Haddock vs Cod: Is One Better? A Complete Comparison

Haddock and cod look similar and both fish are from the same family. If you’re deciding which fish to cook for your next meal, you may have a difficult time deciding between the two fish. Answering this question may help, which is better cod or haddock?

Cod is better than haddock due to its higher percentage of protein, omega-3 and minerals. Cod contains more thiamin, riboflavin, iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and selenium. Cod has a less fishy taste and due to its firmer texture can be used in more cooking methods than haddock like grilling.

This article will examine all the differences between haddock and cod 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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Haddock and Cod Nutrient Comparison

The table below lists the nutrients for haddock and cod.

Nutrient Cod, raw (4 Ounces) Haddock, raw (4 Ounces)
Calories 93 84
Fat 0.8 g 0.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g 0.1 g
Cholesterol 49 mg 61 mg
Protein 23 g 19 g
Omega-3 0.22 g 0.16 g
B-6 0.2 mg 0.3 mg
B-12 1.0 mcg 2.0 mcg
Thiamin 0.08 mg 0.02 mg
Riboflavin 0.07 mg 0.06 mg
B5 0.1 mg 0.4 mg
Iron 0.4 mg 0.1 mg
Niacin 2.3 mg 3.8 mg
Folate 7.9 mcg 13.6 mcg
Potassium 468 mg 324 mg
Magnesium 36 mg 23 mg
Phosphorus 230 mg 257 mg
Calcium 18.1 mg 12.4 mg
Zinc 0.5 mg 0.3 mg
Selenium 37.5 mcg 29.4 mcg

Nutrient Sources 1 2

Both fish contain a wide variety of similar nutrients. Cod contains more of some while haddock contains more of others. Therefore, is cod healthier than haddock?

Cod is healthier than haddock due to its greater number of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, less cholesterol, more protein and minerals than haddock. Cod contains more thiamin, riboflavin, iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and selenium.

Haddock is no slouch either and contains more B vitamins than cod including, B6, B12, B5, niacin and folate. Let’s take a look at how some of these nutrients benefit your health.

Haddock and Cod Health Benefits

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Haddock and cod contain omega-3 fatty acids. 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 3.

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 black cod to cod. If you’re interested in how many omega-3s black cod contains or just want to learn about it, check out my article, Black Cod Vs Cod – Is There A Difference?


Cod provides more magnesium than haddock 4. Adding magnesium to your diet could be instrumental in improving sleep quality. More so, it helps keep blood pressure levels balanced and stable 5.

Magnesium relaxes and calms the whole body including the blood vessels. A recent study researched 22 studies and concluded magnesium supplementation decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure 6.

B Vitamins

Haddock and cod contain many B vitamins, although haddock provide a higher percentage. These include B6, B12, B5, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and B9 (folate). B vitamins help support the following:

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


Cod contains almost 500 mg of potassium while haddock has 324 mg. Potassium is beneficial for reducing sodium intake. It helps the body reduce fluids and rids excess sodium 7. This process helps to reduce blood pressure.


Cod contains a little more calcium than haddock. 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 8.


Cod and haddock contain good amounts of selenium. Studies 9 show selenium may help to protect the following:

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

While flounder may not be as healthy as cod, what about cod vs tilapia? Check out the battle of these heavyweights in my article here, Cod Vs Tilapia – A Complete Comparison.

Haddock vs Cod: Tastes and Textures

Haddock and Cod 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 haddock and cod?

Haddock is more flavorful and has a fishier taste than cod. Cod is more mild than haddock making it better for people who don’t enjoy a fishy taste. Although haddock’s fishy taste is not overpowering and most people can tolerate it more than seafood with a fishier flavor.

Cod has a mild, non-fishy taste. It also has a mild to sweet flavor. Cod is good for people who want to avoid a fishy tasting seafood or strong taste.

Haddock is mild with a slight fishy taste. It has strong flavor that’s not overpowering for people who don’t enjoy a fishy smell or flavor.

The difference between the tastes of haddock and cod are not large, and most people wouldn’t consider them to be much different. Haddock is often compared to halibut which also has a slightly fishy taste, flavorful but mild.

Haddock and Cod Textures

What’s the difference between haddock and cod’s textures? Cod is firmer than haddock’s tender to firm texture. Cod’s firmer texture holds together better when grilling or searing. A cod fillet is thicker than haddock and has larger flakes.

A properly cooked cod is flaky, firm and moist. The Pacific cods have more moisture to them than Atlantic cods. Cod fillets have large flakes and are thicker than many others.

Haddock has medium sized flakes and is tender but slightly firm. Their fillets are a little thinner than cods with smaller flakes.

cod fish on ice
Regular cod

Haddock and Cod 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 haddock which is more difficult to find than cod. Therefore, can you substitute cod for haddock?

Cod can substitute for haddock due to their similar milder tastes although the textures are sightly different. Substituting cod increases the methods of cooking including grilling or steaming due to cod’s firmer texture. They both can be fried, baked or poached.

Is haddock a good substitute for cod? 

Haddock can substitute for cod due to their similar mild to sweet tastes. If grilling, haddock can’t substitute for cod because the flesh falls apart easily compared to cod. Haddock can substitute for cod when frying, poaching, broiling and baking.

