Salmon: A Fit & Healthy Fish for the Whole Family

Introduction – Why Salmon is a Superfood of the 21st Century

Fish is one of the most popular foods in America. Fish consumption has increased more than 350% since 1977 and is about 40% of all protein consumption in the United States. The number of fish species that are farmed, including salmon, has also increased significantly. A primary reason for the popularity of fish, particularly salmon, is its nutrition profile. Salmon is rich in high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), both crucial to human health.* Also high in vitamin D, salmon takes multiple nutrients and presents few side effects (such as mercury content) compared to other popular animal sources (such as chicken).
Our ancestors have been harvesting salmon for many thousands of years. The native peoples on both the North Pacific Rim and the Atlantic Ocean cooked the fish on the fire and sometimes dried them. Today, there are many methods of cooking salmon, but traditionally it has been baked or boiled because these methods require relatively little technological know-how or specialized equipment. However, as society advances so does technology, and as people become more interested in healthier eating habits (and lifestyles), a greater variety of methods for preparing food become available.
With a growing number of people cooking fish, there is also a greater market for new methods and tools to do so. In the late 1990s, two innovations accelerated this evolution: aluminum foil and plastic wrap. These products have significantly reduced the amount of grease that had been absorbed by traditional cooking methods; however, they require increased time for cooking to reach optimal temperatures because conventional methods require heating the food directly on aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

how long can cooked salmon sit out
how long can cooked salmon sit out

Health Benefits of Salmon

In addition to its coveted nutritional qualities, one of the most remarkable benefits of eating salmon is its ability to reduce blood pressure. Studies from the early 1990s found that people with high blood pressure who consumed 50 grams of salmon/day for six weeks had a 36% reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 15% reduction in diastolic pressure. (Weiss, J. et al, 1991) More recent studies have reported even greater reductions in blood pressure.*(Dosemeci, M. & He, G., 2003) The effects of salmon’s anti-hypertensive effects are likely due to its omega-3 fatty acid content. One study found that men with hypertension who took an EPA+DHA supplement had lower blood pressures than men who did not take the supplement.*(Hammersley, J. et al, 1997) Salmon also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It contains a protein called collagen type II which has been widely studied for its anti-inflammatory effects. (Qi, Z. et al, 2003) Salmon is also high in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with hypertension and depression, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.*(Tangpricha, V., Adams, J., & Norman, A., 2001)
Salmon is also an abundant source of many other nutrients including: selenium, vitamin B6, niacin and riboflavin. It has high levels of calcium, dietary fiber and vitamin B12. One salmon steak (about 3 oz.) contains roughly the same amount of calcium as an eight oz. glass of milk.*(The Council for Responsible Nutrition, 2007)

how long can cooked salmon sit out
how long can cooked salmon sit out

Nutrition Comparison of Other Types of Fish

Sharks may be the lesser of the sea predator, but they are also one of the most dangerous types of fish to eat due to their high mercury content. Many popular types of farmed fish (such as catfish) contain more saturated fat than salmon. A 6-oz serving of salmon has about 7.4 grams of total fat, 2.9 of which are saturated fats. A 6-oz serving of catfish has about 10 grams of total fat, 4.1 of which are saturated fats.*(USDA Nutrient Database) However, a 6-oz serving of tuna has more than 20 grams of total fat (8.95 being saturated), making it the most dangerous type of fish to eat on the market today.
It is commonly accepted that farmed fish are less wholesome than wild fish, the most common reason being that their diets don’t contain any natural fish. Instead, they are fed with corn and soybeans, which is not only not nutritious for them but also raises their cholesterol levels. The diet high in animal fat and low in protein leads to higher cholesterol levels in farm-raised animals as well as humans. The nutrition value of farmed fish has been found to be less than wild-caught counterparts. Whereas farmed Atlantic salmon contain about 93 percent protein, wild-caught fish like halibut have around 85 percent of their protein from animal sources.
In addition, farmed fish are fed pellets made from soy and corn, which are two of the top most common allergenic foods for people with food allergies. If a person is allergic to one of these three main components- soy, corn or wheat-then the overall diet may significantly aggravate the allergy. The nutritional value is affected by the diet as well. For example, farmed salmon contain 12 percent of cholesterol compared to wild salmon which contains only 2.3 percent.

how long can cooked salmon sit out
how long can cooked salmon sit out

Salmon Recipes – How to Make Salmon Taste Like Seafood

Unbeknownst to many people, salmon is not naturally a very fishy tasting food. This is because the oils in salmon are located in the flesh, not under its skin like most other fish (such as tuna). The skin of salmon contains a powerful astringent compound called ichthyotoxins. This chemical makes the flesh dense, dry and unpalatable (it also prevents air from penetrating the flesh and spoiling it). Ichthyotoxins are extracted from fish by soaking the flesh in hot water and then pressing it with an acidic solution. This process strips off most of the ichthyotoxins and any other toxins.
The skin of salmon is edible, but not very tasty. Most people prepare it by removing the skin, seasoning and cooking the flesh. Since most of the fishy flavour comes from the fish’s flesh, this makes most recipes easy to cook and stomach-pleasing. Here are some simple tips to prepare it in a way that suits your taste:
1. Remove the fillet from the skin, seasoning and cooking it.
2. Serve with a rich sauce such as creamy hollandaise sauce, or roasted potatoes.
3. Salmon goes well with most vegetables and grains, and can be cooked by steaming or sauteing, too.
4. Try salmon with delicatessen meat such as ham or salami, sliced tomatoes and parsley, basil leaves, pickles or sardines…
5. Serve with pickled herring, the sweet and sour flavour of which complements the taste of salmon.

how long can cooked salmon sit out
how long can cooked salmon sit out

The Easiest Way to Cook Perfectly Cooked Salmon Every Time

I’m going to show you my secret to making perfectly cooked salmon. It doesn’t require using a fish grinder, like most other methods of cooking salmon. Nor does it require changing the brand of salmon. It doesn’t even require buying salmon from a fish monger since it’s possible to cook it by simply using a wok and an oven (for instructions on how to do this, please scroll down to the “SAVING MONEY METHOD OF COOKING SALMON”). Normally, you will have to look for a salmon with a high fat content which would make it appear like butter. However, I’m going to show you how to cook salmon in the oven (or wok) with hardly any fat or oil.
Here’s what you have to do: just buy salmon that is already boneless or skinless and slice it up into 1 cm thick slices (1/2″ by 1/2″ approximately). Then, heat up the oven to 200 degrees C (390 F) and let it sit on the rack for about 5 minutes. The idea is that the flesh will get a chance to thaw. After that, spread it across a tray of silicon baking paper (or parchment paper if you’re using a wok) and into the oven it goes.
After the salmon has been in there for several minutes, make sure that the oven has cooled down to 200 degrees again. Then, take the salmon out and place it on a plate. Let the excess liquid drain off while you flip the slices over and cook them again for another 5 minutes. The second stage of cooking is to finish off the salmon in a 200 degree oven until it’s golden brown.

how long can cooked salmon sit out
how long can cooked salmon sit out

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