Trout vs Salmon: Is One More Healthier Than The Other?


There are many types of healthy fish to eat and some maybe not as much. With so many choices of healthy fish, it’s difficult to get a grasp on which ones are the best types to eat. Therefore, I took a look at trout and salmon side by side to see which is healthier. Here’s what I found.

Salmon is healthier than trout because it almost has twice the number of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, salmon contains more vitamins C and B-6. Although both types of fish are considered healthy and recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

This article will inform you about the differences in the major nutrients like omega-3, B vitamins, calories and potassium. In addition, I’ll explain what types of salmon and trout are the healthiest and how often you should eat them per week.

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Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Which Is More Healthy, Trout or Salmon?

Let’s start the comparison by listing the important nutrients of each fish side by side in the table below. 

Nutrient Salmon, Farmed/Cooked
(3.5 Ounces)
Trout, Farmed/Cooked
(3.5 Ounces)
Calories 206 169
Fat 12.3 g 7.2 g
Protein 22.1 g 24.3 g
Omega-3 2,260 mg 1,236 mg
Omega-6 666 mg 949 mg
B-6 0.6 mg 0.4 mg
B-12 2.8 mcg 5.0 mcg
Vitamin C 3.7 mg 3.3 mg
Vitamin A 50.0 IU 287 IU
Niacin 8.0 mg 8.8 mg
Folate 34.0 mcg 24.0 mcg
Potassium 384 mg 441 mg
Magnesium 30.0 mg 32.0 mg
Phosphorus 252 mg 266 mg
Calcium 15.0 mg 86.0 mg
Zinc 0.4 mg 0.5 mg
Selenium 41.4 mcg 15.0 mcg

What really separates the two and gives salmon the edge over trout is the number of omega-3 fatty acids 1. What makes omega-3s so important for your health?

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential because your body doesn’t make them and the only way to get them is from your diet. Omega-3s have been shown in studies to reduce inflammation, improve artery health, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cancer 2. 

Omega-3 is more important, studies have shown people who consume more omega-3 and less omega-6 enjoy more healthy years 3. More people already consume too much omega-6, therefore salmon containing less of it is an advantage 4.

In 2019, the Journal of the American Heart Association, published a study from an updated study by JAMA Cardiology found that fish omega-3 supplements lowered risk for heart attacks and death from coronary heart disease 5.

Although salmon is considered healthier, trout is still considered a healthy fish and provides almost the same magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, niacin and protein. In addition, trout contains more calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B-12 and less calories 6.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 7 list both salmon and trout in their list of best fish choices to eat.

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The Healthiest Fish To Eat

The Healthiest Salmon Fish To Eat

While I’ve established how healthy salmon is, there are different kinds of salmon. Therefore, what is the healthiest salmon fish to eat?

The healthiest salmon fish to eat is wild-caught Alaskan king or sockeye salmon because they have the healthiest oil profile beneficial for heart health. Wild-caught is better than farm raised because it has less pollutants and more healthy fats.

The Healthiest Trout To Eat

Therefore, how about trout? What’s the healthiest trout to eat?

The healthiest trout to eat is wild-caught freshwater trout. Freshwater trout is listed as one of the best choices of seafood to eat because it has low mercury levels. Two to three servings a week of seafood is recommended.

Seafood Containing Mercury

The FDA has made a list of fish, and which ones are the best choices, good choices and ones to avoid 8. They determined this by nutrition and the content of mercury contained in the fish. The best choices of seafood containing the least mercury:

  • Anchovy
  • Atlantic croaker
  • Atlantic mackerel
  • Black sea bass
  • Butterfish
  • Catfish
  • Clam
  • Cod
  • Crab
  • Crawfish
  • Flounder
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Herring
  • Lobster, American and spiny
  • Mullet
  • Oyster
  • Pacific chub mackerel
  • Perch, freshwater and ocean
  • Pickerel
  • Plaice
  • Pollock
  • Salmon
  • Sardine
  • Scallop
  • Shad
  • Shrimp
  • Skate
  • Smelt
  • Sole
  • Squid
  • Tilapia
  • Trout, freshwater
  • Tuna, canned light
  • Whitefish
  • Whiting

The Healthiest and Most Nutritious Fish To Eat

Certain fish are higher in nutrients than others 9. But, some are more delicious. Therefore, what’s the healthiest fish to eat?

The following fish are the healthiest and most nutritious:

  • Alaskan salmon
  • Cod
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Atlantic Mackerel

Overall, wild caught are far healthier and tend to be more delicious than canned or farm raised varieties. Wild-caught have fewer pollutants than farm-raised. Although certain farm raised fish can have the same nutrients as wild caught.

