Sea Bass vs Cod – Is One Better? Let’s Compare


Sea bass and cod are two popular fish people love to cook with. They both have different tastes, nutritional values and textures. When deciding for your next meal, you may wonder, what is the difference between cod and sea bass?

Sea bass is sweeter than cod and has a meatier texture. Sea bass provides a higher percentage of omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins than cod. They are different species of fish while sea bass weighs more. Cod is found in saltwater. 

This article will include a side-by-side comparison of all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients. In addition, I’ll examine their benefits, tastes, textures, mercury levels, costs and if one can substitute for the other.

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Sea Bass and Cod Nutrient Comparison

Below is a complete nutrient comparison of sea bass and cod per four ounces:

Nutrient Cod, raw (4 Ounces) Sea bass, raw (4 Ounces)
Calories 93 110
Fat 0.8 g 2.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g 0.6 g
Cholesterol 49 mg 46 mg
Protein 23 g 21 g
Omega-3 0.22 g 0.76 g
B-6 0.2 mg 0.4 mg
B-12 1.0 mcg 0.3 mcg
Thiamin 0.08 mg 0.12 mg
Riboflavin 0.07 mg 0.13 mg
B5 0.1 mg 0.8 mg
Iron 0.4 mg 0.3 mg
Niacin 2.3 mg 1.8 mg
Folate 7.9 mcg 5.6 mcg
Potassium 468 mg 290 mg
Magnesium 36 mg 46 mg
Phosphorus 230 mg 220 mg
Calcium 18.1 mg 11.3 mg
Zinc 0.5 mg 0.4 mg
Selenium 37.5 mcg 41.4 mcg

Nutrient sources Nutrition Value 1 2

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

Sea bass is healthier than cod due to its higher percentage of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins. Sea bass provides more B6, thiamin, riboflavin, B5, magnesium and selenium. 

As everyone knows cod is no slouch and offers a wide variety of nutrients as well. Cod provides a higher percentage of B12, niacin, folate, potassium and calcium. Cod and sea bass contain similar amounts of zinc, phosphorus, iron, cholesterol and protein.

It’s difficult to argue against cod but the main difference between the two fish is the number of omega-3 fatty acids. Sea bass provides over three times more than cod. Keep reading, and the next section explains why omega-3s are important.

Sea bass and Cod Health Benefits

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Sea bass provides 0.76 grams and cod 0.22 grams per four ounces raw. Sea bass contains over three times the amount which leads to the question, why does omega-3 fatty acids matter so much?

It’s because 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.

If you’re wondering how cod compared to salmon in omega-3s check out my article, Cod vs Salmon: Is One Better?

B Vitamins

Of the seven B vitamins listed in the table above, sea bass contained a higher percentage of four of them. The B vitamins in the table 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

Magnesium

Sea bass and cod provide magnesium 4. Adding magnesium to your diet could be instrumental in improving sleep related issues like insomnia. Magnesium relaxes and calms the whole body including the blood vessels 5.

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

Magnesium helps control muscle and nerve function, blood sugar and blood pressure. In the muscles and heart, magnesium competes with calcium to help the muscles relax after contracting.

When the body is low in magnesium, calcium can over stimulate the heart muscle’s cells causing a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Selenium

Sea bass and cod contain good amounts of selenium. Studies 7 show selenium may help to protect the following:

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

Calcium

Cod and sea bass provide a good amount of calcium. Like magnesium, calcium 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.

Potassium

Cod contains almost 500 mg of potassium while sea bass has 290 mg. Potassium is beneficial for reducing sodium intake. It helps the body reduce fluids and rids excess sodium 9. This process helps to reduce blood pressure.

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.

Sea Bass and Cod: Tastes and Textures

One of the most important things people takes into consideration when choosing a fish is its taste. When comparing the two fish, does sea bass taste like cod?

See bass and cod have a mild to sweet taste but sea bass is sweeter. Cod tastes more buttery and is a little more tender than the meatier sea bass.

Sea bass has a mildly sweet flavor and is one of the most flavorful fish. For people who don’t prefer a fishy smell or taste, sea bass is a good choice. Sea bass is medium-firm but flaky and oily. 

Cod has a non-fishy mild taste. The mild taste can be sweet at times and is good for people who don’t like a fishy tasting seafood. Cod’s texture is firm, flaky and moist if cooked properly. Pacific cods are moister than Atlantic cods.

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. 

Sea Bass and Cod Substitutions

When preparing recipes for dinner it’s not always possible to locate the type of fish called for. If you have some sea bass, you may ask, can I substitute sea bass for cod?

Sea bass can substitute for cod due to their similar mild to sweet tastes. Sea bass is a little more tender and may fall apart easier so it shouldn’t substitute for grilling. Sea bass can substitute for cod when baking, frying, poaching and broiling.

