Is Salmon Good For Weight Loss? Everything You Should Know 2023

Esther Seun, BSN
Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN
Is salmon good for weight loss in 2023? Discover why salmon is a great choice for weight loss with its low-calorie and high-protein content.
is salmon good for weight loss
Salmon is a rich source of protein. Photo: Nhung Nguyen

Healthy and effective weight loss requires smart dietary changes, including a low-calorie diet. Despite reducing calories, it is important that your body gets the proper nutrients. Hence, the ideal diet is one that is high in protein but low in calories. Eating protein-rich foods helps you build more muscle mass, which makes you burn more calories, promoting weight reduction.

Salmon fits perfectly into the picture with its high protein and low-calorie content. Eating salmon ensures you take more protein, burn more calories, and build muscle. Consuming healthy fats also prevents weight gain associated with unhealthy fats. It also makes you feel fuller for longer and prevents overeating.

Eating salmon comes with numerous health benefits. In this article, we will answer the question, “Is salmon good for weight loss?” highlighting the various ways you can take salmon and how it helps you lose weight.

Is Eating Salmon Good For Weight Loss?

Is eating salmon good for weight loss? Absolutely yes! Salmon is one of the best foods to add to your weight loss diet. Despite being described as a fatty fish, its calorie content is within a healthy range, providing over 200 calories per serving. Eating salmon also ensures a healthy, balanced diet as it is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and various minerals and vitamins.

Is Salmon Good For Weight Loss?

Is eating salmon good for weight loss? Absolutely yes! Salmon is one of the best foods you can add to your weight loss diet. Despite being described as a fatty fish, its calorie content is within a healthy range, providing over 200 calories per serving. Eating salmon also ensures a healthy, balanced diet as it is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals.

These nutrients also help you reduce weight. For example, eating protein induces weight loss[1] by increasing metabolic rate. It also increases satiety by suppressing the hunger hormone ghrelin and making you feel fuller for longer periods. This prevents overeating and helps you consume fewer calories.

Studies[2] also show that omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon significantly reduce body fat mass and increase lean mass (muscle). Another study also shows that these omega-3 fatty acids improve postprandial glycemic control[3] and regulate blood sugar levels. This helps prevent carb or sugar cravings.

However, consuming salmon alone won’t necessarily make you lose weight. Rather, eating salmon should be combined with other lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise and a low-calorie yet balanced healthy diet.

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Is Salmon Skin Good For Weight Loss?

Salmon skin is an excellent source of healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, which promote weight loss. However, you should consume salmon skin in moderation because it is also high in calories and saturated fat. 

So, if you’re trying to lose weight, we recommend you remove the skin before cooking. This will help reduce your overall calorie and fat intake.

Is Smoked Salmon Good For Weight Loss?

Eating smoked salmon is another way to consume salmon and lose weight. Although it has fewer omega-3 fatty acids than fresh or canned salmon, it remains low in calories, low in saturated fat, and high in protein. A meal of smoked salmon makes you feel full, boosts your metabolic rate, and aids weight loss.

Smoked salmon can be added to other dishes. However, it is mostly eaten as a snack. It is high in sodium and should be consumed in moderation.

Is Grilled Salmon Good For Weight Loss?

Grilled salmon is a good option for weight loss because excess fat is lost during grilling, making you eat less fat. Also, it requires less oil or butter to prepare, reducing additional calorie and fat intake. Hence, it’s a healthier way to eat salmon.

Is Raw Salmon Good For Weight Loss?

is salmon good for weight loss
Raw salmon is safe to eat for weight loss. Photo: Sea Wave/Shutterstock

Raw salmon (salmon sashimi or sushi) is low in calories and high in protein, and you lose weight. However, the FDA recommends[4] you cook your salmon rather than eat it raw to lower your risk of having food-borne illnesses. If you would eat raw fish, ensure it has been previously frozen.

Is Canned Salmon Good For Weight Loss?

Canned salmon is a convenient and affordable way to add this oily fish to your diet. Canned salmon is as nutritious as fresh salmon. It contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids that can help you lose fat and build muscle. 

You must quickly use the salmon in a can once you open it. This is because the quality of the omega-3 fatty acids in canned salmon reduces when exposed to air or light and reduces its nutritional value. You should also note that canned salmon contains more calcium and sodium.[5]

The Nutritional Value Of Salmon

The nutritional value of salmon depends on its variety. Salmon has different species, including king salmon, farmed salmon, sockeye salmon, Atlantic salmon, wild salmon, and coho salmon.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, farmed salmon[6] and wild salmon[7] has the following nutritional value per 100 grams (3.5 ounces) respectively:

NutrientFarmed SalmonWild Salmon
Calories208 kcal182 kcal
Protein20.4 g25.4 g
Fat13.4 g8.13 g
Carbohydrate0 g0 g
Fiber (Total dietary)0 g0 g
Fatty acid (Total unsaturated)7.66 g5.96 g
Fatty acid (Total saturated)3.05 g1.26 g
Sodium59 mg56 mg
Calcium9 mg15 mg
Iron0.34 mg1.03 mg
Magnesium27 mg37 mg
Phosphorus240 mg256 mg
Selenium24 µg46.8 µg
Vitamin B123.23 µg3.05 µg
Vitamin B60.636 mg0.944 mg
Niacin8.67 mg10.1 mg
Pantothenic acid1.55 mg1.92 mg
Cholesterol55 mg71 mg

Overall, here are some interesting salmon nutrition facts:

  • Wild salmon is slightly more nutritious than farmed salmon.
  • Farmed salmon has more healthy fats and calories than wild salmon, with higher protein content.
  • Salmon has zero sugar, carbs, and fiber. 

