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Salmon vs Mahimahi - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan by Ani Harutyunyan | Last updated on February 08, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Salmon
vs
Mahimahi

Summary

Two worldwide famous fish species, salmon and mahi mahi, have many differences in nutritional profile. Salmon is higher in protein, fat, B-complex vitamins, and selenium. Mahi mahi contains more cholesterol, vitamin A, and fewer calories. Two species provide different compounds to promote heart and eye health.

Introduction

Salmon and mahi mahi are two of the world's most famous and widespread fishes. In this article, we will compare these species, focusing on their nutritional composition and health impact, and discussing their actual differences.

Actual differences

Salmon (1) is a widespread pinky-orange anadromous fish found in fresh and salt water. Despite its orange meat, salmon is classified as white meat. It is usually consumed in grilled, baked, or smoked form. Salmon has a rich, mild, and a bit oily taste. This species is usually widespread in the Pacific and Northern Atlantic oceans, in areas like North America, Iceland, northern parts of Europe, and Russia. You can easily find salmon in markets, frozen or fresh.

Mahi mahi (2) is a yellow or bright-green predatory fish mostly consumed in Hawaii. However, it can be found and used worldwide. In another way, this fish is called a dolphinfish or dorado. Mahi mahi has a mild, sweeter, and non-fishy flavor. It is usually fried with herbs, lemon, and spices. The fish lives in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea.

Nutrition

In this part of the article, we will discuss the macronutrient, vitamin, and mineral composition of salmon and mahi mahi. Both of them are nutritious fish without any quantities of carbs.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Fats +1272.2%
Contains more Other +420%
Equal in Protein - 23.72
Equal in Water - 71.22
22% 12% 65%
Protein: 22.1 g
Fats: 12.35 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 64.75 g
Other: 0.8 g
24% 71% 4%
Protein: 23.72 g
Fats: 0.9 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 71.22 g
Other: 4.16 g
Contains more Fats +1272.2%
Contains more Other +420%
Equal in Protein - 23.72
Equal in Water - 71.22

Protein

Mahi mahi is richer in protein than salmon. Per 100g serving, salmon provides 22.1g of protein, while mahi mahi contains 23.7g of it.

Both of them are good sources of essential amino acids.

Fat

Classified as an oily fish, salmon is higher in fats than mahi mahi. It is richer in both saturated and unsaturated fats. Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Surprisingly, mahi mahi is 31mg higher in cholesterol than salmon.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +2597.4%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +2057.8%
Contains less Saturated Fat -89.9%
22% 38% 41%
Saturated Fat: 2.397 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.181 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 4.553 g
40% 26% 35%
Saturated Fat: 0.241 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.155 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.211 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +2597.4%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +2057.8%
Contains less Saturated Fat -89.9%

Calories

Due to its higher fat composition, salmon provides more calories than mahi mahi. It has 97 calories more per 100g serving.

Minerals

When looking at the mineral comparison chart shown below, it is clear that mahi mahi is higher in minerals.

Salmon provides more phosphorus than mahi mahi. Mahi mahi contains more calcium and copper. Salmon is  lower in sodium than mahi mahi. Salmon is packed with selenium. Mahi mahi is rich in mercury.

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
Contains more Phosphorus +37.7%
Contains less Sodium -46%
Contains more Calcium +26.7%
Contains more Iron +326.5%
Contains more Magnesium +26.7%
Contains more Potassium +38.8%
Contains more Zinc +37.2%
Equal in Copper - 0.053
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 5% 13% 22% 108% 34% 8% 12% 17%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 6% 55% 28% 79% 48% 15% 17% 18%
Contains more Phosphorus +37.7%
Contains less Sodium -46%
Contains more Calcium +26.7%
Contains more Iron +326.5%
Contains more Magnesium +26.7%
Contains more Potassium +38.8%
Contains more Zinc +37.2%
Equal in Copper - 0.053

Vitamins

Salmon is the absolute winner in terms of vitamin content. It is richer in B-complex vitamins and folate.  Mahi mahi is nearly six times lower in folate than salmon.

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
12
:
Contains more Vitamin A +10.6%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +1378.3%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +58.8%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +70.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +40%
Contains more Folate +466.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +305.8%
Equal in Vitamin A - 208
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 7.429
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%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 13% 0% 0% 0% 6% 20% 140% 52% 107% 5% 87% 0%
Contains more Vitamin A +10.6%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +1378.3%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +58.8%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +70.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +40%
Contains more Folate +466.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +305.8%
Equal in Vitamin A - 208
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 7.429

Health impact

Cardiovascular health

Salmon and mahi mahi consumption is linked to a lower heart disease risk (3). This is due to omega-3 fatty acid composition: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in salmon and DHA in mahi mahi. These two are long-chain essential fatty acids that are not produced in the human organism. Hence we should get them with the food we consume. Research shows that the risk of heart disease increases when the balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is broken (4). Salmon and mahi mahi boost omega-3 levels in the bloodstream of those with higher omega-6 levels (5) (6).

