Alaska Pollock vs Atlantic Pollock: Which Is Better?


Alaska Pollock and Atlantic Pollock are both called pollock but they’re from different oceans. If you’re wondering which one to include in your seafood dish, you’ll want more information on them. Therefore, which is better Alaska Pollock or Atlantic?

Atlantic Pollock is better than Alaska Pollock due to its stronger flavor and firmer texture. Atlantic Pollock provides a higher percentage of protein, minerals and B vitamins than Alaskan. Atlantic Pollock contains 0.50 grams of heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids while Alaskan Pollock has 0.28 grams. 

This article will examine all the differences between Atlantic pollock and Alaskan including a side-by-side nutrient comparison. In addition, I’ll compare their tastes, textures, cooking methods, mercury levels and whether one can substitute for the other.

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Alaska Pollock and Atlantic Pollock Nutrient Comparison

The table below lists the nutrients for Alaska and Atlantic pollock.

Nutrient Alaska Pollock, raw (4 Ounces) Atlantic Pollock, raw (4 Ounces)
Calories 86 104
Fat 0.9 g 1.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g 0.2 g
Cholesterol 69 mg 81 mg
Protein 19 g 22 g
Omega-3 0.28 g 0.50 g
B-6 0.07 mg 0.3 mg
B-12 1.8 mcg 3.6 mcg
Thiamin 0.03 mg 0.05 mg
Riboflavin 0.09 mg 0.21 mg
B5 0.2 mg 0.4 mg
Iron 0.3 mg 0.5 mg
Niacin 1.3 mg 3.7 mg
Folate 3.4 mcg 3.4 mcg
Potassium 375 mg 403 mg
Magnesium 57 mg 75 mg
Phosphorus 215 mg 250 mg
Calcium 13.6 mg 68.0 mg
Zinc 0.4 mg 0.5 mg
Selenium 21.9 mcg 41.4 mcg

Nutrient Sources 1 2 3

Both fish contain a wide variety of similar nutrients. Alaska Pollock contains more of some while Atlantic pollock contains more of others. Therefore, is Alaska Pollock healthier than Atlantic?

Atlantic Pollock is healthier than Alaska Pollock due to its great number of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, minerals and B vitamins. Atlantic Pollock provides a higher percentage of B12, thiamin, riboflavin, B5, niacin, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc and selenium. 

Alaska Pollock also contains all the same vitamins and minerals, although fewer amounts, making it healthy too. Alaska Pollock contains less calories, cholesterol and fat. It provides more B6 and the same folate.

Let’s examine why these nutrients make both fish a healthy alternative for your meals.

Alaska Pollock and Atlantic Pollack Health Benefits

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Atlantic Pollock provides almost double the number of omega-3 fatty acids than Alaskan. Although they both provide a good amount like most fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are heart healthy and help keep arteries healthy.

One way they accomplish this is by keeping bad cholesterol low and good cholesterol high. Two of the fatty acids, DHA and EPA are associated with lowering blood pressure and improving the health of blood vessels 4.

In addition, they help keep the blood vessels healthy by reducing inflammation, plaque build-up, triglycerides and can help keep the heart rhythms more normal.

Studies suggest omega-3s can help reduce joint pain and stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis. They may also boost the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs.

I recently wrote an article comparing Atlantic Pollock to cod. If you’re interested in how many omega-3s cod contains in comparison, check out my article, Atlantic Pollock vs Cod – Is One Better? Let’s Compare.

Seafood is renowned for being a part of many diets like keto or heart healthy.

If you’re eating low-carb or want to give keto a try, many of my clients have followed this 28-Day Keto Challenge with great success. Visit their website and check it out.

Magnesium

Atlantic Pollock provides 75 mg per four ounces while Alaskan contains 57 mg. Adding magnesium to your diet could be instrumental in improving sleep quality. Magnesium relaxes and calms the whole body including the arteries.

More so, it helps keep blood pressure levels balanced and stable 5. A recent study researched 22 studies and concluded magnesium supplementation decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure 6.

B Vitamins

Atlantic Pollock and Alaska Pollock contain many B vitamins, although Atlantic provides a higher percentage. B vitamins include B6, B12, B5, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and B9 (folate). B vitamins help support the following:

  • Digestion
  • Red blood cells
  • Energy levels
  • Brain function
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Nerve function

Calcium

While both fish provide calcium, Atlantic Pollock provides over four times the amount of calcium than Alaska Pollock. Calcium, like magnesium is important for blood pressure and the heart.