What is a good substitute for cod? Good substitutes for cod include:

  • Pollock
  • Haddock
  • Halibut
  • Striped bass
  • Tilapia
  • Mahi mahi

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

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

Tastes matters more than texture when substituting but you may choose a certain fish if a certain cooking method has to be used. If you’re grilling, a fish like haddock won’t work well due to its flakiness and falling apart easily.

When substituting haddock or cod 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 10.

The color of the flesh for haddock or cod are the same. While raw their flesh is a translucent white to pink color. Cooked both fish’s flesh turn to an opaque whitish color.

Is cod or haddock better for fish and chips? Haddock is better than cod for fish and chips due to its stronger flavor and more tender texture. Haddock hold ups well to deep frying which is necessary for fish and chips.

Is haddock a good fish to eat? Haddock is a good fish to eat due to its strong flavor and tender to firm texture. It’s not too fishy making it a favorite fish for those who dislike very fishy tastes. Haddock is very good to make fish and chips with due to its flavor and deep frying capability.

Another article you should check out is Cod Alternatives: The 12 Best Substitutes. Try other fish like cod for variety or when cod is unavailable. 

Haddock and Cod Mercury Levels

The FDA and the EPA have warnings and suggestions regarding mercury levels in fish and how often to consume them 11. 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 haddock or cod have more mercury?

Haddock and cod contain similar mercury levels. They are listed on the FDA’s best choices in regards to mercury levels. The FDA recommends eating haddock or cod 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.

The Cost of Haddock and Cod

The cost of either haddock or cod will differ depending on the location, fresh or frozen and whether it’s farm raised or wild caught. Which is more expensive, haddock or cod?

Haddock and cod have a similar price. The average cost for wild caught cod is $14.99 per pound while the average cost for wild caught haddock is $14.99 per pound.

The cost will vary depending on location, whether it is farm-raised or wild-caught, fresh or frozen.

I checked Freshdirect for the current prices of haddock and cod.

  • Fresh, wild caught haddock fillet
    • $15.99 per pound
  • Fresh, wild caught cod
    • $16.99 per pound

I checked the local Shopright supermarket and found the following prices for haddock and cod:

  • Fresh wild caught Alaska cod fillet
    • $8.99 per pound
  • Fresh wild North Atlantic cod fillet
    • $12.99 per pound
  • Fish wild North Atlantic haddock fillet
    • $13.99 per pound

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

fresh haddock fish

Haddock vs Cod: Habitats, Size, Weight, Appearance

What are the differences between haddock and cod?

Haddock and cod are both from the Gadidae family and are different species. Cod are typically bigger and weigh more than haddock. Haddock’s color is dark gray while cod its more brownish. Both fish are found in the North Atlantic Ocean, but cod are also in the Pacific Ocean. 

Haddock 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.

Scientific Classifications, Families, Species

  • Haddock are from the Gadidae family,  Melanogrammus genus and M. aeglefinus species.
  • Cod are from the Gadidae family, Gadus genus and species are morhua (Atlantic cod), macrocephalus (Pacific cod) and ogac (Greenland cod).


Haddock are found on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean. In the western side they are found from Cape May, New Jersey in the United States up to Newfoundland in Canada and mostly in the Gulf of Maine. In the eastern waters, they are found north of the English Channel 12.

Atlantic cod is found in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean from Greenland to North Carolina and in the western Gulf of Maine. Pacific cod is found in the North Pacific Ocean from the Bering Sea to California in the east and to the Sea of Japan in the west 13.


  • Haddock is dark gray with a dark gray lateral line running down the body.
  • Cod is brownish with dark spots with a cream lateral line running down the body.


  • Haddock is the typical long, narrow body shape and has three dorsal fins. More narrow than a cod.
  • Cod is the typical long, narrow body shape and has three dorsal fins.

Size and Weight

  • Haddock grows 12-36″ in length and weighs 2-7 pounds.
  • Cod grows an average 27-34″ in length and weighs 5-15 pounds.


  • Haddock live up to 10 years.
  • Cod up to 12 years.

Species sources 14 15 16 17 18

Read Next – More Cod vs Fish Articles!

Flounder vs Cod: Is One Better? Let’s Compare

Blue Cod Vs Cod – A Complete Comparison

Halibut vs Cod: The Differences In Detail

Cod vs Salmon: Is One Better?


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  1. Nutrition Value: Fish, raw, Atlantic, cod[]
  2. Nutrition Value: Fish, raw, haddock[]
  3. National Center for Biotechnology: Marine Omega-3 Supplementation and Cardiovascular Disease[]
  4. Nutrition Value: Cod, raw[]
  5. National Institutes of Health: Magnesium[]
  6. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis[]
  7. American Heart Association: How Potassium Can Help Control High Blood Pressure[]
  8. Harvard Health: Key minerals to help control blood pressure[]
  9. National Institutes of Health: Selenium[]
  10. Sea Grant North Carolina: Fish Flavors and Substitutions[]
  11. FDA: Advice about Eating Fish[]
  12. Wikipedia: Haddock[]
  13. Wikipedia: Cod[]
  14. NOAA Fisheries: Atlantic Cod[]
  15. NOAA Fisheries: Haddock[]
  16. Mass.gov: Learn about Atlantic cod[]
  17. The University of Maine: Maine Seafood Guide – Haddock[]
  18. The University of Maine: Maine Seafood Guide – Cod[]

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