Why Is Salmon Bad For You?

Salmon, an oily fish, is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds are vital in maintaining the body’s normal functions and decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. But it also has its risks that every person who eats it should be well-aware of.

Why is salmon bad for you? Salmon can contain pollutants, such as methylmercury and dioxins, which have adverse side effects. But we must also point out that these pollutants are only harmful to humans if consumed in larger quantities.

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After reading this article, you will know the reasons why overeating salmon isn’t recommended. I will also look into the benefits of moderate salmon consumption.

Reasons Why Too Much Salmon Can Be Bad For Your Health

The salmon available in our tables are categorized into two types, namely, wild salmon and farmed salmon. These types have their pros and cons in terms of nutrition and contamination from pollutants.

Farmed salmon are more likely to have higher levels of contaminants than wild salmon. It is because farmed fish ingest potentially harmful contaminants from their habitat and food.

They are raised in manmade environments where contaminants can be present at fairly high levels. These contaminants include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, methylmercury, and chlorinated pesticides.

Of these contaminants, PCBs are considered the most dangerous because of their strong association with cancer and other health issues.

It is worth noting that in a 2004 study, farmed salmon had eight times higher PCB concentrations than wild salmon, on average. But the FDA deems these levels safe while the U.S. EPA disagrees.

As for the methylmercury levels and other trace metals in farmed and wild salmons, the current evidence is conflicting. The general consensus is that there’s little difference in methylmercury levels in both types of salmon.

Farmed salmon has higher arsenic content, while wild salmon has higher copper, cobalt, and cadmium levels.

But scientists also agree that trace metals in these types of salmon occur in ultra-low amounts. As such, they are unlikely to cause serious health issues. 

The bottom line is that both farmed and wild salmon can contain trace levels of pollutants and contaminants. These can have adverse effects on human health, such as the increased risk for cancer.

Reasons Why Salmon In Moderate Amounts Can Be Good For Your Health

But there are also several benefits of eating salmon in moderate amounts. Remember that the emphasis is on “moderate consumption” so that the risks are minimized, and the rewards are maximized.

According to the American Heart Association, eating two servings of salmon each week can reduce the risk of cardiac deaths. It is because salmon, like other oily fish, have high levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids that contain healthy cholesterol.

The current research also points to other benefits of omega-3 essential fatty acids, such as protection against Alzheimer’s.

Tip: Remove the dark flesh and skin from salmon and cook it over a grill with the fat dripping off. This technique can reduce PVB levels by as much as 20 percent. 


Eating salmon is a personal decision that each of us must evaluate based on our health condition and aspiration. For most healthy adults, the moderate consumption of salmon is recommended because of its health benefits.

These benefits far outweigh the risks, although we also suggest consulting your doctor about it, if you want.