The contention here is usually specific to salmon.
There are several reasons for the free salmon to be healthier. First, farm-raised salmon are typically fed food pellets consisting of a mush of other fish by-products. These pellets have been found to have high levels of PCBs in them.
Second, the fish often spend their entire lives in a small, confined area. Thus, they do not get the exercise or physical activity that other fish get, and so their fat levels are higher.
Because their diet is entirely made up of their food pellets, their color is a little off, so after they are killed, it is quite common to add a coloring to them so that they look more “pink.”
Care should be taked to ensure you have wild fish, and not farm raised fish. Note that the farm raised fish are less expensive, so you will pay more for the healthier fish.
Farmed salmon in particular often contain higher levels of long-lived industrial chemicals that have bene linked to cancer growth. This is due in large part to the artificial coloring used in farm salmon. Because of their diet, farmed salmon would normally be a very unappetizing grey. So in order to make the product more marketable, an artificial colorant is added to make that nice pink color in farmed salmon.
Salmon is one of the healthiest sources of proteins you can eat and health authorities suggest that we North Americans should be eating more healthy proteins such as seafood. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week, especially species high in omega-3 fatty acid such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout, regardless of whether they are wild or farmed.
As farm-raised salmon are a fast growing fish, there are very low unwanted contaminants found in the flesh. Science proves over and over again that farmed salmon are very low in common contaminants such and mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
From a nutritional stand point, the Omega 3 fatty acid levels in farm-raised salmon are amongst the highest found in fish. As most farmed salmon is of the Atlantic variety, and the Atlantic salmon is a naturally fattier fish, the levels of these good fatty acids are generally greater than most wild Pacific salmon.Farmed and wild salmon are solid sources of both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids (the healthy fats), which play a crucial role in brain function, stimulate skin and hair growth and maintain bone healthy. Farmed salmon is also a particularly rich source of the B family of vitamins, including B12 and niacin. Farmed salmon is also low in sodium, often a concern these days.
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