HealthHow To Lose Weight With Salmon - Methods, Benefits & Tips 2024

How To Lose Weight With Salmon – Methods, Benefits & Tips 2024

When it comes to losing weight salmon may not be the choice that springs to mind. Numerous individuals relish salmon for its flavor and the myriad of health advantages it offers such, as promoting heart health and reducing elevated blood pressure. However can consuming salmon aid in shedding those pounds?

Typically, increased fish consumption correlates with reduced prevalence of obesity – and salmon could be one of the best choices for losing weight. But its benefits aren’t just down to its high protein and low calorie content. Read on to find out why salmon is recommended as part of a nutritious weight loss diet.

Is Salmon Good For Weight Loss?

Salmon is often regarded as a superfood due to its abundance of protein and essential nutrients including fats. Interestingly incorporating salmon into your diet can aid in weight loss. Studies indicate that eating fish can lead to some degree of weight reduction although the impact may be more modest compared to diets that don't include fish, such as those centered around meat. While the term "modest amount" might not sound significant it's important to consider how it affects our body composition. This is where the connection, between consuming salmon and losing weight becomes truly intriguing.

While eating oily fish or taking fish oil supplements does not lead to significant overall weight loss, it does significantly reduce abdominal fat and waist size. Now that we know how effective salmon is for weight loss, which varieties should be included in a balanced diet?

Are There Different Kinds Of Salmon?

Certainly! There are kinds of salmon each having its own distinct qualities. For instance we have the salmon renowned for its wonderfully indulgent and fatty texture. Additionally we have five species found in the Pacific region; Chinook (also known as King) Coho (often called Silver) Sockeye (famously known as Red) Pink (affectionately referred to as Humpy). Chum (sometimes humorously called Dog). These species differ in terms of size, flavor and preferred habitats which adds to their uniqueness, in both delights and environmental aspects.

Health Benefits Of Eating Salmon

As well as helping with weight management, the health benefits of eating salmon include:

Promoting Healthy Vision

Salmon contains two nutrients that are known to be beneficial for the health of our eyes and vision. Astaxanthin and vitamin A. Astaxanthin, which is a carotenoid has been proven to offer protection against eye conditions like age related macular degeneration. On the hand vitamin A plays a vital role, in preserving good eyesight throughout all stages of life.

Fighting Inflammation

Prolonged inflammation has been linked to several diseases, from cancer to diabetes. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties. Increasing salmon intake reduces several markers of inflammation and improves overall well-being.

Promotes Bone Health

Salmon contains levels of vitamin D and phosphorus which play crucial roles in promoting healthy bones. Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium and a lack of it can result in decreased bone density. Phosphorus is also a mineral that helps maintain strong bones.

Reduced Risk Of Heart Disease

A diet high in unhealthy fats such as omega-6 increases the risk of heart disease. Many people have excessive levels of omega-6. By balancing these with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, regular consumption of salmon helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve heart health.

Supporting Brain Health

Studies indicate that incorporating oily fish and other types of seafood into our diet might have a positive impact on slowing down the decline in cognitive abilities. Including two servings of salmon, in our meals could potentially lower the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimers disease by approximately 30%.

Improving Mental Wellbeing

Omega-3 deficiencies have been linked to mental health problems, particularly depression. Research suggests that eating one portion of oily fish a week can significantly reduce the risk of depression. Regular use of fish oil supplements can reduce symptoms of depression in as little as three weeks.

Salmon Nutritional Profile

Salmon Nutritional Profile

The nutritional composition of salmon can differ based on the species. Wild caught salmon generally boasts protein content while farmed salmon might have a greater amount of beneficial fats. Nevertheless both types of salmon provide a range of micronutrients:

  • B vitamins, especially B12 and B6
  • Selenium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin A

Salmon is high in protein and low in calories. A 100g portion provides:

  • Calories: 182 kcal
  • Protein: 25.4 g
  • Total fat: 8.13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Dietary fibre: 0 g

Are There Any Scientific Studies?

Scientific studies have shown that incorporating salmon into your diet can be beneficial for weight loss. Salmon has inflammatory properties, which are crucial for managing weight and it offers a high protein content without the excessive unhealthy fats found in meats like beef. Including salmon as part of a balanced diet that also includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains can lead to additional weight loss and improved body composition. This makes salmon a great choice, for those aiming to lose weight.

What’s The Best Type Of Salmon To Eat To Lose Weight?

