Salmon vs Shrimp - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
The salmon is an anadromous type of fish, meaning that part of their life cycle is in salt water and the other part is in freshwater. Salmon is known to be one of the healthiest fish in the culinary world, as they are rich in protein, omega-3 fats, and vitamin D. Salmon that are mostly, if not always, consumed are farmed salmon and not wild salmon. In some cultures, such as the Nordic countries, it is considered to be the main source of protein.
On the other hand, shrimp are saltwater animals. Similarly to salmon, most of the shrimp that is found in the market are farmed shrimp and are not fished. Shrimp is the most popular and consumed seafood in the United States. However, Asian countries, like Japan and others, are the highest consumers of shrimp. Shrimp is rich in omega-3 fats, calcium, and a good source of protein.
Both salmon and shrimps are classified as low mercury seafood.
In this article, we will be comparing the nutritional content, the health impact, and the downsides of salmon and shrimp.
It is important to note that the method of consumption of salmon and shrimp discussed in this article is in their cooked state. In order to preserve their nutritional value, we will be discussing salmon in its grilled state and shrimp in its cooked (on medium heat) state.
Nutritional content comparison
Salmon and shrimp are rich in protein. In addition, to their protein content, they are highly rich in essential amino acids that are the building block of proteins (similarly to non-essential amino acids). Essential amino acids have to be consumed because the human body cannot synthesize them; contrary to non-essential amino acids.
Salmon has a higher fat content, both healthy and unhealthy fats, compared to shrimp. Salmon has a higher content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, it does not satisfy the daily recommended values.
When it comes to unhealthy fats, shrimp has a lower content of saturated fatty acids. However, both salmon and shrimp fall below the high threshold for saturated fats. They can be safely consumed by individuals with a distorted lipid profile.
For dietary cholesterol levels, shrimp has higher amounts of cholesterol at 190mg per 100g when the average recommended daily intake is 300mg. On the other hand, salmon is lower in cholesterol as it contains 60mg per 100g.
Salmon contains higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids compared to shrimp.
It is important to note that both salmon and shrimp are categorized as low carbohydrate foods.
From the above, we can conclude that both shrimp and salmon are protein-rich, low in carbohydrates, and have healthy amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. However, shrimp are higher in cholesterol and salmon is richer in omega-3 fatty acids.
Vitamin content comparison
Salmon is rich in vitamin B complex, specifically B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12. However, the most important vitamin that must be taken to consideration is Vitamin D. The vitamin D content of salmon is at 530 UI while the daily recommended need is on average 600 UI. Salmon also contains vitamin A.
Shrimp also contains vitamin B complex, mostly B12. However, their amount is less than the content of vitamin B12 present in salmon.
Mineral content comparison
Salmon is rich in potassium, selenium, copper, and magnesium. Salmon contains 36.5 mcg per 100 grams of selenium while the daily recommended requirement is 55mcg for adult females and 70 mcg for adult males, making it a good source for selenium.
Shrimp is richer in copper, phosphorus, and calcium compared to salmon. They also contain some trace elements like zinc.
The consumption of salmon and shrimps in moderate amounts has many health impacts.
The consumption of salmon and shrimps once per week has shown a decrease in the risks of cardiovascular disease up-to 15%. (1)
In children, the consumption of salmon and shrimp ensures the development of the child’s integrative nervous system which is the nerves that 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 that are formed in the brain tissues that are responsible for cognition and processing. (2) (3)
It is also observed that the consumption of lean salmon has decreased the risk of developing diabetes. (4)
The high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in salmon has its own benefits on the brain. Studies concluded that the consumption of salmon decreases the cognitive decline in elderly people, keeping them aware and cognitive with healthy memory in older ages. (5)
There are downsides to both, salmon and shrimp, from various perspectives.
Salmon and shrimp that are raised in farms might have antibiotics added to their ponds in order to control bacterial growth. Mostly when they are grown in farms that are not qualified by the government or any other agricultural supervision they would contain above-threshold amounts of antibiotics. In order to overcome this issue, as consumers, one should be selective of the farms or the suppliers that provide the salmon or shrimp.
Another aspect is the religious approach. When it comes to consuming kosher food, shrimp is classified as non-kosher, meaning that they cannot be consumed by Jewish people. On the other hand, salmon is considered to be kosher and can be consumed by the Jewish community.
When it comes to consuming salmon, some cuisines consume salmon in its raw state. This is very common in Japanese cuisine. However, it is important to note that, it is usually recommended by healthcare professionals to refrain from consuming raw animal meat. Raw salmon if not treated properly may harbor various types of foodborne infections. A common parasite that harbors salmon is the Diphyllobothrium Latum which is a fish tapeworm that causes vitamin B12 deficiency in humans.
In some countries, salmon is cured and aged with salt to preserve it throughout winter. This is also considered a delicacy in some cuisines. However, when consuming this kind of salmon patients who suffer from health problems related to high amounts of sodium must be careful.
Pollution has a great factor on wild shrimps. If the sea is polluted from the zone the shrimps are fished from, it might cause serious health problems. So one must always be careful of the suppliers that provide the shrimps.
In summary, Salmon and shrimp are rich in proteins. Salmon contains a higher content of fats and omega-3 and is rich in vitamin B complex, D, potassium, and selenium.
Shrimps have more cholesterol and are rich in vitamin B12, copper, phosphorus.
Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Sugars||Equal|
Which food is preferable in case of diets?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|
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All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Folic acid (B9)||0|