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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 November 29, 2020
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Haddock
vs
Cod

SUMMARY

The Haddock is richer in vitamins A, B12, B6, and B3, while the cod is higher in vitamins C, E, D, B1, and B5. The Haddock is richer in proteins, while the cod is higher in calories. The cod and the Haddock are low-fat protein replacements for red meat with many health attributes.

INTRODUCTION

The cod and the Haddock are both white fish species that differ from oily fish in that they have oil only 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 facing a decline; 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, the difference being 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.

NUTRITION

We will make use of the visuals to compare the nutritional content of both fish. The cod is lower in calories and therefore is favored over the Haddock in a low-calorie diet. Both fish contain no carbohydrates and are suitable for people with diabetes or people following a low carbohydrate diet. Both fish are very high in protein and are a recommended source of protein. Because they have less fat content than red meat, they can be used as a lower-fat version red meat substitute as a source of protein. The Haddock is higher in proteins. Both fish contribute to 3% of the daily fat intake, given 300g of the food is eaten. The Haddock is lower in saturated fats.

On the other hand, the cod is lower in cholesterol, sodium, and glycemic index. The cod is higher in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Both fish don’t contain any fiber.

VITAMIN COMPARISON

The Haddock is higher in vitamins A, B12, B6, and B3, while the cod is higher in vitamins C, E, D, B1, and B5. The Haddock contains no vitamin C, while the cod does. Both foods have equal amounts of vitamin K and B2, and they lack vitamin B9 (folate).

In conclusion, the cod has a 17 times higher vitamin score than the Haddock.

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
:
5
Cod
Contains more Vitamin A +55%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +99.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +33.5%
Contains more Folate +85.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +134.1%
Contains more Vitamin E +16.4%
Contains more Vitamin D +50%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +230.4%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +30871.7%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.065
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% 13% 27% 4% 19% 15% 39% 9180% 57% 6% 114% 1%
Contains more Vitamin A +55%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +99.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +33.5%
Contains more Folate +85.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +134.1%
Contains more Vitamin E +16.4%
Contains more Vitamin D +50%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +230.4%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +30871.7%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.065
Equal in Vitamin K - 0.1

MINERAL COMPARISON

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

In a nutshell, the two fish have almost equal mineral scores, the haddock score being a bit higher.

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
:
7
Cod
Contains more Phosphorus +36.9%
Contains more Calcium +14.3%
Contains more Iron +81%
Contains more Magnesium +23.1%
Contains more Potassium +17.7%
Contains less Sodium -79.3%
Contains more Zinc +12.5%
Equal in Copper - 0.028
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 5% 8% 19% 120% 31% 35% 11% 9%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 5% 15% 23% 87% 37% 8% 13% 10%
Contains more Phosphorus +36.9%
Contains more Calcium +14.3%
Contains more Iron +81%
Contains more Magnesium +23.1%
Contains more Potassium +17.7%
Contains less Sodium -79.3%
Contains more Zinc +12.5%
Equal in Copper - 0.028

AMINO ACID COMPARISON

The Haddock is higher in the following amino acids: tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, valine, and histidine.

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION

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

DIFFERENCES IN TASTE AND TEXTURE

The Haddock is significantly less sweet, less salty, and has a weaker fish flavor and aftertaste.

DIFFERENCES IN APPEARANCE

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).

HEALTH IMPACT

GENERAL

Cods and haddocks are a great source 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 in forming the genetic material of the cell. It also aids in red blood cell formation and hence anemia prevention.

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE (CVD)

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

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

ALLERGY

As fish consumption has been on the rise for decades, so has been the reports of reactions to fish. Fish allergy is mediated by eating the 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 is dependent 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 Haddock 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.

PROTEIN

The cod and Haddock are both around 97% protein and 3% fat. Serving the size of 100g of cod provides around 17g of protein. On the other hand, the Haddock is higher in proteins as a serving size of 100g of Haddock provides around 20g of proteins. The dietary reference intake of protein for an average person is 0.8g per kilogram daily body weight. If you are physically active, underweight, or suffering from an illness, protein intake recommendations would change. Proteins are needed for growth, maintenance, cell structure, providing energy, transporting substances throughout the body, balancing body fluids, and other functions.