1. Does Salmon Skin Help With Weight Loss?

Many people throw away salmon skin, but they overlook an important aspect. Rich in omega-3 and protein, salmon skin is just as effective for weight loss as salmon meat. Salmon skin is also rich in collagen peptides, which are beneficial for hair and skin health. Research suggests that the proteins in salmon skin may have anti-diabetic properties.

2. Does Eating Smoked Salmon Help You Lose Weight?

Fish is considered to be one of the top notch protein sources. Smoked salmon serves as a great example. Including high quality protein in your diet like fish can make weight loss efforts easier by boosting feelings of fullness and contentment while also helping with muscle development. Since salmon is a source of protein it contains fewer carbs, unhealthy fats and calories compared to high fat meats such as red meat. This makes it a better choice, for those looking to manage their weight.

3. Is Canned Salmon Effective For Weight Loss?

Canned salmon retains as much protein as its fresh counterpart. However, although canned fish is a good source of omega-3, the levels of this fatty acid in canned salmon vary due to natural differences in salmon muscle. In addition, the thermal processing of canned salmon results in the depletion of some micronutrients, making certain canned salmon varieties potentially less beneficial for weight loss than fresh salmon.

With the understanding that salmon is beneficial for weight loss, the key question remains: how does eating a real food rich in fat promote weight loss? Is the fat in salmon healthy?

Is Salmon Fat Good For You?

Salmon contains a type of fat called omega 3 fatty acids, which are known for their health benefits. Recent research indicates that these polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) can assist with weight loss in reducing unwanted body fat. Omega 3s not have the potential to decrease visible belly fat and trim your waistline but also aid, in eliminating visceral fat. Visceral fat is the yet harmful fat that accumulates around your internal organs.

So it’s clear that salmon fat is beneficial, but why does eating more fat lead to fat loss? It seems paradoxical, but the answer may lie in the effects of omega-3s on mental health, fat metabolism and the gut microbiome.

Omega-3 “Stimulates” Adipose Tissue

There are two categories of fat, namely white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). Individuals who possess a proportion of BAT and a lower amount of WAT generally have a reduced risk of obesity. Excessive WAT can be detrimental since it demands energy for upkeep. Conversely BAT possesses thermogenic capabilities and expends more energy through heat production.

You don’t have to give in to your white fat. Research suggests that increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can ‘stimulate’ fat by converting white adipose tissue to brown. This increases insulin sensitivity, slows down fat storage and boosts fat metabolism – contributing to weight loss.

In addition to eating more fish, other ways to stimulate BAT include exercise, exposure to cold, and polyphenols – colourful fruits and vegetables are an excellent source.

Omega-3 Activates Brain Adaptations

Recent research has revealed some findings about the impact of omega 3s on the hypothalamus, which plays a crucial role in regulating hunger. Maintaining a functioning hypothalamus is vital, for effective weight management. This part of the brain responds to two hormones that govern our eating habits. Leptin and ghrelin referred to as our “satiety” and “appetite” hormones respectively. As we consume food, leptin levels. Once they reach a certain threshold our hypothalamus sends signals instructing us to stop eating.

So if your hypothalamus is working normally, you will follow the leptin signals and stop eating when you are full. Problems arise when your hypothalamus is not working properly. It takes about 20 minutes for leptin levels to reach their maximum, so even people who are sensitive to leptin can overeat if they eat quickly. Not responding to leptin can further prolong the “stop eating” signal.

Omega-3s And The Gut Flora

To put it simply omega 3 fatty acids have the potential to impact the equilibrium of bacteria in your gut. When your gut microbiome is imbalanced, with an abundance of bacteria and a deficiency of beneficial bacteria it can contribute to weight gain. Scientific studies have found that the ratio between two families of bacteria, namely Bacteriodetes and Firmicutes can serve as a reliable indicator, for obesity. If there is a presence of Firmicutes compared to Bacteriodetes it suggests an increased risk of gaining weight.

This is where the role of salmon becomes crucial. Animal studies have shown that eating fish or fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids can improve the bacteroidetes/firmicutes ratio, which is beneficial for weight loss. A well-balanced gut microbiome slows down digestion, limiting the intake of elements that are detrimental to maintaining a healthy weight and favouring the intake of substances that are beneficial.

Brain Swelling Contributes To Weight Gain

For quite some time scientists have recognized that when the brain swells it can lead to problems and even mental disorders. There is now research suggesting that by examining the inflammation levels in a persons hypothalamus we may be able to predict their inclination towards gaining weight. If there is inflammation in the hypothalamus it increases the likelihood of being overweight. Interestingly studies, on animals indicate that introducing omega 3s into a rats brain promptly reduces its appetite and prevents further weight gain.

