Tilapia vs Mahimahi - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
Tilapia and mahi mahi have many differences in nutritional content. Tilapia is higher in protein, fat, vitamin D, and selenium. Mahi mahi contains more cholesterol, vitamin A, and fewer calories. Two species promote heart health.
Table of contents
Tilapia and mahi mahi are two of the most consumed fishes in the world. In this article, we will compare these foods, focusing on their nutritional composition and health impact, and showing their actual differences.
Tilapia (1) is a freshwater fish from the Cichlidae family. This fish is usually widespread in the Nile river and the Middle East. Tilapia has a fishy, mild, and a bit sweet taste. Tilapia has a broader range of cooking methods: it is usually consumed in sealed, poached, steamed, grilled, raw, baked, or smoked forms. You can easily find tilapia in markets, in frozen or fresh form.
Mahi mahi (2), the dolphinfish or dorado fish, is a yellow or bright-green predatory fish primarily found in Hawaii. Mahi mahi has a non-fishy flavor compared to tilapia. It is usually fried with herbs, lemon, and spices. The fish lives in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea. However, it is sold and found worldwide.
Here we will discuss the macronutrient, mineral, and vitamin composition of raw tilapia and mahi mahi. Both of them do not provide any quantities of carbs.
Tilapia is higher in protein than mahi mahi. Per 100g serving, tilapia provides 26.2g of protein, while mahi mahi contains 23.7g of it.
Both contain many essential amino acids, such as lysine, histidine, and phenylalanine.
Tilapia is nearly three times higher in fats than mahi mahi. It is richer in both saturated and unsaturated fats. Tilapia is an excellent source of omega-6 fatty acids.
Surprisingly, mahi mahi is 37mg higher in cholesterol than tilapia.
Fat Type Comparison
Tilapia and mahi mahi are classified as low-calorie foods. Due to its higher protein and fat composition, tilapia provides more calories than mahi mahi. It has 19 more calories per 100g serving.
Mahi mahi provides more zinc and iron than tilapia. Tilapia contains more phosphorus and copper. Tilapia is lower in sodium than mahi mahi. Mahi mahi is rich in mercury, while tilapia provides more selenium (3).
Check the mineral comparison chart below for a visual representation of the distribution of minerals.
Tilapia is richer in vitamins B1 and B12. Mahi mahi contains vitamin A which is not present in tilapia. In contrast, mahi mahi lacks vitamin D, which is produced in tilapia.
Tilapia and mahi mahi consumption is connected to lower cardiovascular disease risk (4). This is due to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid composition. These two compounds are long-chain essential fatty acids that are not produced in the human organism. Hence we must get them with the food we eat. Research shows that the risk of heart disease increases when there is no balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid concentrations in the blood flow (5). Mahi mahi boosts omega-3 levels in the bloodstream of those with higher omega-6 levels (6).
Mahi mahi is considered a food with moderate quantities of mercury. While this mineral is not harmful to healthy middle-aged persons, it can harm kids, teenagers, and pregnant women. (7). To minimize mercury poisoning, limit your fish intake.
While consuming tilapia, you should consider it is often fed with animal feces and farmed with toxic chemicals and banned techniques. It may contain dioxin, a potential carcinogen (8).
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in glycemic index||Equal|
|Lower in price||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||0µg||62µg|
|Omega-3 - DHA||0.13g||0.113g|
|Omega-3 - EPA||0.005g||0.026g|
|Omega-3 - DPA||0.06g||0.012g|
|Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid||0.015g|
|Omega-3 - ALA||0.045g|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet||Equal|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low glycemic index diet||Equal|