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Smoked Salmon Health Benefits

by Tara Carson

About Tara Carson

Based in Richmond, Va., Tara Carson has written articles for editorial and corporate online and print publications for more than 10 years. She has experience as an adjunct professor of nutrition at Northwest Christian University and holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism and nutrition from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Salmon is a popular fatty fish. It is often smoked, a cooking method that uses wood chips to heat the fish and give it a rich, smoky flavor. Salmon is a particularly appropriate fish for smoking, because the fat absorbs the flavor and keeps the flesh from drying out. Although wild salmon has many healthful benefits, farm-raised salmon can be a carrier of toxins. Purchase wild salmon when it's in season. Otherwise, check packaging to determine whether the salmon you're purchasing is wild or farm raised.

Low Calories

A 3-ounce serving of smoked salmon has 99 calories, or 5 percent of a standard 2,000-calorie diet. It also has 3.7 grams fat, or 6 percent of the 65 ggram daily the Food and Drug Administration recommends. Smoked salmon is an effective food for weight loss, because of its low calories and high nutritional content.


The protein that a 3-ounce serving of smoked salmon provides is 15.5 grams, or 33 percent of the 46 grams women should have on a daily basis. Including low-fat sources of protein in your diet is important. Red meat and poultry often have saturated fat and cholesterol that contribute to high blood-triglyceride levels, a precursor to cardiovascular disease, while most of the fat in smoked salmon is the healthy unsaturated kind that actually protects the health of your heart.

Vitamin D

There are 582 international units of vitamin D in 3-ounce portion of smoked, which is almost all of the 600 international units you need each day. Vitamin D is a nutrient that contributes to the regulation of bone density. The skin synthesizes vitamin D when it's exposed to the sun. Prolonged periods indoors and during winter weather may reduce sun exposure, and eating fish such as wild smoked salmon is particularly important.


The selenium content in 3 ounces of smoked salmon is 28 micrograms, or 40 percent of the 70 micrograms you need each day. Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect healthy cells from harmful toxins. When the body does not eliminate toxins efficiently, they can alter the structure of healthy cells, contributing to the development of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Selenium may also inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells.

Photo Credits:

  • fresh delicious smoked salmon image by ewa kubicka from Fotolia.com

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.