This is not unexpected, as omega-3 is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that reduces inflammation in the hypothalamus and improves its function. What is surprising, however, is the speed with which the diet changes. These changes are accompanied by an increased response to leptin – the hormone that signals satiety – leading to a reduction in food intake. In addition, omega-3s have the extraordinary ability to help you lose weight by changing the composition of your body fat.

Are There Any Negative Effects Of Eating Too Much Salmon?

Eating an amount of salmon even though it is typically considered healthy can have adverse effects. Salmon naturally contains levels of mercury and other pollutants particularly in larger and older fish. Consuming much can result in the accumulation of mercury in the body leading to potential health issues. Furthermore farmed salmon may contain increased levels of contaminants, like PCBs.

Excessive consumption can also lead to an imbalance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. To minimise these risks, it’s important to eat in moderation and choose wild-caught or responsibly farmed salmon.

Incorporating Salmon Into Your Diet

The best thing about including salmon in your diet is its remarkable adaptability and ease of incorporation. Some nutritious salmon dishes include:

  1. Oven-baked wild salmon flavoured with lemon and thyme
  2. Grilled salmon steaks served with rice and a ginger-miso dressing
  3. Rye bread topped with smoked salmon, avocado and cream cheese
  4. A salmon mayo and cucumber sandwich with canned salmon
  5. A salad mix of canned salmon, crisp lettuce, boiled eggs and fresh tomatoes

As it’s healthier to avoid fried foods, choose a method of cooking salmon that doesn’t require oil. There are several healthy ways to cook salmon, including

  • Baking in the oven
  • Char grilling
  • Gently poaching
  • Steam cooking
  • Light sautéing

Salmon can also be eaten raw when fresh, for example in sushi dishes.

Who Should Avoid Eating Salmon?

Individuals who need to refrain from consuming salmon are those who have allergies to fish as it may trigger reactions. It is also important for individuals with restrictions or religious beliefs that discourage seafood consumption to exercise caution. Pregnant women are advised to moderate their intake of salmon due to its mercury content although the levels of mercury, in salmon are relatively low compared to types of fish.

In addition, people with health conditions that require a restricted intake of protein or potassium should be aware that salmon is rich in these nutrients. Consultation with a healthcare professional is recommended for personalised dietary advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is salmon better for weight loss than other types of fish?

Salmon is one of the best options due to its high protein and omega-3 content, but other fish such as mackerel, sardines and trout are also beneficial for weight loss.

Can eating salmon help reduce belly fat?

Although there isn’t any food that can directly target belly fat incorporating salmon into your diet can aid in overall weight loss potentially leading to a decrease, in belly fat.

How often should I eat salmon for weight loss?

Aiming for 2-3 servings of salmon a week can be a healthy part of a weight loss diet, as recommended by many health organisations.

Is wild salmon better than farmed salmon for weight loss?

Both options are equally good. While wild salmon may have a fatty acid profile farmed salmon is also nutritious and often more budget friendly.

Does the way salmon is prepared affect its benefits for weight loss?

Yes, cooking methods do matter. Grilled, baked or poached salmon is healthier than fried salmon because it retains more nutrients and is lower in unhealthy fats.


Salmon, being renowned for its health advantages and its potential to aid in weight loss has gained global popularity as the most sought after fish. Besides contributing to weight management salmon can enhance brain and heart health while also giving a mood boost. A recommended approach is to incorporate salmon into your diet twice a week as part of a well balanced eating plan. This will help maintain muscle mass achieve omega 3 levels and effectively manage weight.


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Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian & Exercise Nutrition Coach at Catholic Medical Center Brooklyn Queens

Cecilia Lam has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and is a certified nutritionist-dietitian and exercise nutrition coach. She holds a Precision Nutrition coaching certification and an International Fitness Certification from the International Sports Sciences Association. With ten years of experience in the health and fitness industry, complemented by four years in clinical settings, Cecilia has successfully partnered with a diverse range of clients and organizations worldwide.

Health Coach

Ashley Martinez is a writer specializing in thought leadership articles on healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. Her work has been published in numerous healthcare magazines that reflect her expertise. With a keen eye for the latest trends and developments in the medical field, Ashley brings a depth of knowledge and insight that informs and inspires her readers. Her commitment to excellence and passion for making a difference in the lives of others shines through in every piece she writes, making her a valuable contributor to the healthcare discourse.


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