There’s a fish fight going on inside my head and I can’t decide which freshly caught variety will win. Our fishmonger is all about Halibut and our Chef Jeremy is set on Salmon, and they are both freshly caught and newly arriving to Salty’s kitchens. What a delicious contest! In one corner we have Halibut, a hearty, muscled up, smack-down white fish that lives leagues under the sea. In the other corner we have the laser-focused endurance expert, the fleet-finned red Salmon that trains for years to swim hundreds of miles upriver. It’s a tough nutritional choice and a fierce flavor and texture competition.
Pound for pound these contenders have nearly equal amounts of protein. Neither one contains even a gram of fiber nor carbohydrate. They are both excellent sources of potassium and I know that “Low potassium is associated with a risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, digestive disorders, and infertility.” So far it’s a tie.
In the next round Halibut throws a punch at Salmon by being 30% lower in calories ounce per ounce. Point there. Salmon jabs back with about four times more omega-3 fatty acids, which are fabulous for maintaining healthy hearts and producing anti inflammatory benefits. Score big on that move for Salmon. But higher omega-3 fatty acids require a higher fat content and Salmon has about two and a half times the fat content of Halibut. If you are trying to cut fat or calories Halibut is your better bet.*
Why are these two fish so different athletically? Well, Salmon goes the distance. It has to store fat in order to swim hundreds of miles up river without taking any breaks to eat, sort of like a marathon runner. Halibut on the other hand meanders hundreds of miles on the bottom feeding as it goes, consequently it doesn’t need to store the same amount of fat and calories. This fat difference also gives Halibut a lower cholesterol score. Not to be outdone, Salmon is higher in the vitamin B12, which is essential for red blood cell production.
All in all, I say it’s a split decision. In the final analysis, Salmon and Halibut are some of the most healthful foods on the planet, and doctors recommend we eat two servings a week at the very least. Not to mention the fact that they are both absolutely delicious. In this fierce competition either could win. They each have their gifts but only one fish will make it to your plate for dinner tonight. You can’t lose, so let your breadbasket decide. As for me, I’m calling it a draw.