Is Salmon Good For Weight Loss? Effective Ways To Eat It To Lose Weight 2024


Reviewed by Maggie Herrmann, PT, DPT
is salmon good for weight loss
Nutrient packed salmon. Photo: Maria_Usp/Shutterstock

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When it comes to weight loss, we’re always on the lookout for healthy options that don’t sacrifice taste. One commonly suggested option includes salmon. But, is salmon good for weight loss?

In this article, we dive into whether eating salmon is good for weight loss and which preparation methods are best.

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Is Eating Salmon Good For Weight Loss?

  • Absolutely! Salmon is a great choice for weight loss. 
  • Packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, it promotes feelings of fullness and overall health and provides essential nutrients. 
  • Mindful portion control and considering different varieties and preparation methods are key to maximizing its benefits. 
  • It is also important to consider the risks of salmon eating, including contaminants, antibiotic use, and mercury. 
  • Salmon can be incorporated into several different recipes, making it a versatile addition to your diet. 
  • Enjoying salmon as part of a varied diet can contribute to weight loss whilst offering a host of additional health benefits.

Is Salmon Good For Weight Loss?

is salmon good for weight loss
Salmon is delicious on its own or with other foods. Photo: Sea Wave/Shutterstock

If you’re considering salmon as part of your weight loss journey, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s delve into the different types of salmon and whether they’re good for weight loss.

Is Salmon Skin Good For Weight Loss?

Salmon skin is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their inflammation-reducing benefits.[1] These healthy fats contribute to overall well-being and can even support weight loss efforts.[2] One study looking at weight loss in people who are overweight found that omega-3 supplementation led to weight loss and smaller waistlines and BMI.

It’s important to be mindful of calorie intake, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Salmon skin is high in calories. So, if you’re working to decrease your calorie intake, you might want to remove the skin before cooking.

Is Smoked Salmon Good For Weight Loss?

The delicious taste of smoked salmon can be overshadowed by its high sodium content. High amounts of sodium can cause bloating and water retention, which aren’t ideal for losing weight.

However, low-sodium versions of smoked salmon are available, which can provide the same delicious taste minus the high sodium.

It’s a good idea to exercise caution when portioning smoked salmon in order to limit excess sodiums while still benefiting from salmon’s nutrients. Also, be aware that some smoking processes may add additional calories depending on the ingredients involved during this process.

Is Grilled Salmon Good For Weight Loss?

Aside from creating a smoky flavor, grilling is essential for preserving the vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids in salmon. Grilling is a great low-calorie option for preparing foods, as no additional fat is needed for this process.

Although grilling is a healthy option, it’s important to be mindful of any accompaniments to your salmon. High-calorie dressings or marinades can counteract the health benefits of grilling and potentially hamper your weight loss. Try and opt for flavorful yet low-calorie seasonings and marinades, which will complement the taste without packing on too many calories.

Is Raw Salmon Good For Weight Loss?

Raw salmon offers a wide array of nutritional benefits for weight loss. Raw salmon is rich in protein, which supports sustainable weight loss as it can help you feel fuller for longer.[3]

The omega-3 fatty acids found abundantly in raw salmon are great for cardiovascular health. Research[4] has shown that eating a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the chance of heart attacks and cardiovascular-related deaths. Eating raw salmon does put you at increased risk[5] for foodborne diseases, especially salmonella poisoning.

Is Canned Salmon Good For Weight Loss?

Canned salmon can be a convenient option for weight loss, as it’s easy to work into meals and snacks. Canned salmon is also a valuable source of protein and healthy fats, making it a great addition to a healthy diet. Canned salmon in oil may be packed in polyunsaturated oil or heart-healthy olive oil.

When choosing canned salmon, opt for the salmon packed in water instead of oil. While the nutritional benefits stay intact, choosing the water-based option is the lower-calorie option.

Salmon’s Health Benefits 

This oily fish offers numerous health benefits beyond the different types of salmon. Let’s take a look at what it can offer you besides its benefits for weight loss.

Bone Health 

Salmon is a rich vitamin D and calcium source, both crucial for bone health. Research[6] has shown that vitamin D and calcium supplementation can increase your bone density and lower the risk of osteoporosis. These nutrients work together to promote bone calcification[7] and strength, contributing to overall well-being.

Blood Pressure Regulation

The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon have been linked to cardiovascular health, supporting blood pressure regulation. Regular consumption may contribute to maintaining a healthy heart.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

The omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, potentially reducing inflammation in the body. Scientific studies have shown that consuming omega-3 fatty acids can support inflammatory diseases[1] such as rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, or heart disease.

Brain Health

The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are great for brain health. Research[8] has shown that omega-3 fatty acids can increase blood flow in the brain, supporting memory, learning, and overall brain health.

Mental Health

The omega-3 fatty acids have also been linked to mental health,[9] potentially alleviating symptoms of depression and supporting overall mood. Eating salmon may contribute to a positive impact on your mental well-being.


Salmon is a rich source of astaxanthin,[10] an antioxidant that may benefit eye health. Astaxanthin has been linked to reducing the risk[11] of age-related visual decline and promoting overall eye health.

Risks Of Eating Salmon

Unlike other foods that can hinder your progress, salmon is a great addition as it supports weight loss and nurtures your body with a wealth of nutrients. However, it’s also important to remember there are some downsides and risks to consider before eating salmon.

Both wild-caught and farmed salmon may contain contaminants,[12] such as dioxins, which, when consumed in excess, can pose health concerns.[13] Luckily, government regulations strictly govern contaminant levels in feed to reduce this risk, but it’s still something to consider.

