When you’re at the grocery store picking out salmon, you’re faced with two options. Farm raised or wild caught. So, which choice do you make? Is there really that much of a difference between the two? The answer is yes! Choosing wild caught salmon can help you avoid toxins, provides more nutrition, and is even better for the environment.

Benefits of Wild Caught

Nutritional Benefit

  • From a keto standpoint, wild caught salmon is more in line with the keto diet because it has a better ratio of good-to-bad fats. Farm raised salmon contains more fat than wild, but doesn’t have as good of a ratio between omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats.
  • Wild caught provides more overall nutrition because of a diet difference. Farm raised are fed with a more processed diet, which reduces the vitamins and minerals that the salmon provides.
  • Wild caught contains a valuable antioxidant that farm raised doesn’t. Astaxanthin is an anti-inflammatory molecule that is found in wild caught salmon because they eat plankton.

Environmentally Better

  • Wild salmon eat other fish, which potentially removes more fish from the ocean.
  • Wild salmon do not spread as many diseases.

Downsides of Farm Raised

Being Exposed to Parasites and Pollution

  • Instead of eating plankton in the wild, farm-raised are fed “plankton” that are created with petrochemicals.
  • Since farm raised don’t have as much space, it can create some pretty disgusting living circumstances. Waste and food accumulate over time, which potentially brings disease and parasites to the table.
  •  Since there is more disease, there are also antibiotics added into the mix.
  • According to a report from the Environmental Working Group, farmed salmon had very high levels of PCBs, which are toxic man-made chemicals.
  • Farm raised salmon contains dioxins, which is a pollutant that has been linked to a host of negative things including type 2 diabetes, infertility, and heart disease.

Harmful to the Environment

  • British Columbia’s salmon population is disappearing potentially because of a virus that originated in Norwegian salmon farms.
  • When farm raised fish escape, it can alter the genetics of future generations of fish.

While it might be a bit more expensive and less available, the benefit of wild caught salmon could potentially be worth it. When it comes to the quality of your diet, you typically get what you pay for. Consider these things when choosing farm raised or wild caught salmon, it might have a positive effect on your health and the ecosystem!

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