VITAMIN B5

The cod has 300 times more vitamin B5 than the Haddock. The RDI of vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, is 5 mg for a healthy adult (12). Vitamin B5 is necessary for the formation of certain hormones, red blood cells, metabolism, and healthy digestive system maintenance.

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.

Make sure the fish is kept frozen or cooled on ice to prevent food poisoning. If you are traveling long distances before reaching a freezer, consider using a cooler.

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 that is to be frozen can be kept on ice for a maximum of 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 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

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

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Haddocks and cods 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 cods that are labeled MSC in blue are certified sustainable (16,17).

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S235198941400050
  2. http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/CM%20Doccuments/CM-2009/C/C0409.pdf
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/287708282
  4. https://repository.library.noaa.gov/view/noaa/4036
  5. http://www.fao.org/3/x5911e/x5911e01.htm
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B012227055X004685
  7. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-021-01381-z
  8. https://synapse.koreamed.org/articles/1059827
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5851676/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23440653
  11. https://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergies/types-food-allergy/fish-allergy
  12. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/PantothenicAcid-HealthProfessional/#
  13. http://www.fao.org/3/x5939e/x5939e01.htm
  14. https://www.fda.gov/food/consumers/advice-about-eating-fish#
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705336
  16. https://www.msc.org/what-you-can-do/eat-sustainable-seafood/fish-to-eat/haddock
  17. https://www.msc.org/what-you-can-do/eat-sustainable-seafood/fish-to-eat/cod
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: November 29, 2020

Infographic

Haddock vs Cod 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.
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
Net carbs 0g 0g
Protein 19.99g 17.81g Haddock
Fats 0.55g 0.67g Cod
Carbs 0g 0g
Calories 90kcal 82kcal Haddock
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar 0g 0g
Fiber 0g 0g
Calcium 14mg 16mg Cod
Iron 0.21mg 0.38mg Cod
Magnesium 26mg 32mg Cod
Phosphorus 278mg 203mg Haddock
Potassium 351mg 413mg Cod
Sodium 261mg 54mg Cod
Zinc 0.4mg 0.45mg Cod
Copper 0.026mg 0.028mg Cod
Vitamin A 62IU 40IU Haddock
Vitamin E 0.55mg 0.64mg Cod
Vitamin D 23IU 36IU Cod
Vitamin D 0.6µg 0.9µg Cod
Vitamin C 0mg 1mg Cod
Vitamin B1 0.023mg 0.076mg Cod
Vitamin B2 0.069mg 0.065mg Haddock
Vitamin B3 4.119mg 2.063mg Haddock
Vitamin B5 0.494mg 153mg Cod
Vitamin B6 0.327mg 0.245mg Haddock
Folate 13µg 7µg Haddock
Vitamin B12 2.13µg 0.91µg Haddock
Vitamin K 0.1µg 0.1µg
Tryptophan 0.26mg 0.199mg Haddock
Threonine 1.015mg 0.781mg Haddock
Isoleucine 1.067mg 0.821mg Haddock
Leucine 1.882mg 1.447mg Haddock
Lysine 2.126mg 1.635mg Haddock
Methionine 0.686mg 0.527mg Haddock
Phenylalanine 0.904mg 0.695mg Haddock
Valine 1.193mg 0.917mg Haddock
Histidine 0.682mg 0.524mg Haddock
Cholesterol 66mg 43mg Cod
Trans Fat 0.005g g Cod
Saturated Fat 0.111g 0.131g Haddock
Monounsaturated Fat 0.074g 0.094g Cod
Polyunsaturated fat 0.204g 0.231g Cod

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

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
43
Haddock
790
Cod
Mineral Summary Score
29
Haddock
24
Cod

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
120%
Haddock
107%
Cod
Carbohydrates
0%
Haddock
0%
Cod
Fats
3%
Haddock
3%
Cod

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Haddock
Haddock is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.02g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Cod
Cod contains less Sodium (difference - 207mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Cod
Cod is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 23mg)
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

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. 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/171955/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.