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Mahimahi vs. Swordfish — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Sveta Badalyan by Sveta Badalyan | Last updated on October 24, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Mahimahi
vs
Swordfish

Summary

Mahimahi has more potassium, iron, calcium, vitamins A, B2, B5, and folate. On the other hand, swordfish provides more selenium, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamins B1, B3, B6, and B12. Moreover, swordfish contain more fat and omega-3 fatty acids.

Mahimahi has fewer calories and mercury levels, whereas swordfish contain less cholesterol and sodium

Introduction

In this article, we will discuss the differences between mahimahi and swordfish and their impacts on health. 

Mahimahi, often known as "dorado" or "dolphinfish," is a deep-sea fish in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean. 

Swordfish may be found in tropical, temperate, and occasionally cold waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

Classification

Mahimahi (Coryphaena hippurus) belongs to the Order Perciformes, the Family Coryphaenidae, the Genus Coryphaena, and the Species Coryphaena hippurus.

Swordfish (Xiphias gladius), on the other hand, belong to the Order 

Istiophoriformes, the Family Xiphiidae, the Genus Xiphias, and the Species Xiphias gladius.

Appearance

Swordfish is a long, scaleless fish with a huge dorsal fin and a long sword. It's silvery on the bottom and reddish or bluish on top.  

Mahimahi has a long, tall, thin body, blunt head, and mouth. It has pretty colors that catch your eye. They have predominantly golden-yellow flanks with iridescent blue pectoral fins.

Taste and Use

The flavor of mahimahi is moderate and mildly sweet. The flesh is solid, lean, and delicate, akin to other white fish such as cod or grouper. Mahimahi has a mild flavor that is not overpowering when cooked fresh. It complements a wide range of seasonings and marinades, making it suitable for several cooking methods, such as grilling, baking, or pan-searing. Swordfish have a distinct and robust flavor compared to mahimahi. Swordfish flesh is solid. The flavor is rich, meaty, and slightly sweet. Swordfish is a popular choice for grilling, broiling, or pan-searing. You can use it with citrus marinades, spice rubs, or herb-infused oils.

Nutrition

The nutritional information below concerns Fish, mahimahi, cooked, dry heat, and Fish, swordfish, cooked, dry heat.

Macronutrients and Calories 

Overall, mahimahi and swordfish have similar nutritional densities. Swordfish contains 68% water, while mahimahi has 71% water. 

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Other +1055.6%
Contains more Fats +781.1%
Equal in Protein - 23.45
Equal in Water - 68.26
24% 71% 4%
Protein: 23.72 g
Fats: 0.9 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 71.22 g
Other: 4.16 g
23% 8% 68%
Protein: 23.45 g
Fats: 7.93 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 68.26 g
Other: 0.36 g
Contains more Other +1055.6%
Contains more Fats +781.1%
Equal in Protein - 23.45
Equal in Water - 68.26

Calories

Compared to mahimahi, swordfish provides more calories per hundred grams. A hundred grams of mahimahi contains 109 calories, whereas swordfish has 172 calories.

Protein

Both are good sources of protein and provide all essential amino acids. The protein content in mahimahi and swordfish is 23.72g and 23.45g, respectively.

Fats

Swordfish have significantly more fat content compared to mahimahi. One hundred-gram serving of mahimahi contains 0.9g of fat, while the same amount of swordfish has 7.93g. Swordfish have over 22 times more monounsaturated and 6.5 times more polyunsaturated fats.

The monounsaturated fats for swordfish and mahimahi are 0.155g and 3.544g, respectively. Mahimahi has 0.211g of polyunsaturated fats, whereas swordfish provide 1.368g. On the other hand, mahimahi provides over eight times less saturated fats. A hundred grams of swordfish has 1.9g of saturated fats, whereas mahimahi provides 0.241g.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -87.4%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +2186.5%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +548.3%
40% 26% 35%
Saturated Fat: 0.241 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.155 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.211 g
28% 52% 20%
Saturated Fat: 1.911 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.544 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1.368 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -87.4%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +2186.5%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +548.3%

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Compared to mahimahi, swordfish provides over seven times more omega-3 fatty acids. A hundred grams of swordfish has 1.07g of omega-3, whereas mahimahi has only 0.151g.