The use of antibiotics in farmed fish feed can be another concern. While this is intended to improve fish health, it has raised environmental and public health concerns. These include the potential for antibiotic resistance and unknown health effects, so choosing salmon from places with stricter regulations may be a good choice if you’re worried about this.

Stricter regulations involve specific dosage limits and withdrawal periods before harvest to minimize risks. When choosing farmed fish, look for adherence to stringent antibiotic regulations, ensuring responsible and sustainable aquaculture practices.

It’s worth noting that while salmon does contain some mercury, the levels are much lower than other fish. If you’re pregnant or trying for a baby, stick to the guidelines[14] of consuming two-three portions of fatty fish per week. Also, avoid raw or uncooked seafood.

What’s In Salmon?

is salmon good for weight loss
Salmon is rich in omega-3. Photo: Sea Wave/Shutterstock

The nutrients found in salmon can vary among its varieties. Farmed salmon tends to have slightly more healthy fats and calories, offering a richer flavor. Wild salmon boasts a slightly higher protein content.

A standard filet of salmon, typically around 180 grams, has around 367 calories.[15] However, variations do occur depending on the type of salmon and cooking method. For instance, 100 grams of cooked farmed salmon contains around 206 calories.[15] Wild salmon, which is leaner, has a slightly lower calorie content at around 182 calories[16] per 100 grams when cooked.

Remarkably low in saturated fat, salmon stands out as a good source of protein. One filet[15] of cooked salmon has around 22 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrates and sugar, and 40 grams of protein.

It is also recognized as an excellent source of essential nutrients, including the below:

  • Vitamin B12.
  • Vitamin B6.
  • Selenium. 
  • Niacin.
  • Pantothenic Acid.
  • Thiamin.
  • Phosphorus.

As with all food choices, it’s always important to be mindful of portion sizes and ensure you have a variety of protein sources and are well-hydrated.

Ways To Eat Salmon For Weight Loss

Opting for grilled or baked salmon allows you to relish its flavor while keeping you in a calorie deficit. A grilled or baked serving of salmon has around 175 calories and 19 grams of protein, offering a sense of fullness and supporting weight loss.

Experimenting with different seasonings and spices can enhance salmon’s flavor while still supporting weight loss efforts. Consider adding healthy options like herbs, lemon, or spices to enhance its taste. Choosing wild salmon over farmed options can further trim down the calories.

Here are some healthy recipe ideas you can try for your weight loss journey!

Grilled Lemon Herb Salmon

Marinate salmon filets in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, and a medley of fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and parsley. Grill the salmon until it flakes easily with a fork, creating a succulent and flavorful dish rich in omega-3.

Baked Dijon Mustard Salmon

Combine Dijon mustard, minced garlic, a touch of honey, and a splash of low-sodium soy sauce to create a zesty marinade. Coat the salmon filets with the mixture and bake until the salmon is cooked through. The mustard will add a tangy kick without excess calories.

Salmon And Quinoa Bowl

Cook the quinoa and layer it in a bowl with a variety of colorful vegetables, like cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado. Top the bowl with grilled or baked salmon filets and drizzle with a light vinaigrette made from olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs.

Spicy Sriracha Salmon Skewers

Create a marinade with Sriracha sauce, low-sodium soy sauce, minced ginger, and a dash of sesame oil. Thread salmon chunks onto skewers, coat with the marinade, and grill for a spicy and satisfying dish.

Salmon And Asparagus Foil Packets

Place salmon filets on a bed of asparagus spears in a foil packet. Season with lemon slices, dill, salt, and pepper, then seal the packets and bake for a simple and nutritious one-pan meal.

Grilled Lemon And Dill Salmon Burgers

Pulse the salmon in a food processor and mix with breadcrumbs, an egg, dill, mustard, lemon zest, and season to taste. Shape the mixture into four patties and grill for 4-5 minutes per side. Toast the burger buns and assemble the burgers, topping with greens and tomato. Serve with lemon wedges, and enjoy!

Salmon Avocado Salad

In a large bowl, combine salad greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion. Top with grilled, flaked salmon and avocado slices. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice and olive oil, and season to taste. Toss gently to combine and serve immediately. 

Remember to be mindful of portion sizes and pair these recipes with a variety of vegetables to support weight loss efforts. Enjoy the numerous and delicious ways to incorporate salmon into your diet! 


While salmon stands out as a nutritional powerhouse and a great addition to a healthy diet, it’s essential to consider the risks of its consumption. 

The benefits of its high protein content, omega-3 fatty acids, and various vitamins make it a great food for weight loss. However, remember to be mindful of portion sizes, as salmon is relatively high in calories. Also, consider the risks of consuming salmon, such as contaminants, the use of antibiotics, and mercury. 

By making informed choices, such as opting for wild-caught salmon, you can maximize salmon’s health benefits while reducing the risks. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you lose weight eating salmon?

Yes, consuming salmon can aid weight loss. Packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, it promotes satiety and overall health. However, mindful portion control is key. 

Is salmon better than chicken for weight loss?

Both salmon and chicken can be part of a weight loss diet. Salmon offers omega-3 fatty acids, but chicken is leaner, providing high protein with fewer calories. The choice depends on individual preferences and dietary goals. 

Which is the best fish for weight loss?

Salmon is an excellent choice for weight loss due to its high protein content. Other options, like trout and mackerel, are also great for weight loss. Ultimately, variety is key to a well-balanced diet. 

Can I eat salmon every day?

Yes, you can eat salmon every day as part of a healthy diet. However, try and vary your protein sources for a well-rounded nutrient intake. 

+ 16 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Kirsty Yull is a highly experienced professional in the medical and healthcare industries. She has an impressive academic background with a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition, alongside Graduate Diplomas in Applied Sports Nutrition and Healthcare Leadership. Throughout… See More