Other cod substitutes include the following:

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

The best sea bass substitutes are:

  • Salmon
  • Striped bass
  • Tilapia
  • Cod
  • Grouper
  • Branzino
  • Flounder

When substituting sea bass 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.

Find out how sea bass and Chilean sea bass compared in my article, Sea Bass vs Chilean Sea Bass – Is There A Difference?

Sea Bass vs Cod: Habitats, Size, Weight, Appearance

What is the difference between cod and sea bass?

Sea bass and cod are from different families and species. The average sea bass and cod are approximately the same length but sea bass weighs more. Cod is a saltwater fish while sea bass is mainly saltwater but some can live in fresh water too.

Scientific Classifications, Families, Species

Sea bass is a common name for a number of various species 11. Some common ones include:

  • European Seabass (European seabass is sometimes called branzino)
  • Black Seabass
  • White bass
  • Chilean Seabass 

Cod are from the Gadidae family, Gadus genus and the species include:

  • Morhua (Atlantic cod)
  • Macrocephalus (Pacific cod)
  • Ogac (Greenland cod)

Habitats

Sea bass can be found anywhere from the shores of Africa to the shores in the East Atlantic Ocean. They can also be found in lagoons, estuaries and rivers 12.

Some bass, like striped bass, can live in both fresh and saltwater environments.

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.

Colors

  • White Sea bass is blue to grey with a silver belly.
  • Black Sea bass is a dusky black.

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

Appearance

  • White Sea bass is long and narrow.

Cod is the typical long, narrow body shape and has three dorsal fins.

Size and Weight

  • The average White Sea bass is 36 inches long and 20 pounds

Cod grows an average 27-34″ in length and weighs 5-15 pounds.

Age

  • Black Sea bass up to 12 years.
  • White Sea bass up to 20 years.

Cod lives up to 12 years.

Find out what fish are good substitutes for sea bass in my article, Sea Bass Substitutes: 10 Healthy Alternatives.

Species sources 14 15 16 17 18

How Much Sea bass and Cod Cost

The costs for sea bass or cod will vary depending on how the fish are caught. A cod caught in the ocean will definitely be more expensive than farm-raised cod.

When purchasing cod or sea bass, be sure to check the label to see if it is wild-caught or farm raised. Therefore, which is more expensive, sea bass or cod?

Sea bass is more expensive than cod. The average cost for sea bass is $22.49 per pound while the average cost for cod is $14.74 per pound. The cost will vary depending on location, whether it is farm-raised or wild-caught, fresh or frozen.

I checked the local Freshdirect online supermarket for the current prices of each.

  • Fresh, frozen, wild Atlantic cod
    • $12.49 per pound
  • Fresh, wild caught Atlantic cod
    • $16.99 per pound
  • Wild Black Sea bass fillet
    • $24.99 per pound
  • Farm-raised branzino fillet
    • $19.99 per pound
  • Wild Chilean sea bass fillet
    • $34.99 per pound

I removed the Chilean sea bass from the above average cost because it is much more expensive than any other sea bass. Although Chilean sea bass is really not sea bass anyway. 

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.

Sea bass and Cod Mercury Levels

The EPA and FDA have issued warnings and suggestions regarding mercury levels in fish and how often they should be consumed 19. This is especially important for young infants, developing children and pregnant women.

They established a list of best fish, good choices and ones to avoid based on their mercury levels. Therefore, does sea bass or cod have more mercury?

Black Sea bass and cod have similar levels of mercury. Striped ocean bass contain more mercury than cod. Black Sea bass and cod are listed on the FDA’s best choices of fish to consume regarding their mercury levels. Striped bass is listed as a good choice which should be limited to one serving a week.

Always check with a physician prior to eating new foods or changing your dietary habits.

Read Next – More Cod vs Fish Articles!

Pacific Cod vs Atlantic Cod – What’s The Difference?

Alaska Pollock Vs Cod: A Comparison – Which Is Better?

Cod Vs Tilapia – A Complete Comparison

Haddock vs Cod: Is One Better? A Complete Comparison

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

Atlantic Pollock vs Cod – Is One Better? Let’s Compare

 

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, mixed species, sea bass[]
  2. Nutrition Value: Fish, raw, Atlantic, cod[]
  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. National Institutes of Health: Selenium[]
  8. Harvard Health: Key minerals to help control blood pressure[]
  9. American Heart Association: How Potassium Can Help Control High Blood Pressure[]
  10. Sea Grant North Carolina: Fish Flavors and Substitutions[]
  11. Wikipedia: Sea bass[]
  12. Britannica: Sea bass[]
  13. Wikipedia: Cod[]
  14. NOAA Fisheries: Atlantic Cod[]
  15. Mass.gov: Learn about Atlantic cod[]
  16. The University of Maine: Maine Seafood Guide – Cod[]
  17. NOAA Fisheries: Black Sea Bass[]
  18. NOAA Fisheries: Atlantic Striped Bass[]
  19. FDA: Advice about Eating Fish[]

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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