Carbohydrates

Mahimahi and swordfish do not contain a notable amount of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison

Cholesterol

Mahimahi contains more cholesterol compared to swordfish. A hundred grams of swordfish has 78mg of cholesterol, whereas mahimahi provides 94mg.

Vitamins

Mahimahi has more vitamins A, B2, B5, and folate. On the other hand, swordfish is high in vitamins B1, B3, B6, and B12.

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.
:
Contains more Vitamin A +61.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +34.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +107.4%
Contains more Folate +200%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +287%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +24.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +33.1%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +134.8%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 13% 0% 0% 0% 6% 20% 140% 52% 107% 5% 87% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 8% 49% 498% 0% 23% 15% 174% 26% 142% 2% 203% 43% 1%
Contains more Vitamin A +61.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +34.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +107.4%
Contains more Folate +200%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +287%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +24.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +33.1%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +134.8%

Minerals

Mahimahi has more potassium, iron, calcium, and copper. Conversely, swordfish is high in selenium, phosphorus, and zinc.

Compared to mahimahi, swordfish have less sodium content. A hundred grams of mahimahi provides 113mg of sodium, whereas swordfish has 97mg. Moreover, swordfish contains 77.5 mg of choline.

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.
Contains more Calcium +216.7%
Contains more Iron +222.2%
Contains more Copper +15.2%
Contains more Manganese +46.2%
Contains more Phosphorus +66.1%
Contains less Sodium -14.2%
Contains more Zinc +32.2%
Contains more Selenium +46.4%
Equal in Magnesium - 35
Equal in Potassium - 499
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 6% 55% 28% 79% 48% 15% 17% 18% 3% 256%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 2% 17% 25% 131% 45% 13% 22% 16% 2% 374%
Contains more Calcium +216.7%
Contains more Iron +222.2%
Contains more Copper +15.2%
Contains more Manganese +46.2%
Contains more Phosphorus +66.1%
Contains less Sodium -14.2%
Contains more Zinc +32.2%
Contains more Selenium +46.4%
Equal in Magnesium - 35
Equal in Potassium - 499

Mercury

Mercury is a dangerous metal found in our environment. As a result, when fish eat mercury, mercury poisoning in humans can be caused.

The mercury concentration mean (PPM) for mahimahi is 0.178. Swordfish have a PPM of 0.995. That means swordfish have a higher mercury content than mahimahi(1).

Glycemic Index

Mahimahi and swordfish are low glycemic index foods and do not contain carbohydrates. They both have a glycemic index of 0.

Insulin Index

While there is no research regarding the insulin index of mahimahi, the insulin index of swordfish is 59. 

Acidity

The potential renal acid load (PRAL) is a method for determining the acidity of food. The PRAL values for mahimahi and swordfish are and 11.3, respectively. That shows that swordfish is significantly more acid-forming than mahimahi.

Weight Loss & Diets

As fish is meat, mahimahi and swordfish are not considered vegan or vegetarian. On the other hand, mahimahi and swordfish are allowed in the pescetarian diet, which incorporates fish and seafood. 

Due to their low carb, mahimahi and swordfish are good sources for the keto diet.

Mahimahi and swordfish are paleo-friendly.

Whole foods are the main focus of the Mediterranean diet, with fish being the primary source of protein. Mahimahi and swordfish are allowed in the Mediterranean diet.

Health Benefits

Eye Health

According to the study, consumption of DHA, EPA, and seafood may lower the risk of incident age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in women(2).

On the other hand, mahimahi and swordfish contain vitamin A, which has an essential role in the eye system. Acute vitamin A deficiency leads to impaired photoreceptor function and night blindness. Chronic deficiency induces retinal dystrophies and photoreceptor cell death(3).

Cardiovascular Health

Although mahimahi and swordfish provide selenium, swordfish have more.

Recent studies have found that selenium can protect the heart in animals from damage caused by oxidative stress. So it can decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases(4).

Consumption of fatty fish, such as swordfish, may improve cardiovascular function. Omega-3 fatty acids may lower the risk of sudden death caused by coronary heart disease(5).

Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids can improve vascular function and lower blood pressure(6).

Downsides and Risks

Mercury's Effect

As mentioned above, swordfish have more mercury content compared to mahimahi. Mercury can cause many health problems, such as issues with the kidneys, immune system, heart, muscles, reproduction, and genetics(7). 

 A study has found a connection between mercury and diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Autism, Lupus, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, etc(7).

