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Salmon vs. Shrimp — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on March 21, 2024
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Salmon
vs
Shrimp

Summary

Shrimp is richer in vitamin E, selenium, choline, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and copper. Salmon is richer in omega-3 fats, vitamin B complex, vitamin D, and potassium. Salmon is higher in calories, and total fats, and shrimp are higher in sodium.

Introduction

The salmon is an anadromous type of fish, meaning that part of their life cycle is in saltwater, and the other is in freshwater. Salmon is one of the healthiest fish in the culinary world. They are rich in protein, omega-3 fats, and vitamin D. Farmed salmon is available mainly in markets. In some cultures, such as the Nordic countries, it is considered the primary source of protein.

On the other hand, shrimp are saltwater animals. Like salmon, most shrimp in the market are farmed and not fished. Shrimp is the most popular and consumed seafood in the United States. However, Asian countries, like Japan and others, have the highest number of shrimp consumers. Shrimp is rich in omega-3 fats, calcium, and a good source of protein.

Both salmon and shrimp are classified as low-mercury seafood.

In this article, we will compare the nutritional content, the health impact, and the downsides of salmon and shrimp.

It is important to note that the salmon and shrimp consumption methods discussed in this article are in their cooked state. To preserve their nutritional value, we will discuss salmon in its grilled state and shrimp in its cooked (on medium heat) state.

Nutrition

Calories

Salmon is higher in calories compared to shrimp. Salmon contains 206 calories per 100g, while shrimp contains 119 calories per 100g.

Macronutrients 

Salmon and shrimp are equally rich in protein. In addition to their protein content, they are highly rich in essential amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins (similar to non-essential amino acids). Essential amino acids must be consumed because the human body cannot synthesize them, contrary to non-essential amino acids.

Salmon has a higher fat content than shrimp, and it also has a higher content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, it does not satisfy the daily recommended values.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Salmon
2
:
1
Shrimp
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +1058.2%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +671.7%
Contains less Saturated Fat -78.3%
22% 38% 41%
Saturated Fat: 2.397 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.181 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 4.553 g
35% 25% 40%
Saturated Fat: 0.521 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.361 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.59 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +1058.2%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +671.7%
Contains less Saturated Fat -78.3%

Salmon contains higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids compared to shrimp.

It is important to note that salmon and shrimp are categorized as low-carbohydrate foods.

From the above, we can conclude that shrimp and salmon are protein-rich, low in carbohydrates, and have healthy amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Salmon is more affluent in omega-3 fatty acids.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Salmon
1
:
4
Shrimp
Contains more Fats +626.5%
Contains more Carbs +∞%
Contains more Water +10.5%
Contains more Other +205%
Equal in Protein - 22.78
22% 12% 65%
Protein: 22.1 g
Fats: 12.35 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 64.75 g
Other: 0.8 g
23% 2% 72% 2%
Protein: 22.78 g
Fats: 1.7 g
Carbs: 1.52 g
Water: 71.56 g
Other: 2.44 g
Contains more Fats +626.5%
Contains more Carbs +∞%
Contains more Water +10.5%
Contains more Other +205%
Equal in Protein - 22.78
 

Vitamins

Salmon is more affluent in vitamin B complex, specifically B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, and D.

Shrimp are rich in vitamin E. Shrimp also contain vitamin B complex, mostly B12. However, their amount is less than the content of vitamin B12 present in salmon.

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.
Salmon
9
:
4
Shrimp
Contains more Vitamin D +13000%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +962.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +462.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +200.4%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +184.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +167.4%
Contains more Folate +41.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +68.7%
Contains more Vitamin A +30.9%
Contains more Vitamin E +93%
Contains more Choline +49.6%
Contains more Vitamin K +300%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 14% 23% 393% 13% 86% 32% 151% 89% 150% 26% 350% 50% 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 19% 44% 3% 0% 8% 6% 51% 32% 56% 18% 208% 74% 1%
Contains more Vitamin D +13000%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +962.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +462.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +200.4%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +184.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +167.4%
Contains more Folate +41.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +68.7%
Contains more Vitamin A +30.9%
Contains more Vitamin E +93%
Contains more Choline +49.6%
Contains more Vitamin K +300%

Minerals

Salmon is richer in potassium. Meanwhile, shrimp is richer in selenium, choline, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and copper. 

