Salmon vs. Mahimahi — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Two worldwide famous types of fish, 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.
Table of contents
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.
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. Mahi mahi is classified as white fish along with tilapia, cod, swordfish, halibut, haddock, catfish, king mackerel, etc.
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.
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.
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.
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
Due to its higher fat composition, salmon provides more calories than mahi mahi. It has 97 calories per 100g serving.
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.
Salmon is the absolute winner in terms of vitamin content. It is richer in vitamin B complex and folate. Mahi mahi is nearly six times lower in folate than salmon.
100g of salmon contains 526 UI of vitamin D, which is 98% of the daily recommended dose.
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).
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).
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, high mercury levels can harm young people, children, and pregnant women (11). You should avoid excessive fish consumption to prevent mercury poisoning.
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sodium
|Lower in Cholesterol
|Rich in vitamins
|Lower in Sugar
|Lower in Saturated Fat
|Lower in price
|Rich in minerals
|Lower in Glycemic Index
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE
|Omega-3 - DHA
|Omega-3 - EPA
|Omega-3 - DPA
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet
|Low Carbs diet
|Low Calories diet
|Low Glycemic Index diet
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
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.
- Salmon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175168/nutrients
- 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.