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, Alaska Pollock vs Atlantic Pollock, which is better?
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 pollock including a side-by-side nutrient comparison. In addition, I’ll compare both fish tastes, textures, cooking methods, mercury levels and whether one can substitute for the other.
As a Certified Health Coach, many of my clients ask me about fish. In addition to coaching clients about pollock, I’ve purchased, researched and consumed both fish for over 20 years.
Alaska Pollock and Atlantic Pollock Nutrition Comparison
The table below lists the nutrients for both pollock per four ounces.
|Nutrient||Alaska Pollock, raw (4 Ounces)||Atlantic Pollock, raw (4 Ounces)|
|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|
Both fish contain a wide variety of similar nutrients. One Pollock contains more of some while the other pollock contains more of others. Therefore, let’s examine which one is healthier.
Atlantic Pollock is healthier than Alaska Pollock due to its great number of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, minerals and B vitamins. They provide 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. It contains less calories, cholesterol and fat. It provides more B6 and the same folate.
Let’s examine why the vitamin, mineral and amino acid makes both fish a healthy alternative for your meals.
Alaskan 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 both pollock provide a good amount like most fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are heart healthy and help keep arteries healthy.
Omega-3s are one of the most important health benefits.
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 found in pollock 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 cod. If you’re interested in how many omega-3s cod contains in comparison, check out my article, Pollock vs Cod – Is One Better? Let’s Compare.
Both pollock provide a good amount. Adding magnesium to your diet could be instrumental in improving sleep quality. Magnesium relaxes and calms the whole body including the arteries.
Both 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:
- Red blood cells
- Energy levels
- Brain function
- Cardiovascular health
- Nerve function
While both fish provide calcium, Atlantic Pollock provides over four times the amount of calcium than their fish cousin. 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.
Both Pollock contains a good amount. 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.
Pollock contains 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 Pollock 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 fish to avoid based on their mercury levels. Let’s take a look at the mercury levels of pollock.
Atlantic Pollock and Alaska Pollock contain similar mercury levels. They are listed on the FDA’s best choices in regards to mercury levels.
Always check with a physician prior to eating new fish, foods, changing your dietary habits and how often to consume certain fish.
Alaska Pollock vs Atlantic Pollock: Tastes and Textures
Let’s face it, a huge decision when deciding between two fish to eat, is their tastes. Therefore, let’s take a look at the difference between the taste of the two pollock.
Atlantic Pollock has a stronger taste and more flavorful than Alaska Pollock. This is due to its higher oil content.
Atlantic Pollock is a good fish to eat and 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. It is good for people who dislike a fishy smell or taste. Pollock has a milder flavor than cod.
I conducted original research and compared taste by polling my readers, health coaching clients and members of food groups I belong to. I asked them which pollock tastes better?
- 59% said they preferred Alaskan.
- 41% said they preferred Atlantic.
I conducted more taste research by setting up a blind taste test at my home. Both fish were seasoned and cooked the same exact way. The results were similar to the poll above, Alaskan was the winner.
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.
I wrote an article recently comparing Pollock to Cod. Find out which one of them has the better nutrients and taste, Cod: A Comparison – Which Is Better?
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 Pollock, which is more difficult to find in the local stores. Therefore, let’s examine if you can substitute one pollock for the other.
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.
Good substitutes for Atlantic Pollock include:
- Rainbow trout
Good substitutions for Alaska Pollock include the following:
When substituting either pollock try to 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.
The cost of either Pollock will differ depending on the location, fresh or frozen and whether it’s farm raised or wild caught.
To conduct original research on costs I visited various stores and checked their prices.
First, I checked Fulton Fish Market online and found the following price:
- Fresh, wild Pollock (Atlantic)
- $9.72 per pound
I checked Reds Best and found the following price:
- Fresh, wild pollock (Atlantic)
- $10.00 per pound
I checked Walmart and found some frozen fillets .
- Fresh, wild frozen Pollock (Alaska)
- $4.77 per pound
The availability of Pollock will be difficult to find in your local supermarket. You’d have a better chance finding it in a fish market or online.
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.
Pollock are not an endangered species but made the news when fishing quotas were reduced from 2008-2010 in the Bering Sea fishery due to stock declines.
Scientific Classifications, Families, Species
- Alaska Pollock is from the Gadidae family, Gadus genus (Pacific cod) and Gadus chalcogrammus species.
- Atlantic Pollock is from the Gadidae family, Pollachius genus and Pollachius Pollachius species 13.
- Alaska Pollock habitat is found throughout the North Pacific Ocean. They are most common in the Bering Sea according to NOAA Fisheries.
- 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 14.
- 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.
- Both Pollock have the typical long, narrow body shape and have three dorsal fins.
Size and Weight
Pacific Pollock are generally smaller than their Atlantic cousins.
- 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.
- Alaska Pollock lives up to 12 years.
- Atlantic Pollock lives up to 23 years.
If you have any questions about this article or other posts, don’t hesitate to email notify us. You can find an email on our contact page. We’ll do our best to reply as soon as possible.
Read More Posts: Fish vs Fish
- Nutrition Value: Fish, raw, Alaska, pollock
- NutritionData: Fish, pollock, walleye, raw Nutrition Facts & Calories
- Nutrition Value: Fish, raw, Atlantic, pollock
- National Center for Biotechnology: Marine Omega-3 Supplementation and Cardiovascular Disease
- National Institutes of Health: Magnesium
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis
- Harvard Health: Key minerals to help control blood pressure
- American Heart Association: How Potassium Can Help Control High Blood Pressure
- National Institutes of Health: Selenium
- FDA: Advice about Eating Fish
- Sea Grant North Carolina: Fish Flavors and Substitutions
- Alaska Department of Fish and Game: Walleye Pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus)
- Britannica: Pollock
- Wikipedia: Pollock