Mercury's impacts on the vascular system include elevated inflammation and oxidative stress. Another mechanism by which mercury damages the cardiovascular system is the inactivation of paraoxonase. Mercury poisoning is associated with hypertension, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias, carotid artery blockage, cerebrovascular accidents, and atherosclerosis(8). 

Mercury and Pregnancy

Seafood may be a regular part of your healthy eating regimen during pregnancy if you avoid mercury-rich seafood. Mahimahi is a good choice for pregnant women. In contrast, they must avoid swordfish, which is high in mercury(9).

Mercury toxicity is more severe in fetuses and children. Mothers who consume a mercury-containing diet convey the toxin to their fetuses and infants through breast milk(7). 

Mercury exposure during pregnancy was consistently related to decreased birth weight. Higher levels of mercury may decrease neuropsychological and developmental test scores(10).

Flushing Syndrome

Mahimahi consumption may cause flushing syndrome. The response generally begins abruptly and is accompanied by a pronounced blush like a sunburn. Headaches occur when a toxin similar to histamine is produced due to bacteria in fish that are not stored properlyThe bacteria change histidine,substance found in dark-meat fishes, into this toxin. Parenteral antihistamine treatment typically relieves symptoms quickly(11).

Article author photo Sveta Badalyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: October 24, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian

Infographic

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

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Mahimahi Swordfish Opinion
Protein 23.72g 23.45g Mahimahi
Fats 0.9g 7.93g Swordfish
Calories 109kcal 172kcal Swordfish
Calcium 19mg 6mg Mahimahi
Iron 1.45mg 0.45mg Mahimahi
Magnesium 38mg 35mg Mahimahi
Phosphorus 183mg 304mg Swordfish
Potassium 533mg 499mg Mahimahi
Sodium 113mg 97mg Swordfish
Zinc 0.59mg 0.78mg Swordfish
Copper 0.053mg 0.046mg Mahimahi
Manganese 0.019mg 0.013mg Mahimahi
Selenium 46.8µg 68.5µg Swordfish
Vitamin A 208IU 129IU Mahimahi
Vitamin A RAE 62µg 43µg Mahimahi
Vitamin E 2.41mg Swordfish
Vitamin D 666IU Swordfish
Vitamin D 16.6µg Swordfish
Vitamin B1 0.023mg 0.089mg Swordfish
Vitamin B2 0.085mg 0.063mg Mahimahi
Vitamin B3 7.429mg 9.254mg Swordfish
Vitamin B5 0.865mg 0.417mg Mahimahi
Vitamin B6 0.462mg 0.615mg Swordfish
Folate 6µg 2µg Mahimahi
Vitamin B12 0.69µg 1.62µg Swordfish
Choline 77.5mg Swordfish
Vitamin K 0.1µg Swordfish
Tryptophan 0.266mg 0.265mg Mahimahi
Threonine 1.04mg 1.035mg Mahimahi
Isoleucine 1.093mg 1.088mg Mahimahi
Leucine 1.928mg 1.919mg Mahimahi
Lysine 2.178mg 2.168mg Mahimahi
Methionine 0.702mg 0.699mg Mahimahi
Phenylalanine 0.926mg 0.922mg Mahimahi
Valine 1.222mg 1.216mg Mahimahi
Histidine 0.698mg 0.695mg Mahimahi
Cholesterol 94mg 78mg Swordfish
Trans Fat 0.056g Mahimahi
Saturated Fat 0.241g 1.911g Mahimahi
Omega-3 - DHA 0.113g 0.772g Swordfish
Omega-3 - EPA 0.026g 0.127g Swordfish
Omega-3 - DPA 0.012g 0.168g Swordfish
Monounsaturated Fat 0.155g 3.544g Swordfish
Polyunsaturated fat 0.211g 1.368g Swordfish
Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid 0.022g Swordfish

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Mahimahi Swordfish
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
33%
Mahimahi
91%
Swordfish
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
52%
Mahimahi
64%
Swordfish

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Swordfish
Swordfish contains less Sodium (difference - 16mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Swordfish
Swordfish is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 16mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Swordfish
Swordfish is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Mahimahi
Mahimahi is lower in Sugar (difference - 0g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Mahimahi
Mahimahi is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 1.67g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Mahimahi
Mahimahi is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (0)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($)

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. Mahimahi - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171992/nutrients
  2. Swordfish - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173704/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.