Foodstruct Nutrition Search | Diet Analysis | Food Comparison | Glycemic Index Chart | Insulin Index Chart | Blog | Subscribe

Tilapia vs. Salmon — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

Compare
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on January 20, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Tilapia
vs
Salmon

Summary

Salmon is a saltwater fish richer in choline, phosphorus, proteins, B complex vitamins, and vitamins A, E, and D. In addition. It is 4.5 times richer in omega-3 fats. In comparison, tilapia is a freshwater fish; it is lower in calories and richer in copper, iron, and selenium. 

 

Introduction

This article is a comparison between salmon and tilapia fish. They are different fish according to their general features, which will be further discussed in the section on the difference in their general aspects. 

By the end of the article, we will understand why both fish are considered healthy nutritional sources of different nutrients. 

Tilapia is a freshwater fish. In comparison, salmon is a saltwater fish.

We will compare salmon and tilapia to each other based on some general aspects, nutritional contents, and health impacts. 

General aspects

In this section, we will discuss some general aspects of their appearance, taste, and flavor. 

Appearance

Tilapia is a smaller fish compared to salmon and has white meat. In comparison, salmon is a bigger fish and has orange-salmon-colored meat. 

Tilapia fish is an excellent source of fish for filleting. 

Taste and flavor

Tilapia fish has a milder flavor compared to salmon. It is often filleted to be fried, baked, or even breaded and deep-fried. In comparison, salmon has a stronger flavor and is more often considered a higher-end fish than tilapia. 

Salmon roe or salmon caviar is widely used in the culinary world. 

Nutritional content comparison

In this section, we will compare 100g of each fish cooked in dry heat - no oil added. 

Calories

Salmon is higher in calories compared to tilapia. Salmon contains nearly 142 calories, whereas tilapia contains 96 calories.

Carbs and Glycemic index

Their carb and glycemic indices are negligible

Proteins

Salmon is richer in proteins compared to tilapia. Salmon contains 25.4g of proteins and tilapia contains 20g of protein. 

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
:
2
Salmon
Contains more Protein +18.3%
Contains more Water +10.6%
Contains more Fats +366%
Equal in Water - 64.75
Equal in Other - 0.8
26% 3% 72%
Protein: 26.15 g
Fats: 2.65 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 71.59 g
Other: 0 g
22% 12% 65%
Protein: 22.1 g
Fats: 12.35 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 64.75 g
Other: 0.8 g
Contains more Protein +18.3%
Contains more Water +10.6%
Contains more Fats +366%
Equal in Water - 64.75
Equal in Other - 0.8

Fats

Salmon is a fattier fish, and tilapia is a leaner fish.

Salmon contains nearly 4.5 times more fats in comparison to tilapia. Salmon is richer in omega-3 fats such as EPA and DHA than tilapia.

Overall, salmon is richer in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. 

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
:
2
Salmon
Contains less Saturated Fat -60.8%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +337.8%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +658.8%
38% 38% 24%
Saturated Fat: 0.94 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.955 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6 g
22% 38% 41%
Saturated Fat: 2.397 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.181 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 4.553 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -60.8%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +337.8%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +658.8%

Minerals

Salmon is richer in choline and phosphorus. In comparison, tilapia is richer in copper, iron, and selenium. 

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.
:
4
Salmon
Contains more Iron +102.9%
Contains more Magnesium +13.3%
Contains more Copper +53.1%
Contains more Manganese +131.3%
Contains more Selenium +31.4%
Contains more Phosphorus +23.5%
Equal in Calcium - 15
Equal in Potassium - 384
Equal in Sodium - 61
Equal in Zinc - 0.43
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5% 26% 25% 88% 34% 8% 12% 25% 5% 297%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5% 13% 22% 108% 34% 8% 12% 17% 3% 226%
Contains more Iron +102.9%
Contains more Magnesium +13.3%
Contains more Copper +53.1%
Contains more Manganese +131.3%
Contains more Selenium +31.4%
Contains more Phosphorus +23.5%
Equal in Calcium - 15
Equal in Potassium - 384
Equal in Sodium - 61
Equal in Zinc - 0.43

Vitamins

Salmon has a richer vitamin profile. It is richer in all B complex vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12. it is also richer in vitamins A, E, and D. 

In the diagram below, we can visualize their distributions. 

