It used to be…

Salmon is rich in protein, essential fatty acids and vitamins; I see a lot of health conscious people order salmon at restaurants. But is this a good idea? Historically, fish has been a high-quality food. Here’s the problem. The oceans are now so polluted with PCBs, dioxins, mercury, flame retardants, agricultural chemicals and other contaminants; it is no longer safe to eat fish. In truth, I still eat fish, but I limit it to once a month and I never eat salmon. Then, I sauna three times a week so I don’t accumulate the toxins.

Salmon is a fatty fish and is particularly high in oil-soluble toxins like PCBs. Fish eaters with high levels of PCBs score lower in learning and memory tests. Farmed salmon is the worst with the highest levels of PCBs and dioxins. A European study showed that people who ate farmed salmon more than once every five months were at increased risk for cancer.

A new wrinkle on the market is “organic” farmed salmon. This may sound good, but organic farmed salmon costs more, while still being nutritionally inferior and more toxic than wild salmon. It’s a poor choice and not worth the extra money.

If you choose to eat salmon, it must be wild salmon. Farmed salmon is the most contaminated by far. However, be aware that the majority of the “wild” salmon on the market is fraudulently-labeled farmed salmon. It’s hard to know what you are eating.

Health and disease are choices, and you make a choice every time you choose what to eat. The key is to make informed choices.