I wrote an article where I compared farm raised salmon to wild caught. The article dives deep and explains how farming operates and it’s impact on the fish you eat. Check out the article here, Farm Raised Salmon Compared To Wild Caught Salmon.

It seems Amazon has everything, so I searched for organic farm-raised salmon but couldn’t find any. Although, they do have plenty of wild caught salmon products. Check them out right here, wild-caught salmon.

Canned Salmon and Trout

As you may know, canned fish is already cooked. Fish is typically steamed before it is canned. Canning the fish allows no air to get to the fish at all, and as a result, it can last almost forever. Learn more about canned salmon in my article, Frozen Salmon vs Canned Salmon: Which is Healthier?

The process of steaming food is known to remove approximately 10% to 15% of the nutrients in the food. However, this is fairly insignificant.

Reservations regarding canned fish are based on the early days of canned goods. Berkeley University Wellness 10 applauds canned salmon and its health benefits 11 but cautions against the following:

  • Omega-3s: Regular canned salmon with skin and bones provide about 2000 milligrams of omega-three per half-cup. Skinless and boneless salmon only contains about 650 milligrams for the same net weight amount.
  • Calcium: Canned salmon is an excellent source of calcium if you eat the bones. It also provides vitamin D. Choosing the deboned premium options is cheating yourself of 200mg of calcium per 4oz serving.
  • Farmed vs. wild-caught. There are some concerns regarding farmed salmon and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). One should choose wild-caught salmon in cans.
  • Sodium: Doctors point out the high sodium levels in canned fish. They suggest rinsing the fish before consuming to reduce the sodium levels.

Surprisingly, canned salmon is available on Amazon at affordable prices. Check what’s available by clicking here canned salmon.

Eating Fish Everyday

Can I eat salmon everyday?

Salmon and trout are quite delicious and healthy. For this reason, you may find yourself eating it more often 12. Therefore, you may be wondering whether you can eat salmon everyday.

Salmon should not be eaten everyday. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating 2-3 servings of seafood a week. Each serving consists of approximately four ounces. 

Can you eat trout everyday?

Trout should not be eaten everyday because the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating eight ounces of seafood a week. The recommendation is two to three servings per week and not everyday.

The same rules applying to salmon apply to trout. And as long as you don’t eat more than eight ounces a week, you should be fine. The FDA’s recommendation of eight ounces a week is all seafood combined, not just trout or salmon individually. 

Pregnant women and children have to be extra cautious due to mercury concerns. They should avoid fish that live longer because they can contain higher levels of toxins, like mercury.

Is Trout or Salmon Better for Weight Loss?

It’s known you should consume less calories than you burn to lose weight. Keeping track of the calories in what you eat and creating a meal plan is important to get a clear picture of how to lose weight. 

The total number of calories a person needs each day depends on the following factors:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Amount of physical activity

Therefore, which has fewer calories, trout or salmon?

Trout contains 169 calories and salmon 206 calories per 3.5 ounces. Therefore, eating trout instead of salmon lowers the number of calories consumed in each serving making it better for weight loss.

Eating healthy salmon and trout alone won’t accomplish weight lose if the remaining nutrition doesn’t consist of healthy foods. A healthy nutrition plan should consist of the following:

  • Healthy wild-caught seafood
  • Lean, organic ground beef
  • Skinless chicken
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Healthy carbohydrates like brown rice, oatmeal and sweet potatoes.
  • Healthy fats like seafood, eggs, natural peanut butter, avocado, olive oil and nuts.

FAQs

How is trout different from salmon? Trout is a freshwater fish and salmon is a saltwater fish. Salmon contains more healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids than trout. Trout fish are typically larger but contain less calories than salmon.

Is trout more expensive than salmon? Trout is less expensive than salmon. On average, trout costs four dollars less per pound than salmon.

Can I substitute trout for salmon? Rainbow trout can be substituted for salmon because it is similar in appearance and flavor.

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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. NutritionData: Salmon[]
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Risk and benefits from consuming salmon and trout: a Canadian perspective[]
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Does-dependent consumption of farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmon salad) increases plasma phospholipid n-3 fatty acids differentially[]
  4. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Lipid composition and contaminants in farmed and wild salmon[]
  5. National Center for Biotechnology: Marine Omega-3 Supplementation and Cardiovascular Disease[]
  6. NutritionData: Trout[]
  7. USDA: Dietary Guidelines[]
  8. FDA: Advice about Eating Fish[]
  9. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Metabolism and Fatty Acid Profile in Fat and Lean Rainbow Trout Lines Fed with Vegetable Oil: Effect of Carbohydrates[]
  10. Berkely Wellness: Salmon: What’s in the Can?[]
  11. Harvard Health Publishing: Is canned fish good for the heart?[]
  12. USDA: Eat fish! Which Fish? That Fish! Go 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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