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Haddock vs. Cod — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on May 08, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Haddock
vs
Cod

Summary

The Haddock is richer in vitamins  B12, B6, and B3, while the cod is higher in vitamins D, B1, and B5. On the other hand, cod is lower in cholesterol, sodium, and glycemic index. Cod is higher in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. 

Introduction

The cod and the Haddock are white fish species that differ from oily fish in that they only have oil in their liver. They belong to the family of Gadidae. The cod belongs to the genus Gadus. The stocks are declining due to many reasons, namely overfishing and no recovery afterward (1). The haddock stocks are also declining; however, only recently, parts of the stocks have started recovering (2). Haddocks are known for their mild taste compared to stronger-tasting fish like salmon. The cod and the Haddock are fish of great economic significance (3). The cod is relatively cheaper than the Haddock, which is around 14.7$. Whitefish are low-fat protein alternatives to high-fat red meat.

Through discussions and visuals, let's understand how these two items are nutritionally similar or different and the benefits associated with these foods.

What's The Actual Difference?

The Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) is found in the Northern Atlantic (4). Meanwhile, the cod lives in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans (5).

Cod has stronger flavor, while haddock is significantly less sweet and salty and has a weaker fishy-tasting flavor.

The Haddock is usually gray with a prominent black blotch on the shoulder and a black lateral line. At the same time, the cod is usually green or yellow with some dark spots and a white lateral line (6).

Nutrition

The food types used in this article are fish Haddock (cooked, dry heat) and Atlantic cod (cooked, dry heat).

We will use the visuals to compare the nutritional content of both fish. Because they have less fat content than red meat, they can be used as a lower-fat version of red meat substitute as a source of protein. 

Calories

Both fish have almost equal calories; cod provides 105 calories per 100g, and haddock has 90 calories per 100g. They are classified as low-calorie food.

Vitamins

The Haddock is higher in vitamins B12, B6, and B3, while the cod is higher in vitamins  D, B1, and B5

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.
:
5
Cod
Contains more Vitamin A +31.9%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +63.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +174.4%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +15.5%
Contains more Folate +62.5%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +102.9%
Contains more Vitamin E +47.3%
Contains more Vitamin D +100%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +282.6%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +14.5%
Equal in Vitamin K - 0.1
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 4% 11% 18% 0% 6% 16% 78% 30% 76% 10% 267% 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% 17% 36% 4% 22% 19% 48% 11% 66% 6% 132% 1%
Contains more Vitamin A +31.9%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +63.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +174.4%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +15.5%
Contains more Folate +62.5%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +102.9%
Contains more Vitamin E +47.3%
Contains more Vitamin D +100%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +282.6%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +14.5%
Equal in Vitamin K - 0.1

Minerals

The Haddock is higher in phosphorus and choline, while the cod is higher in magnesium and potassium. The հaddock is higher in sodium by almost five times. The cod contains more iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc․

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.
:
7
Cod
Contains more Phosphorus +101.4%
Contains more Potassium +43.9%
Contains more Iron +133.3%
Contains more Magnesium +61.5%
Contains less Sodium -70.1%
Contains more Zinc +45%
Contains more Copper +38.5%
Contains more Manganese +53.8%
Contains more Selenium +18.6%
Equal in Calcium - 14
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5% 8% 19% 120% 31% 35% 11% 9% 2% 173%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5% 19% 30% 60% 22% 11% 16% 12% 3% 206%
Contains more Phosphorus +101.4%
Contains more Potassium +43.9%
Contains more Iron +133.3%
Contains more Magnesium +61.5%
Contains less Sodium -70.1%
Contains more Zinc +45%
Contains more Copper +38.5%
Contains more Manganese +53.8%
Contains more Selenium +18.6%
Equal in Calcium - 14

Protein

Both fish are very high in protein and are a recommended source of protein. However, cod provides more protein than haddock. It has 22.83g of protein, whereas cod contains 20g per 100g.  

Carbohydrates

Both fish contain no carbohydrates and are suitable for people with diabetes or following a low-carbohydrate diet.

