Foodstruct Advanced Nutrition Search | Diet Analysis | Glycemic index chart | Insulin index chart | Blog

Salmon vs Sardine - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

Compare
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on April 04, 2021
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Salmon
vs
Sardine

Summary

Sardine is richer in Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, and Phosphorus, while salmon is significantly richer in Vitamin B6. Sardine also contains considerably less cholesterol and sodium, while salmon has less calories because it contains more water and less fats.

INTRODUCTION

In general, fish is the most popular marine food consumed by humans. This article will discuss the differences and similarities of sardine and salmon, explicitly focusing on their nutritional data, usage in specific diet regimens, and health impacts.

Sardines are usually harvested from the Mediterranean sea, European shores of the Atlantic, and North Atlantic.

On the other hand, salmon are mainly harvested from farms that are grown in basins. Although some wild salmon are found in the market, most of the salmon that is easily accessible is harvested from basins.

Culinary world

Sardines are primarily found in cans with vegetable oil. However, during harvest seasons in the Mediterranean and European countries of the Atlantic, sardines can be found grilled and smoked.

On the other hand, fresh salmon can be an available year long because they are mostly farmed and not wild. Salmon is eaten raw, specifically in Japanese sushi. They can also be grilled and smoked and served as a salmon steak. Salmon is also found in European countries in soups and warm dishes.

Nutrition

A comparison between the nutritional data of sardine and salmon per 100g of each is discussed. The sardine discussed in the article is canned in oil.

Minerals

Sardine and salmon are rich in minerals. Sardines are richer in calcium, phosphorus, selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and sodium. Salmon, on the other hand, is richer in potassium and copper. It is important to note that the sodium levels of sardine have to be taken into consideration, specifically in hypertensive patients. It is also very important to be careful of added salt in canned sardines.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Salmon
3
:
Contains more Potassium +23.4%
Contains less Sodium -85.7%
Contains more Copper +34.4%
Contains more Calcium +3083.3%
Contains more Iron +265%
Contains more Magnesium +34.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +145%
Contains more Zinc +104.7%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 4% 30% 21% 86% 44% 6% 18% 84%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 115% 110% 28% 210% 36% 41% 36% 62%
Contains more Potassium +23.4%
Contains less Sodium -85.7%
Contains more Copper +34.4%
Contains more Calcium +3083.3%
Contains more Iron +265%
Contains more Magnesium +34.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +145%
Contains more Zinc +104.7%

Vitamins

Sardine is richer in vitamin B12, B2, E, D, and A. On the other hand, salmon is richer in B6 and B3. They have a rich vitamin B complex profile.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Salmon
6
:
Contains more Vitamin B1 +182.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +67.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +49.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +159.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +389.8%
Contains more Folate +150%
Contains more Vitamin A +170%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +181.1%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 3% 0% 0% 0% 57% 88% 148% 100% 189% 19% 398% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 7% 41% 144% 0% 20% 53% 99% 39% 39% 8% 1118% 7%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +182.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +67.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +49.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +159.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +389.8%
Contains more Folate +150%
Contains more Vitamin A +170%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +181.1%

Carbohydrates

Both sardine and salmon contain no carbohydrates.

Protein

Sardine and salmon are considered to be high in proteins. Sardine is richer in proteins compared to salmon.

The essential amino acid profile of sardines is richer compared to that of salmon. However, both are considered to have rich essential amino acid profiles.

Fats

Sardines have higher amounts of fats compared to salmon. Sardine satisfies 17% of the daily value. In comparison, salmon satisfies 9% of the daily value.

Fat profile dissection

Saturated fat

Sardines have higher amounts of saturated fats, as it makes up 10% of the daily value. Salmon fulfills only 5% of the daily value.

It is important to take into consideration the amounts of saturated fats in both.

Monounsaturated fats

Sardines are richer in monounsaturated fats compared to salmon.

Polyunsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats make up the omega-3 element of the fish, and we will discuss them separately due to their importance. It is important to note that sardines are richer in polyunsaturated fats.

Cholesterol

Sardines have higher amounts of cholesterol. The cholesterol content of sardine is nearly 50% of the daily required value.