Noting that shrimps are higher in sodium.

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.
Salmon
3
:
7
Shrimp
Contains more Potassium +125.9%
Contains less Sodium -93.6%
Contains more Calcium +506.7%
Contains more Magnesium +23.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +21.4%
Contains more Zinc +279.1%
Contains more Copper +426.5%
Contains more Manganese +206.3%
Contains more Selenium +19.6%
Equal in Iron - 0.32
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5% 13% 22% 108% 34% 8% 12% 17% 3% 226%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 28% 12% 27% 132% 15% 124% 45% 86% 7% 270%
Contains more Potassium +125.9%
Contains less Sodium -93.6%
Contains more Calcium +506.7%
Contains more Magnesium +23.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +21.4%
Contains more Zinc +279.1%
Contains more Copper +426.5%
Contains more Manganese +206.3%
Contains more Selenium +19.6%
Equal in Iron - 0.32

Health Impact

Cardiovascular Health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

Salmon and shrimp are rich sources of long-chain ω-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. Moderate consumption of ω-3 fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), may significantly decrease the risk of unstable angina, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death (1, 2). 

A combined analysis of 4 cohort studies suggests that consuming at least 175 grams of fish or seafood per week may reduce the risk of major cardiovascular disease and mortality in patients with prior cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, this benefit is not observed in the general population (3). 

According to the National Institutes of Health, it is recommended to have a daily intake of 1.1-1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association suggests consuming two servings of fish or seafood (such as shrimp) per week, each weighing 3-4 ounces, to maintain a healthy diet (4). 

To obtain 1.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, one would need to eat about 2-3 ounces of Atlantic salmon. Fish oil supplements contain around 300 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per pill, though doses may vary (4). 

According to another source, it is recommended to have a diet containing approximately 500 mg/d of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which can be achieved by having two fish meals per week, to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. For those who already have cardiovascular disease, it is recommended to take 1 g/d of omega-3 PUFAs (5). 

It should be noted that combining statins, such as Atorvastatin and Rosuvastatin, with omega-3 fats is a safe and effective treatment for dyslipidemia. This combination may also benefit patients who recently suffered from a heart attack.

However, some recent randomized clinical trials have raised questions regarding the cardiovascular benefits of fish oil. This has made it difficult for healthcare providers to recommend omega-3 PUFA supplementation in accordance with clinical guidelines. Therefore, more studies are needed to provide more accurate information on the benefits of omega-3 PUFAs (2, 6).

The consumption of salmon and shrimp in moderate amounts has many other health impacts.

In children, the consumption of salmon and shrimp ensures the development of the child’s integrative nervous system. These nerves link the sensory and motor systems together. In addition to the integrative nervous system, salmon and shrimp also contribute to the development of the neural links formed in the brain tissues responsible for cognition and processing. (7) (8)

It is also observed that the consumption of lean salmon has decreased the risk of developing diabetes. (9)

The high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in salmon have their benefits on the brain. Studies concluded that the consumption of salmon decreases cognitive decline in older people, keeping them aware and cognitive with healthy memory in older ages. (10)

Downsides

There are downsides to both salmon and shrimp from various perspectives.

Salmon and shrimp raised in farms might have antibiotics added to their ponds to control bacterial growth. Mostly, when grown on farms that are not qualified by the government or any other agricultural supervision, they would contain above-threshold amounts of antibiotics. As consumers, one should be selective of the farms or the suppliers that provide the salmon or shrimp to overcome this issue.

Another aspect is the religious approach. When it comes to kosher food, shrimp is classified as non-kosher, meaning that Jewish people cannot consume them. On the other hand, salmon is considered kosher and can be consumed by the Jewish community.