Fats

Both fish contribute to 3% of the daily fat intake, given 300g of the food is eaten. The Haddock is lower in saturated fats.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
:
2
Cod
Contains less Saturated Fat -33.9%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +67.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +43.1%
29% 19% 52%
Saturated Fat: 0.111 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.074 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.204 g
29% 21% 50%
Saturated Fat: 0.168 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.124 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.292 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -33.9%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +67.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +43.1%

Fiber

Both fish have no fiber.

Cholesterol

Haddock has less cholesterol than cod. Cod has 66mg of cholesterol per 100g, and haddock provides 55mg per 100g.
 

Health Impact

Similarities

Cods and haddocks are excellent sources of vitamins B6 and B12. Vitamin B6 plays a role in mental function, mood regulation, and the formation of red blood cells. Studies show that vitamin B6 deficiency is linked to neural and psychiatric disorders, namely migraines, depression, chronic pain, and seizures (7). Vitamin B6 and B12 are involved in parts of the homocysteine metabolism, and deficiencies in these nutrients will cause elevated blood homocysteine levels. Elevated blood homocysteine levels have been shown to affect mental health negatively. (8)

Vitamin B12 plays a role in the metabolism of macronutrients and helps form the cell's genetic material. It also aids in red blood cell formation and hence anemia prevention.

Cardiovascular Health 

A study showed that fish consumption was linked with decreased myocardial infarctions in people with type 2 diabetes. The study also suggests that fish consumption is inversely correlated with CVD and overall mortality (9). Different organizations recommend a minimum of 2 servings of fish to promote cardiovascular health.

Part of the cardioprotective properties of Cod and Haddock is due to their richness in omega-three polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Amino Acids

Cod is higher in amino acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Amino acids have many health benefits; they may help provide energy, maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails, build muscle, and boost your immune system. 

Cod is high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have the most potent immunomodulatory properties of any fatty acid.

The benefit of omega-3 is that it helps lower inflammation, which leads to improved muscle recovery, less discomfort, and better gut health. 

Downsides and Risks

Allergy

As fish consumption has been on the rise for decades, so have been the reports of reactions to fish. Fish allergy is mediated by eating fish and different toxins and parasites such as ciguatera and Anisakis. Allergic reactions to fish can be life-threatening. Fish allergy in children usually cannot be outgrown. Exposure to this allergen may be through ingestion, handling, or even inhalation. Fish allergy depends on geographical location, eating patterns, type of fish processing, and other factors (10).

A small proportion of the population may be allergic to whitefish such as Haddock or cod. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, a fish allergy may only show during adulthood (11).

MERCURY POISONING

Like most types of fish, the հaddock and the cod contain mercury. Excessive mercury in the body is known to have neurological as well as behavioral implications. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need to pay special attention to mercury consumption.

Fish Selection

Always opt for fresh Haddock and cod. Whole fresh fish should have bright eyes and red gills. You can tell by a firm texture. Avoid cod and Haddock that smell weird.

Ensure the fish is frozen or cooled on ice to prevent food poisoning. Consider using a cooler if you are traveling long distances before reaching a freezer.

Storage

The Haddock and the cod remain in good to reasonable storage conditions for 5 to 10 days on the ice. After 15 days on the ice, we should not eat the fish. 

Gutted Haddock to be frozen can be kept on ice for 2 days. The Haddock that has been kept cool for more than seven days should not be used to prepare frozen products. "All smoked haddock products can be quick-frozen and kept in cold storage; a shelf life of at least seven months in the first-class condition is possible at -30°C" (13). Cod stored at -20°C can be in excellent condition for up to 8 months and edible after four years (14).

Recommendations

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming at least 8 ounces of seafood per week for healthy people following a 2000-calorie diet (5). Breastfeeding or pregnant women need to ensure the intake of 8-12 ounces of seafood per week, and their fish choices need to be from the low-mercury fish group (14). High mercury consumption may harm the fetus. To reduce cardiovascular disease risk, The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends having 2 to 3.5 oz cooked portions of fish at least twice per week (15).