Additionally, salmon contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin. This carotenoid reduces LDL cholesterol oxidation and increases HDL cholesterol levels. Thus, astaxanthin can potentially reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (7).

Eye health

Salmon and mahi mahi provide different nutrients for promoting healthy vision.

Astaxanthin in salmon has some properties for maintaining eye health, such as preventing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and eye fatigue (8).

Salmon is richer in vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for vision. It is part of a pigment in photoreceptors on the retina (9).

Health risks

Varieties of salmon often contain contaminants, such as dioxin, which can alter the hormone levels in the organism, thus affecting normal metabolism (10).

Mahi mahi is classified as food with moderate amounts of mercury. Although this mineral is not toxic for healthy middle-aged people, it can harm young people, children, and pregnant women (11). You should avoid excessive fish consumption to prevent mercury poisoning.

References

  1. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173686/nutrients 
  2. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171959/nutrients
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7468748/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34371930/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7990530/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23351633/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26861359/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7281326/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27830507/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33348102/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2954077/
Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: February 08, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

Salmon vs Mahimahi 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 Mahimahi
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar 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 Salmon Mahimahi Opinion
Protein 22.1g 23.72g Mahimahi
Fats 12.35g 0.9g Salmon
Calories 206kcal 109kcal Salmon
Calcium 15mg 19mg Mahimahi
Iron 0.34mg 1.45mg Mahimahi
Magnesium 30mg 38mg Mahimahi
Phosphorus 252mg 183mg Salmon
Potassium 384mg 533mg Mahimahi
Sodium 61mg 113mg Salmon
Zinc 0.43mg 0.59mg Mahimahi
Copper 0.049mg 0.053mg Mahimahi
Vitamin A 230IU 208IU Salmon
Vitamin A RAE 69µg 62µg Salmon
Vitamin E 1.14mg Salmon
Vitamin D 526IU Salmon
Vitamin D 13.1µg Salmon
Vitamin C 3.7mg 0mg Salmon
Vitamin B1 0.34mg 0.023mg Salmon
Vitamin B2 0.135mg 0.085mg Salmon
Vitamin B3 8.045mg 7.429mg Salmon
Vitamin B5 1.475mg 0.865mg Salmon
Vitamin B6 0.647mg 0.462mg Salmon
Folate 34µg 6µg Salmon
Vitamin B12 2.8µg 0.69µg Salmon
Vitamin K 0.1µg Salmon
Tryptophan 0.248mg 0.266mg Mahimahi
Threonine 0.969mg 1.04mg Mahimahi
Isoleucine 1.018mg 1.093mg Mahimahi
Leucine 1.796mg 1.928mg Mahimahi
Lysine 2.03mg 2.178mg Mahimahi
Methionine 0.654mg 0.702mg Mahimahi
Phenylalanine 0.863mg 0.926mg Mahimahi
Valine 1.139mg 1.222mg Mahimahi
Histidine 0.651mg 0.698mg Mahimahi
Cholesterol 63mg 94mg Salmon
Saturated Fat 2.397g 0.241g Mahimahi
Omega-3 - DHA 1.457g 0.113g Salmon
Omega-3 - EPA 0.69g 0.026g Salmon
Omega-3 - DPA 0.17g 0.012g Salmon
Monounsaturated Fat 4.181g 0.155g Salmon
Polyunsaturated fat 4.553g 0.211g Salmon

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Salmon Mahimahi
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 show how much of your all daily needs across all vitamins or minerals this food would cover if you took three 100 grams servings of it (approximation of 3 serving sizes)
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
110%
Salmon
36%
Mahimahi
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
27%
Salmon
33%
Mahimahi

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Salmon
Salmon contains less Sodium (difference - 52mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Salmon
Salmon is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 31mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Salmon
Salmon is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Mahimahi
Mahimahi is lower in Sugar (difference - 0g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Mahimahi
Mahimahi is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 2.156g)
Which food is cheaper?
Mahimahi
Mahimahi is cheaper (difference - $13)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Mahimahi
Mahimahi 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. Salmon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175168/nutrients
  2. Mahimahi - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171992/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.