Harvard Health reports calcium helps maintain blood pressure because it helps to control the relaxing and tightening of blood vessels 7.

Potassium

Alaska Pollock contains 375 mg of potassium while Atlantic Pollock has 403 mg. Potassium is beneficial for reducing sodium intake. It helps the body reduce fluids and rids excess sodium 8. This process helps to reduce blood pressure.

Selenium

Alaska Pollock and Atlantic Pollock contain good amounts of selenium. Studies 9 show selenium may help to protect the following:

  • Immune system
  • Heart disease
  • Thyroid health
  • Cognitive issues

Atlantic Pollock and Alaskan Mercury Levels

The FDA and the EPA have warnings and suggestions regarding mercury levels in fish and how often to consume them 10. This is especially important for pregnant women, breastfeeding or for young toddlers and infants.

They established a list of best choices, good choices and ones to avoid based on their mercury levels. Therefore does Atlantic Pollock or Alaska Pollock have more mercury?

Atlantic Pollock and Alaska Pollock contain similar mercury levels. They are listed on the FDA’s best choices in regards to mercury levels. The FDA recommends consuming either pollock no more than two servings a week.

Always check with a physician prior to eating new foods, changing your dietary habits and how often to consume certain fish.

Atlantic Pollock vs Alaska Pollock: Tastes and Textures

Atlantic Pollock and Alaska Pollock Tastes

Let’s face it, a huge decision when deciding between two fish to eat, is their tastes. Therefore, what’s the difference between the taste of Alaska Pollock and Atlantic Pollock?

Atlantic Pollock has a stronger taste and more flavorful than Alaska Pollock. This is due to its higher oil content. 

Atlantic Pollock has a mild to strong taste. Its stronger flavor comes mainly from its oily, high fat content.

Alaska Pollock has a mild, non-fishy taste. Alaska Pollock is good for people who dislike a fishy taste.

Atlantic Pollock and Alaska Pollock Textures

What’s the difference between Atlantic Pollock and Alaska Pollock’s textures? Atlantic pollock and Alaskan have tender textures. Although Atlantic pollock’s texture is more firm and holds together better while cooking. Both fish have medium to large, coarse flakes. 

Alaska Pollock is flaky and tender.

Atlantic Pollock has medium sized flakes and is tender but slightly firm.

I wrote an article recently comparing Alaska Pollock to Cod. Find out which one of them has the better nutrients and taste, Alaska Pollock Vs Cod: A Comparison – Which Is Better?

Alaska Pollock and Atlantic Pollock Substitutes

Sometimes you won’t have the exact fish for a recipe, or the seafood section of the supermarket doesn’t have what you need. Especially with Pollocks, which is more difficult to find in the local stores. Therefore, can you substitute Alaska Pollock for Atlantic Pollock?

Atlantic Pollock and Alaska Pollock can substitute for each other in recipes although their tastes are slightly different. Atlantic Pollock’s texture is more firm but both fish can be cooked using similar methods like fried, baked, broiled or poached.

What is a good substitute for Atlantic Pollock? Good substitutes for Atlantic Pollock include:

  • Halibut
  • Branzino
  • Tilapia
  • Hake
  • Butterfish
  • Cod
  • Rainbow trout

What is a good substitute for Alaska Pollock? Good substitutions for Alaska Pollock include the following:

  • Tilapia
  • Flounder
  • Cod
  • Haddock
  • Butterfish
  • Hake

When substituting Alaska Pollock or Atlantic always stick to the following:

  • Same size and weight.
  • Stick with similar fillets, whole fillet or cross section.
  • Stick with skinless or skin when the recipe calls for one.
  • Texture is more important for certain cooking methods. Like using a firmer texture when grilling 11.

Alaska Pollock vs Atlantic Pollock: Habitats, Size, Weight, Appearance

What is the difference between Atlantic Pollock and Alaska Pollock?

Alaska Pollock and Atlantic Pollock are from the same family but are different species. Atlantic Pollock is a longer fish and weighs more than Alaska Pollock. Alaska Pollock is darker and has speckled spots. Atlantic is brownish-green with a lighter colored lateral line. Alaskan is found in the North Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Pollock is found in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

Pollock is sometimes used as scrod. If you’re interested in learning about scrod, check out my article about it, Scrod vs Cod: There’s More To The Story.

