Is A Salmon’s Diet Right For You? Study Suggests Humans Eat More Of What They Eat

by Ella

A groundbreaking study published in Nature Food suggests that adopting a diet resembling that of wild fish consumed by salmon could offer numerous health benefits surpassing those of consuming salmon directly. Lead author Dr. David Willer of the University of Cambridge emphasizes the potential of this dietary shift to enhance both human health and environmental sustainability.

Key Findings:

Nutrient Comparison: Researchers compared the nutrient content of farmed salmon with that of wild fish species commonly used as feed, such as mackerel, herring, and anchovies. The study focused on essential nutrients vital for human health, including iodine, calcium, iron, vitamin B12, omega-3, and vitamin D, among others.


Nutrient Density: Wild-feed fish exhibited similar or higher concentrations of essential nutrients compared to farmed salmon fillets. Notably, calcium, iodine, iron, omega-3, vitamin B12, and vitamin A content were significantly higher in wild fish.


Health Implications: Consuming a diet rich in wild-feed fish offers numerous health benefits, including reduced cardiovascular disease risk and improved overall well-being.


Current Dietary Patterns: Despite the nutritional advantages, a significant disparity exists between the consumption of salmon and that of wild-feed fish. While 24% of adults regularly consume salmon, only a small fraction include mackerel, anchovies, or herring in their diets.


Industry Considerations: The study underscores the need for the aquaculture industry to improve nutrient retention in farmed salmon. Strategic use of feed ingredients and sustainable sourcing practices are essential for enhancing nutrient density in farmed fish.

Environmental Sustainability: Encouraging the consumption of wild-feed fish not only benefits human health but also reduces pressure on fish stocks. Sustainable practices in the fishing and aquaculture industries are crucial for preserving ocean ecosystems.

Future Outlook: The researchers advocate for the expansion of the aquaculture industry while prioritizing environmental conservation. They also call for the development of affordable, appealing products derived from wild-feed fish and salmon by-products for direct human consumption.


In conclusion, the study highlights the nutritional superiority of wild-feed fish over farmed salmon and advocates for dietary changes to optimize human health and environmental sustainability. Embracing a diet reminiscent of salmon’s natural prey offers a pathway to enhanced well-being while alleviating strain on marine resources.



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