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Salmon oil vs. Fish oil — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan by Ani Harutyunyan | Last updated on April 26, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Salmon oil
vs
Fish oil

Summary

Although salmon oil and fish oil contain the exact amounts of fats, they differ in the types of fats they provide. Salmon oil mainly consists of polyunsaturated fats, while fish oil is significantly richer in monounsaturated fats.

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Introduction

Frequently, edible oils cannot be distinguished because they have almost the same nutrient composition. Each oil, however, has its own unique characteristics. This article will compare salmon oil and fish oil made from herring fish

Classification

Salmon oil and herring oil, described here as fish oil, are animal oils derived from oily fish

Salmon oil is usually made from the heads of fresh salmons, while fish oil is harvested from the fatty tissues of herring fish

The smoke point, taste, and use

One of the most essential characteristics of edible oils is the smoke point - the temperature at which the oil first breaks down and begins to smoke or burn. 

The smoke point of salmon oil is about 460F /232C/, which is moderately high. Fish oil has a much higher smoke point, equalling 487F /250C/. 

Fish oil has a distinct, intense spicy taste, while salmon oil usually does not taste fishy

Since fish oil has not been refined, bleached, or deodorized to make it a safe cooking ingredient, it should never be used as cooking oil. Besides, some chemicals contained in these oils, such as omega-3 fatty acids, are very sensitive to high temperatures. Instead, fish oil and salmon oil are used as a supplement in the form of oil capsules

Nutrition

The average serving size of fish oils is one tablespoon equalling 13.6g for fish and salmon oil. This article will compare nutritional values for 100g of these fish oils

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Equal in Fats - 100
100%
Protein: 0 g
Fats: 100 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 0 g
Other: 0 g
100%
Protein: 0 g
Fats: 100 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 0 g
Other: 0 g
Equal in Fats - 100
 

Calories

Fish and salmon oil are classified as highly high-calorie foods, containing equal calories: 902 per 100g.

Average servings of fish oil and salmon oil contain 123 calories

Fats

Fish and salmon oil's macronutrient content consists of 100% fats. However, they differ in the types of fats they provide. 

Salmon oil consists of 45% of polyunsaturated fats, 30% of monounsaturated fats, and 22% of saturated fats, while fish oil is richer in monounsaturated fats, providing 61% of it, 23% saturated, and 17% of polyunsaturated fats. Salmon oil is significantly richer in all types of omega-3 fatty acids. 

Fish oil is 281mg higher in cholesterol than salmon oil, providing 766mg per 100g compared to 485mg in the same amount of salmon oil

The infographic below shows the visual representation of fat-type content.

@fattypeContent 

Other nutrients

Salmon and fish oils contain no amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, or vitamins. 

Health impact

As mentioned above, salmon oil is richer in omega-3 fatty acids than fish oil. They contain primarily eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (1). These food supplements have similar impacts on different organs and systems of the human organism.

Cardiovascular health 

Studies prove that fish oil supplements reduce heart disease risk factors. They can lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL cholesterol concentrations in the blood flow at the same time (2). In the case of hyperlipidemia, fish oil and salmon oil consumption may lead to lower triglyceride levels (3). In hypertensive patients’ organisms, fish oil can reduce blood pressure (4). 

Besides, these oils prevent plaque formation on the walls of arteries, thus reducing the risk of development of atherosclerosis (5). 

Inflammation

Inflammation is something good, as it is the reaction of our immune system to infections, but chronic inflammation can cause serious health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc. 

Fish oil and salmon oil may have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects (6). Salmon oil omega-3 fatty acids reduce the quantities of inflammatory compounds produced by immune cells (7). Moreover, these oils may reduce joint pain during rheumatoid arthritis (8). 

Skin health

Skin is the largest organ of the human organism and contains significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Too much sun exposure and aging are related to reduced skin health. Supplements like fish oil are beneficial in conditions like dermatitis and psoriasis. Omega-3 fatty acids protect the skin from sun damage and improve wound healing (9). 

Pregnancy and child development

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for fetal growth and development. 

A study shows that children whose mothers took omega-3 supplements during pregnancy develop cognitive and motor skills easier than those whose mothers did not use any supplements (10). 

Fish oil consumption during pregnancy and breastfeeding also improves a chchild'sision and lowers the risk of allergy development (11). 

Side effects

Although fish oils have many beneficial health impacts, too much consumption may have some side effects. 

Salmon oil overconsumption can cause headaches, diarrhea, nausea, and heartburn. Besides, in the case of using anticoagulants, salmon oil may become the cause of bleeding (12). 

References 

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28900017/ 
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18774613/ 
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21924882/ 
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26817716/ 
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22317966/ 
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30703872/ 
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22765297/ 
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30213695/ 
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6117694/ 
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21364848/ 
  11. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/148/3/409/4930799 
  12. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/omega3-supplements-in-depth#hed6 
Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: April 26, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian

Infographic

Salmon oil vs Fish oil infographic
Infographic link

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.
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%

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.
:
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +158.4%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +94.8%
Equal in Saturated Fat - 21.29
22% 33% 45%
Saturated Fat: 19.872 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 29.037 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 40.324 g
23% 61% 17%
Saturated Fat: 21.29 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 56.564 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 15.604 g
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +158.4%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +94.8%
Equal in Saturated Fat - 21.29

Comparison summary table

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

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Salmon oil Fish oil Opinion
Fats 100g 100g
Calories 902kcal 902kcal
Cholesterol 485mg 766mg Salmon oil
Saturated Fat 19.872g 21.29g Salmon oil
Omega-3 - DHA 18.232g 4.206g Salmon oil
Omega-3 - EPA 13.023g 6.273g Salmon oil
Omega-3 - DPA 2.991g 0.619g Salmon oil
Monounsaturated Fat 29.037g 56.564g Fish oil
Polyunsaturated fat 40.324g 15.604g Salmon oil

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Salmon oil Fish oil
Low Fats diet Equal
Low Carbs diet Equal
Low Calories diet Equal
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
0%
Salmon oil
0%
Fish oil
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
0%
Salmon oil
0%
Fish oil

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Salmon oil
Salmon oil is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 281mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Salmon oil
Salmon oil is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 1.418g)
Which food is cheaper?
Salmon oil
Salmon oil is cheaper (difference - $5)
Which food contains less Sugar?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sugar ( g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sodium (0 mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (0)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
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.
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. Salmon oil - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172343/nutrients
  2. Fish oil - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172340/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.