Beware the Homer Simpson of Fish

You probably heard eating more fish is good for your heart and brain. Especially fatty fish like salmon because it’s when pizza is healthier than salmonrich in omega-3 fatty acids. But there’s a common type of salmon that’s so bad for you, you can think of it as the Homer Simpson of fish: lazy, fat, and chronically unhealthy.

Sadly, this bad salmon is often sold as lean and healthy.

The bad boy in the bunch is farm-raised, smoked salmon. Maybe you know how farm raised fish contains antibiotics, more inflammatory omega-6’s instead of healthier omega-3’s, and so on. New information shows farmed, smoked salmon is also fattier than a chain store pizza.

The U.K.’s Sunday Times investigated some varieties of farmed smoked salmon and found they may contain up to twice the fat as a margherita pizza from Pizza Express. And up to 3X more fat than wild caught salmon.

“The farmed salmon is a couch potato compared to the majestic and iconic wild salmon,” Don Staniford, director of the Global Alliance against Industrial Aquaculture, told the Sunday Times. “It is complete nonsense to describe this flabby farmed fish as lean and healthy.”

So why is farm-raised salmon fattier than wild caught? It’s all about their environment…

Farmed salmon is usually raised in small areas where they can’t swim freely. They’re basically hovering around and putting on weight.

In contrast, wild salmon swim hundreds of miles. Thus containing only a fraction of the fat. And the fat it does contain is higher in healthy omega-3’s.

In addition to the fat content, smoked, farmed salmon also contains enough sodium to knock out a horse. Lox, the belly portion of salmon, contains 567 mg/ounce.

And with smoked salmon, you also get chemicals like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and pathological bacteria, which can lead to cancer and increase risk of fatal infections.

We’re not saying to eat pizza for heart health. This is just a reminder that not all foods are as healthy as what their labels claim.