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Recipes To Try

is salmon good for weight loss
Salmon can be enjoyed as a salad dish. Photo: Sea Wave/Shutterstock

There are several ways you can add salmon to your diet. You can eat it as a main dish or add it to rice and pasta dishes. You may also eat with salad or mince it and use it to top salads. At other times, you may use it to make salmon burgers or patties.

Here are a few simple and healthy salmon recipes that can help you lose weight:

  • Baked Lemon Salmon.
  • Salmon Burgers with Avocado.
  • Toasted Quinoa, Lentil, and Poached Salmon Salad.
  • Salmon noodle soup.
  • Grilled Salmon Salad.
  • Zingy Salmon and Brown Rice Salad.
  • Salmon with New Potato and Corn Salad and Basil Dressing.
  • Pan-Fried Salmon with Watercress, Polenta Croutons, and Capers.
  • Mustard-Crusted Salmon with Celeriac <ash.
  • Teriyaki Salmon with Rice
  • Salmon with Lemon-Herb Orzo and Broccoli.
  • Grilled Salmon and Cucumber, Fresh Herb, and Feta Salad.
  • Baked Salmon Strips with Parsley and Lemon.
  • Smoked Salmon Pinwheels.
  • Crispy Baked Salmon Patties.


Serving: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes


  • 4 salmon filets.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil or herbs of choice.
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder.
  • ½ teaspoon salt.
  • 1 lemon (Sliced into wedges; extract the lemon juice while slicing)


  • Place salmon filets into a large bowl and pour the olive oil and lemon juice over the filets. Rub the mixture in.
  • Add your dry ingredients – dried basil or herbs, garlic powder, and salt – into a small bowl. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and rub the mixture evenly over the filets.
  • Arrange the coated filets into the air fryer basket. Ensure the basket isn’t overcrowded so that the salmon can cook well. 
  • Set the air fryer to 400 degrees and cook for about five to seven minutes per side or as you desire.
  • Serve salmon with lemon wedges. Eat and enjoy!


Is eating salmon good for weight loss? Yes, it is. Salmon is a nutritional powerhouse that offers numerous nutritional benefits. Eating at least two servings per week can meet your nutrient needs, help you lose weight, and reduce your risk of developing various diseases.

It is an excellent source of other vital nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin D, and B vitamins. These help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease, reduce inflammation, protect skin cells, and promote bone health.

While salmon consumption promotes healthy weight loss, it’s important to note that combining eating a balanced diet, portion control, regular physical exercise, and overall lifestyle modifications is key to losing and maintaining a healthy weight. In some cases, you may need to take a weight loss supplement. You can choose from our best weight loss supplements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you lose weight by eating salmon?

Yes, you can lose weight by eating salmon. Salmon is a great source of high-quality protein and is low in calories, making it a great food choice to add to your weight loss diet plan.

Does salmon help you lose belly fat?

Salmon can help reduce body fat fast, including belly fat. Consuming salmon boosts satiety and makes you eat less. It also controls blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of metabolic diseases contributing to belly fat.

Can I eat salmon every day for weight loss?

Yes, you can eat salmon every day to lose weight if you choose to. However, you can include other lean protein sources like chicken, beans, peas, tofu, and other seafood into your weight loss diet plan.

Is salmon better than chicken for weight loss?

Studies suggest that salmon may be a better weight-loss option than chicken. However, you can add both to your dietary plan and eat in moderation.

How much salmon is good for weight loss?

This depends on individual factors such as your calorie needs, dietary plan, and how much you exercise. Eat at least two servings of salmon per week to get adequate essential nutrients while keeping your calorie intake in check.

What type of salmon is best for weight loss?

The best type of salmon for weight loss is wild-caught salmon. Wild salmon has lower calories and fat than farmed salmon. It is also richer in omega-3 fatty acids, improving insulin sensitivity and controlling blood glucose levels.

Can I take canned salmon to lose weight?

Canned salmon is as nutritious as fresh salmon. It contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids that can help you lose fat and build muscle. The slight difference is that canned salmon contains more calcium and sodium.[5]

How can I add salmon to my diet to lose weight?

You can add salmon to your breakfasts, snacks, or dinners. Preparing it using different methods such as baking, roasting, smoking, grilling, steaming, or poaching could help. If you prefer it raw, you could make sashimi or sushi.


  1. Moon, J. and Koh, G. (2020). Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss. Journal of obesity & metabolic syndrome, [online] 29(3), pp.166–173. doi:
  2. Kembra Albracht‐Schulte, Kalupahana, N.S., Ramalingam, L., Wang, S., Shaikh Mizanoor Rahman, Robert-McComb, J.J. and Naima Moustaid‐Moussa (2018). Omega-3 fatty acids in obesity and metabolic syndrome: a mechanistic update. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, [online] 58, pp.1–16. doi:
  3. Bjørn Liaset, Jannike Øyen, Jacques, H., Kristiansen, K. and Madsen, L. (2019). Seafood intake and the development of obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Nutrition Research Reviews, [online] 32(1), pp.146–167. doi:
  4. Center (2023). Selecting and Serving Fresh and Frozen Seafood Safely. [online] U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Available at:
  5. (2023). FoodData Central. [online] Available at:
  6. (2023). FoodData Central. [online] Available at:
  7. (2023). FoodData Central. [online] Available at:

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