Research indicates that farmed smoked salmon contains almost three times as much fat as the wild version.
The investigation found that smoked salmon derived from fish farmed in Scotland contains more fat than a pizza.
Salmon has been marketed as a healthy oily fish with high omega 3 fatty acid levels, which are good for your health. It is stated that oily fish should be consumed at least once a week.
However, campaigners have dubbed the farmed salmon the ‘couch potato’ of fish. This is because it is grown in confined spaces and does not get the opportunity to swim the same distances as the less fatty, leaner wild fish.
An analysis carried out by the Sunday Times discovered that a margherita pizza from Pizza Express contain around 6.4g of fat per 100, whilst the Sainsbury’s Scottish oak smoked salmon contains around 14g of fat per 100g. The wild form of the fish, Sainsbury’s wild Alaskan smoked salmon, contains around 3.2g of fat per 100g.
The farmed smoked salmon from Tesco contains around three times as much fat as the wild version. It contains 9.9g compared to 3.3g of fat per 100g.
Waitrose’s Heston Blumenthal lapsang souchong tea smoked salmon has a fat content level of 10.5g per 100g, while its wild Alaskan whisky oak smoked salmon contains only 2.7g per 100g.
Waitrose has stated that it intends changing the word ‘lean’ whi9ch is on the lapsang souchong tea smoked salmon, and have apologised for the oversight.
According to a spokesman from Sainsbury’s, its smoked salmon is clearly marked farmed or wild and pointed to the fact that these are two different species of fish so comparing the fat content is not a like-for-like comparison.
Tesco stated that its farmed smoked salmon products have been labelled clearly and include the location of the farm.
Although the omega-3 fatty acids in fish are beneficial, data from the US Department of Agriculture has indicated that farmed salmon has a lower level of omega-3 fatty acids than wild fish.
However, the farmed salmon is more likely to contain more of the fatty omega-3 acid because it has higher levels of fat overall.
Image Credit: Frédérique Voisin-Demery