Shrimp vs. Salmon — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Shrimp is richer in vitamin E, selenium, choline, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and copper. In comparison, salmon is richer in omega-3 fats, vitamin B complex, vitamin D, and potassium. Salmon is higher in calories and total fats and shrimps are higher in sodium.
Table of contents
The salmon is an anadromous type of fish, meaning that part of their life cycle is in saltwater and the other part is in freshwater. Salmon is one of the healthiest fish in the culinary world. They are rich in protein, omega-3 fats, and vitamin D. Farmed salmon is available mainly in markets. In some cultures, such as the Nordic countries, it is considered the primary source of protein.
On the other hand, shrimp are saltwater animals. Like salmon, most of the shrimp 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. 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 is higher in calories compared to shrimp. Salmon contains 206 calories per 100g, in comparison, shrimp contains 119 calories per 100g.
Salmon and shrimp are equally 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 must be consumed because the human body cannot synthesize them, contrary to non-essential amino acids.
Salmon has a higher fat content, compared to shrimp. Salmon has a higher content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, it does not satisfy the daily recommended values.
Fat Type Comparison
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. Salmon is richer in omega-3 fatty acids.
Vitamin content comparison
Salmon is richer in vitamin B complex, specifically B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, and D.
Shrimp is richer in vitamin E. 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 richer in potassium. Wheras, shrimp is richer in selenium, choline, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and copper.
Noting that shrimps are higher in sodium.
The consumption of salmon and shrimp in moderate amounts has many health impacts.
Shrimp and salmon consumption once a 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. These nerves 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 formed in the brain tissues 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 have their benefits on the brain. Studies concluded that the consumption of salmon decreases the cognitive decline in older 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 raised in farms might have antibiotics added to their ponds to control bacterial growth. Mostly, when grown in farms that are not qualified by the government or any other agricultural supervision, they would contain above-threshold amounts of antibiotics. As consumers, one should be selective of the farms or the suppliers that provide the salmon or shrimp to overcome this issue.
Another aspect is the religious approach. When it comes to kosher food, shrimp is classified as non-kosher, meaning that Jewish people cannot consume them. On the other hand, salmon is considered kosher and can be consumed by the Jewish community.
When it comes to consuming salmon, some cuisines consume salmon in its raw state. Raw salmon is very common in Japanese cuisine. However, it is essential to note that healthcare professionals usually recommend refraining from consuming raw animal meat. Raw salmon, if not appropriately treated, may harbor various types of foodborne infections. A common parasite that harbors salmon is the Diphyllobothrium Latum, 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. Cured salmon 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 significant factor in 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.
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Sugar||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||90µg||69µg|
|Omega-3 - DHA||0.141g||1.457g|
|Omega-3 - EPA||0.135g||0.69g|
|Omega-3 - DPA||0.012g||0.17g|
|Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid||0.012g|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
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.
- Shrimp - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171971/nutrients
- Salmon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175168/nutrients
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.