. Both have an equal level of phosphorus [4] [5].

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.
Contains more Calcium +293.3%
Contains more Iron +123.5%
Contains more Magnesium +110%
Contains more Phosphorus +11.1%
Contains more Zinc +1672.1%
Contains more Copper +2312.2%
Contains more Manganese +150%
Contains more Potassium +46.6%
Contains less Sodium -94.3%
Equal in Phosphorus - 252
Equal in Selenium - 41.4
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 18% 29% 45% 120% 24% 140% 208% 394% 6% 219%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5% 13% 22% 108% 34% 8% 12% 17% 3% 226%
Contains more Calcium +293.3%
Contains more Iron +123.5%
Contains more Magnesium +110%
Contains more Phosphorus +11.1%
Contains more Zinc +1672.1%
Contains more Copper +2312.2%
Contains more Manganese +150%
Contains more Potassium +46.6%
Contains less Sodium -94.3%
Equal in Phosphorus - 252
Equal in Selenium - 41.4

Vitamins

Salmon is higher in vitamins than crab meat. It is richer in Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, B5, and B6. Vitamin B6 in salmon is two times higher than in crab meat.

However, crab meat contains more Vitamin B12, C, and Folate. Vitamin B12 is three times higher in crab meat than in salmon; besides, just 2-3 ounces of crab meat contains an adult's daily B12 requirement [4] [5].

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.
:
9
Salmon
Contains more Vitamin C +105.4%
Contains more Folate +50%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +310.7%
Contains more Vitamin A +693.1%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +541.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +145.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +500.4%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +268.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +259.4%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2% 0% 0% 26% 14% 13% 26% 24% 42% 39% 1438% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 14% 23% 393% 13% 86% 32% 151% 89% 150% 26% 350% 1%
Contains more Vitamin C +105.4%
Contains more Folate +50%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +310.7%
Contains more Vitamin A +693.1%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +541.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +145.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +500.4%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +268.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +259.4%

HEALTH IMPACT

Cardiovascular Health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

According to one study, omega-3 fatty acids may lower triglycerides, and blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing heart disease. In this case, salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. They have more alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) and DHA than crabmeat.

Salmon contains bioactive PLs with antithrombotic cardioprotective activities [6].

One study showed that 0.45-4.5 grams daily omega-3 fatty acids might improve arterial function [7].

Antioxidative Stress

Salmon is red because of astaxanthin, which belongs to the carotenoid family. That family has a strong antioxidant effect. Astaxanthin has many health benefits, such as a lower risk of heart disease, and a lower cholesterol level in the body. Moreover, according to one study, astaxanthin may work with omega-3 fatty and protect the brain and nervous system from inflammation. Besides, salmons contain 0.4–3.8 mg of astaxanthin per 100 g, making them a good source of this antioxidant [8] [9].

Bone Health

We all know that calcium is an essential mineral for bone health. The second mineral, which is also essential for bone health, is phosphors. In this case, crabmeat is an excellent source of both minerals. As a result, eating crab meat can lower the risk of developing osteoporosis, especially getting older [10].

Diabetes

Including fish oil in your diet may improve metabolic features associated with type 2 diabetes. According to studies, a high-fat diet supplemented with fish oil may reduce the risk of impaired glucose tolerance and hepatic steatosis. Besides, salmons are an excellent source of magnesium, which deficiency has been associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus [11].

Diet

Crabmeat is low in calories and high in protein, making it a great choice if you are on a diet. Cooked crab meat contains 17 grams of protein, 40% of recommended daily intake for adults. Protein can help you feel full for longer and may reduce the total number of calories you eat. On the other hand, salmons and crabs are both excellent sources of omega-3 fats. According to studies, omega-3 fats may promote weight loss and decrease belly fat in overweight individuals [12].

Other health benefits

Salmons are rich in B vitamins, especially Vitamin B1 (thiamin). Studies show that the human body needs B vitamins to provide energy for properly functioning your brain, nerves, muscles, skin, and every cell in your body. Vitamin B1 also helps prevent heart, nerves, and digestive system diseases. Salmons are also a good source of Vitamin B3 (niacin), which may help to lower LDL "bad" cholesterol and prevent heart disease [13] [14].

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 has an essential role in the human body. It may boost your energy, support the normal function of your nerve cells and improve your memory. Besides, Vitamin B12 may prevent significant congenital disabilities and support bone health. The daily intake of Vitamin B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms. The amount of Vitamin B12 in salmon is about six micrograms per 100g [15].