When it comes to consuming salmon, some cuisines consume salmon in its raw state. Raw salmon is very common in Japanese cuisine. However, it is essential to note that healthcare professionals usually recommend refraining from consuming raw animal meat. Raw salmon, if not appropriately treated, may harbor various types of foodborne infections. A common parasite that harbors salmon is the Diphyllobothrium Latium, a fish tapeworm that causes vitamin B12 deficiency in humans.

Salmon is cured and aged in some countries with salt to preserve it throughout winter. Cured salmon is also considered a delicacy in some cuisines. However, patients who suffer from health problems related to high sodium must be careful when consuming this kind of salmon.

Pollution is a significant factor in wild shrimp. If the sea is polluted from the zone where the shrimp are fished, it might cause serious health problems. So, one must always be careful of the suppliers that provide shrimp.

Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: March 21, 2024
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian

Infographic

Salmon vs Shrimp 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.
Salmon Shrimp
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Salmon Shrimp Opinion
Net carbs 0g 1.52g Shrimp
Protein 22.1g 22.78g Shrimp
Fats 12.35g 1.7g Salmon
Carbs 0g 1.52g Shrimp
Calories 206kcal 119kcal Salmon
Calcium 15mg 91mg Shrimp
Iron 0.34mg 0.32mg Salmon
Magnesium 30mg 37mg Shrimp
Phosphorus 252mg 306mg Shrimp
Potassium 384mg 170mg Salmon
Sodium 61mg 947mg Salmon
Zinc 0.43mg 1.63mg Shrimp
Copper 0.049mg 0.258mg Shrimp
Manganese 0.016mg 0.049mg Shrimp
Selenium 41.4µg 49.5µg Shrimp
Vitamin A 230IU 301IU Shrimp
Vitamin A RAE 69µg 90µg Shrimp
Vitamin E 1.14mg 2.2mg Shrimp
Vitamin D 526IU 4IU Salmon
Vitamin D 13.1µg 0.1µg Salmon
Vitamin C 3.7mg 0mg Salmon
Vitamin B1 0.34mg 0.032mg Salmon
Vitamin B2 0.135mg 0.024mg Salmon
Vitamin B3 8.045mg 2.678mg Salmon
Vitamin B5 1.475mg 0.519mg Salmon
Vitamin B6 0.647mg 0.242mg Salmon
Folate 34µg 24µg Salmon
Vitamin B12 2.8µg 1.66µg Salmon
Choline 90.5mg 135.4mg Shrimp
Vitamin K 0.1µg 0.4µg Shrimp
Tryptophan 0.248mg 0.26mg Shrimp
Threonine 0.969mg 0.904mg Salmon
Isoleucine 1.018mg 1.05mg Shrimp
Leucine 1.796mg 1.95mg Shrimp
Lysine 2.03mg 2.172mg Shrimp
Methionine 0.654mg 0.665mg Shrimp
Phenylalanine 0.863mg 0.992mg Shrimp
Valine 1.139mg 1.067mg Salmon
Histidine 0.651mg 0.501mg Salmon
Cholesterol 63mg 211mg Salmon
Trans Fat 0.035g Salmon
Saturated Fat 2.397g 0.521g Shrimp
Omega-3 - DHA 1.457g 0.141g Salmon
Omega-3 - EPA 0.69g 0.135g Salmon
Omega-3 - DPA 0.17g 0.012g Salmon
Monounsaturated Fat 4.181g 0.361g Salmon
Polyunsaturated fat 4.553g 0.59g Salmon
Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid 0.012g Shrimp

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Salmon Shrimp
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

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
106%
Salmon
40%
Shrimp
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
44%
Salmon
74%
Shrimp

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Shrimp
Shrimp is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 1.876g)
Which food is cheaper?
Shrimp
Shrimp is cheaper (difference - $6)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Shrimp
Shrimp is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Sodium?
Salmon
Salmon contains less Sodium (difference - 886mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Salmon
Salmon is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 148mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Salmon
Salmon is lower in glycemic index (difference - 50)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Salmon
Salmon is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Sugar?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sugar (0 g)

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. Salmon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175168/nutrients
  2. Shrimp - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171971/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.