Eating canned salmon is a convenient way to add protein to your diet without adding a lot of fat and could also offer some heart health benefits due to the omega-3 essential fatty acids it contains. However, you should not eat large amounts of fish, as it can increase the likelihood of getting harmful contaminants such as mercury.
Recommended Fish Intake
The American Heart Association recommends consuming fatty fish, such as canned salmon, at least twice a week to reduce the risk of heart disease, with each serving of four ounces of fish. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans also recommends eating at least eight ounces of fish per week to help you get enough omega-3 essential fatty acids.
A three-ounce serving of canned salmon contains approximately milligrams of omega-3 DHA and EPA fats, which is almost twice the recommended minimum intake of 500 milligrams daily. A serving of canned salmon has 138 calories and a serving of canned sockeye salmon has 167. Each of these types of salmon provides approximately 23 grams of protein and more than 10% of the daily value of vitamin B-12, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, phosphorus and selenium per serving.
When choosing fish, you have to take into account the risk of mercury contamination. Some types of fish are usually highly contaminated with this dangerous metal, while others, including canned and fresh salmon, are among the fish that are likely to have the lowest levels of mercury contamination. You can safely eat up to 12 ounces of canned salmon per week, according to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. Due to the low levels of contamination, the American Pregnancy Association states that even pregnant women can safely consume this amount of canned salmon.
Although canned salmon is relatively safe and nutritious, it is high in sodium, with about 400 milligrams per three-ounce serving. This is around 17% of the recommended daily limit of sodium. Fresh salmon would be a healthier option, since taking too much sodium can increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.