Omega-3 fatty acid

Fatty fish like sardine and salmon are among the richest sources of dietary supply of omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid).

These fatty acids are essential fat with various health-beneficial properties.

We will discuss their health relevance in the health impact section.

Calories

100g of sardines have 208 calories compared to salmon, which have 142 calories. Thus, sardines are higher in calories compared to salmon.

Glycemic index

The glycemic index for these products is 0.

Weight loss and diets

Sardine and salmon are low-carb and high-fat foods. So we should take the amount of fat into consideration during weight loss or different diets.

Sardine and salmon are also excellent sources of protein, minerals, and vitamins.

Keto

Sardine and salmon are considered perfect foods in keto diets. They are low-carb, high-fat foods. It is important to note that the fat profile of these fish is healthy fats. However, it is important to keep in mind the high cholesterol content of sardine while consuming.

The mineral and vitamin content of sardine give the edge over salmon.

Salmon, on the other hand, has a wider range of versatility and accessibility during cooking.

Vegan

Vegans cannot consume both sardine and salmon in vegan diets.

Bodybuilding

Both sardine and salmon are highly recommended to bodybuilders and athletes. This is due to their high protein content and their mineral and vitamin contents that replenish their biochemical necessity to maintain good health and long-term results.

Health impact

Cardiovascular Health

Omega 3 fatty acids may improve cardiac function by their activity of lower blood triglyceride levels, antihypertensive, antiarrhythmic, and anti-atherogenic effects. (1)

Omega-3 fatty acids, as antiarrhythmic, have antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory properties. These fatty acids also are used to treat hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and rheumatoid arthritis. There are no significant drug interactions with omega-3 fatty acids. (2)

Journal of the American Medical Association researchers have found that omega-3 fatty acids can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. (3) Salmon contains bioactive PLs with strong antithrombotic and anti-atherogenic cardioprotective activities. (4)

Higher doses of omega-3 fatty acids are required to reduce elevated triglyceride levels (2 to 4g per day) and reduce morning stiffness and the number of tender joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (at least 3g per day). (5) (6)

Studies have found that gamma-tocopherol (gT) exhibits beneficial cardiovascular effects partly due to its anti-inflammatory activity. (7)

Diabetes

Dietary suggestions, including modification of dietary fat quality, are the basis of the treatment of diabetes. The risk related to the moderately higher blood glucose concentrations with the omega 3–enriched diet may be counteracted by positive effects concerning lipoprotein concentrations. An increase in long-chain omega 3 fatty acids from fatty fish (salmon, sardine) and omega 6 fatty acids from linoleic acid may be recommended for patients with type 2 diabetes. (8)

Some studies show that the high-fat diet combined with fish oil improved metabolic features associated with type 2 diabetes, such as impaired glucose tolerance and hepatic steatosis. (9)

Cancer

Few studies indicate that essential fatty acid consumption may influence the risk of developing cancer. Fat from both contains <20–25% saturated fatty acids, the fat-soluble vitamins A and D as we know omega–3 fatty acids are important components of cell membranes and appear to have anti-inflammatory effects and inhibit in vitro the growth of colon, breast, and prostate cancers. (10)

Inflammation

Due to omega 3 content, salmon and sardine have anti-inflammatory effects, contributing to their protective actions towards atherosclerosis, plaque rupture, and cardiovascular mortality. (1)

Regulation of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid production via the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways via fatty acids play a significant role in inflammation, proliferation, and angiogenesis, which are variables that are critical drivers in cancer progression. (11)

Antioxidant activity

Salmon, as a red-colored fish, have carotenoids (astaxanthin). Astaxanthin has biological functions related to growth, reproduction, and tissue health, possibly due to the compound's potent antioxidant properties. (12)

Astaxanthin also has bioactive characteristics against H. pylori. (12)

Impact on bones

These two organisms serve as an alternate source for calcium. (13)

Sardine, a small fish, eaten with the bones, can be a rich source of Ca, even though Ca from bone is unavailable for absorption. (14)

So these products, which contain calcium, may help lessen gout attacks and protect your bones. (15)