Another name for Alaska Pollock is walleye pollock 12. Atlantic Pollock is also called Coley.

Scientific Classifications, Families, Species

  • Alaska Pollock is from the Gadidae family, Gadus genus and Gadus chalcogrammus species.
  • Atlantic Pollock is from the Gadidae family, Pollachius genus and Pollachius Pollachius species 13.

Habitats

  • Alaska Pollock is found throughout the North Pacific Ocean. They are most common in the Bering Sea 14.
  • Atlantic Pollock is found in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. They are most commonly found swimming on the western Scotian Shelf and in the Gulf of Maine 15.

Colors

  • Alaska Pollock has dark speckled spots with a charcoal like coloring and slightly pale on the belly.
  • Atlantic Pollock is brownish-green on the back and slightly pale on the belly. They have a lighter lateral line running down the body.

Appearance

  • Alaska Pollock is the typical long, narrow body shape and has three dorsal fins.
  • Atlantic Pollock is the typical long, narrow body shape and has three dorsal fins.

Size and Weight

  • Alaska Pollock average 12-20″ in length and weighs 1-3 pounds.
  • Atlantic Pollock grows to 42″ in length and weighs up to 27 pounds.

Age

  • Alaska Pollock lives up to 12 years.
  • Atlantic Pollock lives up to 23 years.

Species Sources 16 17 18

The Cost of Atlantic Pollock and Alaska Pollock

The cost of either Atlantic Pollock or Alaskan will differ depending on the location, fresh or frozen and whether it’s farm raised or wild caught.

I checked Fulton Fish Market online and found the following price for Atlantic Pollock:

  • Fresh, wild Atlantic Pollock
    • $9.72 per pound

I checked Reds Best online and found the following price for Atlantic Pollock:

  • Fresh, wild Atlantic pollock
    • $10.00 per pound

I checked Walmart and found some frozen fillets of Alaska Pollock.

  • Fresh, wild frozen Alaska Pollock
    • $4.77 per pound

The availability of Atlantic and Alaskan Pollock will be difficult to find in your local supermarket. You’d have a better chance finding it in a fish market or online.

To save some money on fresh seafood, would you believe some can be purchased on Amazon? Check out their current prices and selection, Fresh Seafood.

Read Next – More Fish vs Fish Articles!

Cod vs Salmon: Is One Better?

White Bass vs Striped Bass: The Key Differences

White Perch vs White Bass: Which Is Better?

Farm Raised or Wild Caught Shrimp – Which Is Best?

Farm-Raised Vs Wild Caught Scallops: Which Seafood Is Best?

 

Article Resources: Foods For Anti-Aging follows strict guidelines to ensure our content is the highest journalistic standard. It's our mission to provide the reader with accurate, honest and unbiased guidance. Our content relies on medical associations, research institutions, government agencies and study resources. Learn more by reading our editorial policy.
  1. Nutrition Value: Fish, raw, Alaska, pollock[]
  2. NutritionData: Fish, pollock, walleye, raw Nutrition Facts & Calories[]
  3. Nutrition Value: Fish, raw, Atlantic, pollock[]
  4. National Center for Biotechnology: Marine Omega-3 Supplementation and Cardiovascular Disease[]
  5. National Institutes of Health: Magnesium[]
  6. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis[]
  7. Harvard Health: Key minerals to help control blood pressure[]
  8. American Heart Association: How Potassium Can Help Control High Blood Pressure[]
  9. National Institutes of Health: Selenium[]
  10. FDA: Advice about Eating Fish[]
  11. Sea Grant North Carolina: Fish Flavors and Substitutions[]
  12. Alaska Department of Fish and Game: Walleye Pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus) []
  13. Britannica: Pollock[]
  14. Wikipedia: Alaska Pollock[]
  15. Wikipedia: Pollock[]
  16. NOAA Fisheries: Atlantic Pollock[]
  17. The University of Maine: Maine Seafood guide – Pollock[]
  18. NOAA Fisheries: Alaska Pollock[]

Kevin Garce

Kevin Garce is a Certified Health Coach who encourages people by informing them on nutrition and food topics important to them. His years of research and knowledge inspire people to achieve their goals. Read more here About Me

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