Culinary Tips

To prepare a healthy dish, we should take caution in the preparation method. The Haddock and the cod can be baked, broiled, fried, poached, smoked, and sautéed. Try to avoid the use of unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates when preparing your fish dish.

You can use lean white fish, such as tilapia, Alaska pollock, catfish, and grouper fish, as a substitute for cod in fish, chips, and fish tacos.

Environmental Impact

Haddocks and codes are overfished (1,2). We need to establish sustainable fishing to ensure the livelihood of these fish for future generations and prevent the loss of these species. Haddocks and codes labeled MSC in blue are certified sustainable (16,17).

Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: May 08, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian

Infographic

Haddock vs Cod infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
:
3
Cod
Contains more Protein +14.2%
Contains more Fats +56.4%
Equal in Water - 75.92
Equal in Other - 0.39
20% 80%
Protein: 19.99 g
Fats: 0.55 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 79.65 g
Other: 0 g
23% 76%
Protein: 22.83 g
Fats: 0.86 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 75.92 g
Other: 0.39 g
Contains more Protein +14.2%
Contains more Fats +56.4%
Equal in Water - 75.92
Equal in Other - 0.39

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Haddock Cod
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Sugar Equal
Lower in Glycemic Index Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Haddock Cod Opinion
Protein 19.99g 22.83g Cod
Fats 0.55g 0.86g Cod
Calories 90kcal 105kcal Cod
Calcium 14mg 14mg
Iron 0.21mg 0.49mg Cod
Magnesium 26mg 42mg Cod
Phosphorus 278mg 138mg Haddock
Potassium 351mg 244mg Haddock
Sodium 261mg 78mg Cod
Zinc 0.4mg 0.58mg Cod
Copper 0.026mg 0.036mg Cod
Manganese 0.013mg 0.02mg Cod
Selenium 31.7µg 37.6µg Cod
Vitamin A 62IU 47IU Haddock
Vitamin A RAE 21µg 14µg Haddock
Vitamin E 0.55mg 0.81mg Cod
Vitamin D 23IU 46IU Cod
Vitamin D 0.6µg 1.2µg Cod
Vitamin C 0mg 1mg Cod
Vitamin B1 0.023mg 0.088mg Cod
Vitamin B2 0.069mg 0.079mg Cod
Vitamin B3 4.119mg 2.513mg Haddock
Vitamin B5 0.494mg 0.18mg Haddock
Vitamin B6 0.327mg 0.283mg Haddock
Folate 13µg 8µg Haddock
Vitamin B12 2.13µg 1.05µg Haddock
Vitamin K 0.1µg 0.1µg
Tryptophan 0.26mg 0.256mg Haddock
Threonine 1.015mg 1.001mg Haddock
Isoleucine 1.067mg 1.052mg Haddock
Leucine 1.882mg 1.856mg Haddock
Lysine 2.126mg 2.097mg Haddock
Methionine 0.686mg 0.676mg Haddock
Phenylalanine 0.904mg 0.891mg Haddock
Valine 1.193mg 1.176mg Haddock
Histidine 0.682mg 0.672mg Haddock
Cholesterol 66mg 55mg Cod
Trans Fat 0.005g Cod
Saturated Fat 0.111g 0.168g Haddock
Omega-3 - DHA 0.109g 0.154g Cod
Omega-3 - EPA 0.051g 0.004g Haddock
Omega-3 - DPA 0.006g 0.013g Cod
Monounsaturated Fat 0.074g 0.124g Cod
Polyunsaturated fat 0.204g 0.292g Cod
Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid 0.001g Haddock

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Haddock Cod
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 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
43%
Haddock
30%
Cod
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
41%
Haddock
38%
Cod

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Haddock
Haddock is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.057g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Cod
Cod contains less Sodium (difference - 183mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Cod
Cod is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 11mg)
Which food is cheaper?
Cod
Cod is cheaper (difference - $14.7)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Cod
Cod is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Sugar?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sugar (0 g)
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

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. Haddock - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174198/nutrients
  2. Cod - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171956/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.