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How much of the omega-3s are in the fatty gray meat under the skin?


02/27/2006

by Craig Weatherby



From time to time, we pull a frequently-asked-question out of the FAQ page on our Web site, and this one comes up a lot.


Question:

How much of the omega-3s in salmon reside in the fatty gray meat just beneath the skin? I suspect that most of this must be lost when the skin is removed.


Answer:

While the gray fatty layer is rich in omega-3s, containing a third or more of the total amount found in the salmon, the red meat of skinless wild salmon fillets is also rich in these beneficial fats.


One reason our "Traditional Style" canned salmon is more popular than the skinless-boneless versions is that it is packed with the skin, so it provides all of the healthy fats found in the whole fish, and the full flavor and nutrients they impart.


However, tests conducted by the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory show that even without the skin, the flesh of sockeye salmon alone offers more than 1.2 grams of EPA and DHA per 3.5 oz (99 g) serving. This exceeds the 650 to 1,000 mg recommended daily intake of omega-3s by more than 20 percent, and means that a single 6 oz portion of our skinless-boneless sockeye salmon still contains an amazing 2-plus grams of omega-3s per serving.


So, whether the flavorful and nutritious gray fat is consumed or not, one is assured of getting a significant “dose” of EPA, DHA—and many other vitally important nutrients, including astaxanthin and vitamin D—with each serving.


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