Side Effects

Allergy

According to studies, 0.4% of adults in the USA have an allergy to shellfish. Protein parvalbumin in the muscle of most fish can cause an allergy, which symptoms include hives, skin ras, headaches, diarrhea, and breathing difficulty. Salmons and crabmeat contain omega-3 fatty acids, which may have potential side effects, including a fishy aftertaste and gastrointestinal disturbances. However, it is dose-dependent and should be chosen carefully [16].

Sodium

Sodium is an essential mineral that is needed by the body. However, it is better to limit sodium intake to less than 2,3 mg per day. Too much salt may cause swollen hands and feet or a swollen face. Crabmeat contains a high amount of sodium, so adjust your daily intake [17].

Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: February 01, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan

Infographic

Crab meat vs Salmon infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Water +19.8%
Contains more Other +95%
Contains more Protein +14.2%
Contains more Fats +701.9%
19% 78%
Protein: 19.35 g
Fats: 1.54 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 77.55 g
Other: 1.56 g
22% 12% 65%
Protein: 22.1 g
Fats: 12.35 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 64.75 g
Other: 0.8 g
Contains more Water +19.8%
Contains more Other +95%
Contains more Protein +14.2%
Contains more Fats +701.9%

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -94.5%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +2160%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +749.4%
16% 22% 63%
Saturated Fat: 0.133 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.185 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.536 g
22% 38% 41%
Saturated Fat: 2.397 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.181 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 4.553 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -94.5%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +2160%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +749.4%

Comparison summary table

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

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Crab meat Salmon Opinion
Protein 19.35g 22.1g Salmon
Fats 1.54g 12.35g Salmon
Calories 97kcal 206kcal Salmon
Calcium 59mg 15mg Crab meat
Iron 0.76mg 0.34mg Crab meat
Magnesium 63mg 30mg Crab meat
Phosphorus 280mg 252mg Crab meat
Potassium 262mg 384mg Salmon
Sodium 1072mg 61mg Salmon
Zinc 7.62mg 0.43mg Crab meat
Copper 1.182mg 0.049mg Crab meat
Manganese 0.04mg 0.016mg Crab meat
Selenium 40µg 41.4µg Salmon
Vitamin A 29IU 230IU Salmon
Vitamin A RAE 9µg 69µg Salmon
Vitamin E 1.14mg Salmon
Vitamin D 526IU Salmon
Vitamin D 13.1µg Salmon
Vitamin C 7.6mg 3.7mg Crab meat
Vitamin B1 0.053mg 0.34mg Salmon
Vitamin B2 0.055mg 0.135mg Salmon
Vitamin B3 1.34mg 8.045mg Salmon
Vitamin B5 0.4mg 1.475mg Salmon
Vitamin B6 0.18mg 0.647mg Salmon
Folate 51µg 34µg Crab meat
Vitamin B12 11.5µg 2.8µg Crab meat
Vitamin K 0.1µg Salmon
Tryptophan 0.269mg 0.248mg Crab meat
Threonine 0.783mg 0.969mg Salmon
Isoleucine 0.938mg 1.018mg Salmon
Leucine 1.536mg 1.796mg Salmon
Lysine 1.684mg 2.03mg Salmon
Methionine 0.545mg 0.654mg Salmon
Phenylalanine 0.817mg 0.863mg Salmon
Valine 0.91mg 1.139mg Salmon
Histidine 0.393mg 0.651mg Salmon
Cholesterol 53mg 63mg Crab meat
Saturated Fat 0.133g 2.397g Crab meat
Omega-3 - DHA 0.118g 1.457g Salmon
Omega-3 - EPA 0.295g 0.69g Salmon
Omega-3 - DPA 0.031g 0.17g Salmon
Monounsaturated Fat 0.185g 4.181g Salmon
Polyunsaturated fat 0.536g 4.553g Salmon

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Crab meat Salmon
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet Equal
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet Equal

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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
135%
Crab meat
110%
Salmon
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
120%
Crab meat
44%
Salmon

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Salmon
Salmon contains less Sodium (difference - 1011mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Salmon
Salmon is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Crab meat
Crab meat is lower in Sugar (difference - 0g)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Crab meat
Crab meat is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 10mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Crab meat
Crab meat is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 2.264g)
Which food is cheaper?
Crab meat
Crab meat is cheaper (difference - $1)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Crab meat
Crab meat is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (0)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Crab meat - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174202/nutrients
  2. Salmon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175168/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.