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.
:
11
Salmon
Contains more Vitamin K +800%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin E +44.3%
Contains more Vitamin D +254.1%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +265.6%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +84.9%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +69.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +122.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +426%
Contains more Folate +466.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +50.5%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 16% 111% 0% 24% 17% 89% 40% 29% 5% 233% 3%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 14% 23% 393% 13% 86% 32% 151% 89% 150% 26% 350% 1%
Contains more Vitamin K +800%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin E +44.3%
Contains more Vitamin D +254.1%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +265.6%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +84.9%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +69.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +122.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +426%
Contains more Folate +466.7%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +50.5%

Health impacts

Omega-3

It is better to include omega-3 fatty acids in our diets. EPA and DHA have been shown to have various benefits. When consumed in large quantities, omega-3 fats lower triglycerides. They also have cardioprotective properties, nervous system maintenance, and lower risks of Alzheimer's and depression. It can even help increase chemotherapeutic drug tolerance during treatment. 

Salmon is richer in omega-3 fats and provides all these benefits. 

(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)

Wound healing

Although not very significant in nutrition, tilapia collagen extract is useful in wound healing. A fishbone broth might be used in this case. (6)

Cardiovascular health

Salmon is associated with decreased risks of cardiovascular diseases. 

There is a decrease in LDL and triglycerides and addition to increased HDL, which overall decreases risks of atherosclerosis and mortality rates from cardiovascular diseases. (7)

Miscellaneous

Both these fish are packed with nutrients, especially minerals and vitamins. They are a necessary addition to a healthy diet since they provide a good source of macro and micronutrients. As we can visualize in their diagrams, we can see that salmon is richer in most nutrients. However, it is important to mention that tilapia is also rich in nutrients. 

These fish can be added to various diets, including diets catered for bodybuilding purposes, since they are low in calories and have a high nutritive value. 

Nevertheless, if you want to read about trout vs. salmon, check this article which discusses their differences in detail. 

Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: January 20, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

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

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Tilapia Salmon Opinion
Protein 26.15g 22.1g Tilapia
Fats 2.65g 12.35g Salmon
Calories 128kcal 206kcal Salmon
Calcium 14mg 15mg Salmon
Iron 0.69mg 0.34mg Tilapia
Magnesium 34mg 30mg Tilapia
Phosphorus 204mg 252mg Salmon
Potassium 380mg 384mg Salmon
Sodium 56mg 61mg Tilapia
Zinc 0.41mg 0.43mg Salmon
Copper 0.075mg 0.049mg Tilapia
Manganese 0.037mg 0.016mg Tilapia
Selenium 54.4µg 41.4µg Tilapia
Vitamin A 0IU 230IU Salmon
Vitamin A RAE 0µg 69µg Salmon
Vitamin E 0.79mg 1.14mg Salmon
Vitamin D 150IU 526IU Salmon
Vitamin D 3.7µg 13.1µg Salmon
Vitamin C 0mg 3.7mg Salmon
Vitamin B1 0.093mg 0.34mg Salmon
Vitamin B2 0.073mg 0.135mg Salmon
Vitamin B3 4.745mg 8.045mg Salmon
Vitamin B5 0.664mg 1.475mg Salmon
Vitamin B6 0.123mg 0.647mg Salmon
Folate 6µg 34µg Salmon
Vitamin B12 1.86µg 2.8µg Salmon
Vitamin K 0.9µg 0.1µg Tilapia
Tryptophan 0.265mg 0.248mg Tilapia
Threonine 1.156mg 0.969mg Tilapia
Isoleucine 1.22mg 1.018mg Tilapia
Leucine 2.04mg 1.796mg Tilapia
Lysine 2.315mg 2.03mg Tilapia
Methionine 0.766mg 0.654mg Tilapia
Phenylalanine 1.05mg 0.863mg Tilapia
Valine 1.28mg 1.139mg Tilapia
Histidine 0.585mg 0.651mg Salmon
Cholesterol 57mg 63mg Tilapia
Saturated Fat 0.94g 2.397g Tilapia
Omega-3 - DHA 0.13g 1.457g Salmon
Omega-3 - EPA 0.005g 0.69g Salmon
Omega-3 - DPA 0.06g 0.17g Salmon
Monounsaturated Fat 0.955g 4.181g Salmon
Polyunsaturated fat 0.6g 4.553g Salmon
Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid 0.015g Tilapia
Omega-3 - ALA 0.045g Tilapia

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Tilapia Salmon
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
47%
Tilapia
110%
Salmon
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
52%
Tilapia
44%
Salmon

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Tilapia
Tilapia contains less Sodium (difference - 5mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Tilapia
Tilapia is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 6mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Tilapia
Tilapia is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 1.457g)
Which food is cheaper?
Tilapia
Tilapia is cheaper (difference - $13)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Salmon
Salmon is relatively richer in vitamins
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 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.

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. Tilapia - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175177/nutrients
  2. 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.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.