Vitamin D present in sardines also has a beneficial impact on bone health and formation. (16)

Downsides and Risks

Cancer

Due to contamination, farmed salmon and sardine might lead to an increased risk of cancer. Fish grown under appropriate conditions may have a low risk of toxicity and cancer. (5)

Pregnancy

Methylmercury found in wild salmon can accumulate in body tissues. It can have a negative impact on the baby's brain and nervous system development. For salmon, rapid growth rates and a high lipid content may play important roles in regulating concentrations of contaminants such as mercury. Salmon and sardines are fed on plankton only, which means they don't contain the high levels of mercury than other fish do. (17)

Diabetes

Some studies show that the high cholesterol content in sardine might be associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes (18)

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257651/
  2. Omega-3 fatty acids and blood pressure
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4171799/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6357043/
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0939475304800450
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712371/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26272221/
  8. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/94/1/26/4597878?login=true
  9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0899900713001044
  10. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/70/1/85/4714845?login=true
  11. https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/exposures/meat-fish-dairy
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16431409/
  13. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408391003753910
  14. https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn201171
  15. https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/lifestyle-changes-to-reduce-the-risk-of-gout-attacks
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257679/
  17. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2109.2009.02211.x
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942738/
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: April 04, 2021

Infographic

Salmon vs Sardine infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Salmon Sardine
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Salmon Sardine Opinion
Net carbs 0g 0g
Protein 19.84g 24.62g Sardine
Fats 6.34g 11.45g Sardine
Carbs 0g 0g
Calories 142kcal 208kcal Sardine
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar g 0g Salmon
Fiber 0g 0g
Calcium 12mg 382mg Sardine
Iron 0.8mg 2.92mg Sardine
Magnesium 29mg 39mg Sardine
Phosphorus 200mg 490mg Sardine
Potassium 490mg 397mg Salmon
Sodium 44mg 307mg Salmon
Zinc 0.64mg 1.31mg Sardine
Copper 0.25mg 0.186mg Salmon
Vitamin A 40IU 108IU Sardine
Vitamin E mg 2.04mg Sardine
Vitamin D IU 193IU Sardine
Vitamin D µg 4.8µg Sardine
Vitamin C 0mg 0mg
Vitamin B1 0.226mg 0.08mg Salmon
Vitamin B2 0.38mg 0.227mg Salmon
Vitamin B3 7.86mg 5.245mg Salmon
Vitamin B5 1.664mg 0.642mg Salmon
Vitamin B6 0.818mg 0.167mg Salmon
Folate 25µg 10µg Salmon
Vitamin B12 3.18µg 8.94µg Sardine
Vitamin K µg 2.6µg Sardine
Tryptophan 0.222mg 0.276mg Sardine
Threonine 0.87mg 1.079mg Sardine
Isoleucine 0.914mg 1.134mg Sardine
Leucine 1.613mg 2.001mg Sardine
Lysine 1.822mg 2.26mg Sardine
Methionine 0.587mg 0.729mg Sardine
Phenylalanine 0.775mg 0.961mg Sardine
Valine 1.022mg 1.268mg Sardine
Histidine 0.584mg 0.725mg Sardine
Cholesterol 55mg 142mg Salmon
Trans Fat g g
Saturated Fat 0.981g 1.528g Salmon
Monounsaturated Fat 2.103g 3.869g Sardine
Polyunsaturated fat 2.539g 5.148g Sardine

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Salmon Sardine
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet Equal
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet Equal

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
83
Salmon
131
Sardine
Mineral Summary Score
36
Salmon
79
Sardine

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
119%
Salmon
148%
Sardine
Carbohydrates
0%
Salmon
0%
Sardine
Fats
29%
Salmon
53%
Sardine

Comparison summary

Which food is richer in minerals?
Sardine
Sardine is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is cheaper?
Sardine
Sardine is cheaper (difference - $6)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Salmon
Salmon is lower in Sugar (difference - 0g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Salmon
Salmon contains less Sodium (difference - 263mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Salmon
Salmon is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 87mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Salmon
Salmon is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.547g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (0)
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

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. Salmon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173686/nutrients
  2. Sardine - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175139/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.