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Tilapia vs. Mahimahi — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan by Ani Harutyunyan | Last updated on July 24, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Tilapia
vs
Mahimahi

Summary

Tilapia is higher in protein, fat, vitamin D, phosphorus, and selenium. It is also lower in sodium and cholesterol.

On the other hand, mahi mahi contains more calcium, potassium, vitamin B3, vitamin A, and fewer calories

Introduction

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.

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.

Nutrition

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.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +10.2%
Contains more Fats +194.4%
Equal in Protein - 23.72
Equal in Water - 71.22
Equal in Other - 4.16
26% 3% 72%
Protein: 26.15 g
Fats: 2.65 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 71.59 g
Other: 0 g
24% 71% 4%
Protein: 23.72 g
Fats: 0.9 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 71.22 g
Other: 4.16 g
Contains more Protein +10.2%
Contains more Fats +194.4%
Equal in Protein - 23.72
Equal in Water - 71.22
Equal in Other - 4.16

Protein

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.

Fat

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

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +516.1%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +184.4%
Contains less Saturated Fat -74.4%
38% 38% 24%
Saturated Fat: 0.94 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.955 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6 g
40% 26% 35%
Saturated Fat: 0.241 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.155 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.211 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +516.1%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +184.4%
Contains less Saturated Fat -74.4%

Calories

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.

Minerals

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.

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 Phosphorus +11.5%
Contains less Sodium -50.4%
Contains more Copper +41.5%
Contains more Manganese +94.7%
Contains more Selenium +16.2%
Contains more Calcium +35.7%
Contains more Iron +110.1%
Contains more Magnesium +11.8%
Contains more Potassium +40.3%
Contains more Zinc +43.9%
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 6% 55% 28% 79% 48% 15% 17% 18% 3% 256%
Contains more Phosphorus +11.5%
Contains less Sodium -50.4%
Contains more Copper +41.5%
Contains more Manganese +94.7%
Contains more Selenium +16.2%
Contains more Calcium +35.7%
Contains more Iron +110.1%
Contains more Magnesium +11.8%
Contains more Potassium +40.3%
Contains more Zinc +43.9%

Vitamins

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.

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 B1 +304.3%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +169.6%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +16.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +56.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +30.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +275.6%
Equal in Folate - 6
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 0% 16% 111% 0% 24% 17% 89% 40% 29% 5% 233% 28% 3%
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%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +304.3%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +169.6%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +16.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +56.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +30.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +275.6%
Equal in Folate - 6

Health impact

Cardiovascular health

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).

Health risks

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).

Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: July 24, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

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

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Tilapia Mahimahi Opinion
Protein 26.15g 23.72g Tilapia
Fats 2.65g 0.9g Tilapia
Calories 128kcal 109kcal Tilapia
Calcium 14mg 19mg Mahimahi
Iron 0.69mg 1.45mg Mahimahi
Magnesium 34mg 38mg Mahimahi
Phosphorus 204mg 183mg Tilapia
Potassium 380mg 533mg Mahimahi
Sodium 56mg 113mg Tilapia
Zinc 0.41mg 0.59mg Mahimahi
Copper 0.075mg 0.053mg Tilapia
Manganese 0.037mg 0.019mg Tilapia
Selenium 54.4µg 46.8µg Tilapia
Vitamin A 0IU 208IU Mahimahi
Vitamin A RAE 0µg 62µg Mahimahi
Vitamin E 0.79mg Tilapia
Vitamin D 150IU Tilapia
Vitamin D 3.7µg Tilapia
Vitamin B1 0.093mg 0.023mg Tilapia
Vitamin B2 0.073mg 0.085mg Mahimahi
Vitamin B3 4.745mg 7.429mg Mahimahi
Vitamin B5 0.664mg 0.865mg Mahimahi
Vitamin B6 0.123mg 0.462mg Mahimahi
Folate 6µg 6µg
Vitamin B12 1.86µg 0.69µg Tilapia
Choline 51.3mg Tilapia
Vitamin K 0.9µg Tilapia
Tryptophan 0.265mg 0.266mg Mahimahi
Threonine 1.156mg 1.04mg Tilapia
Isoleucine 1.22mg 1.093mg Tilapia
Leucine 2.04mg 1.928mg Tilapia
Lysine 2.315mg 2.178mg Tilapia
Methionine 0.766mg 0.702mg Tilapia
Phenylalanine 1.05mg 0.926mg Tilapia
Valine 1.28mg 1.222mg Tilapia
Histidine 0.585mg 0.698mg Mahimahi
Cholesterol 57mg 94mg Tilapia
Saturated Fat 0.94g 0.241g Mahimahi
Omega-3 - DHA 0.13g 0.113g Tilapia
Omega-3 - EPA 0.005g 0.026g Mahimahi
Omega-3 - DPA 0.06g 0.012g Tilapia
Monounsaturated Fat 0.955g 0.155g Tilapia
Polyunsaturated fat 0.6g 0.211g Tilapia
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 Mahimahi
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
45%
Tilapia
33%
Mahimahi
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
52%
Tilapia
52%
Mahimahi

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Tilapia
Tilapia contains less Sodium (difference - 57mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Tilapia
Tilapia is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 37mg)
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 - 0.699g)
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 ($)
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. Tilapia - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175177/nutrients
  2. Mahimahi - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171992/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.