A 140g portion from a Scottish farmed salmon such as this provides more vitamin D and omega-3s than in the past, a study commissioned by Salmon Scotland shows. Photo: Cooke Aquaculture Scotland.

Scottish salmon 'now an even healthier choice'

A new nutritional analysis of Scottish salmon carried out by the University of Stirling has found that a single 140g portion is healthier than previously thought and provides more than 70% of daily vitamin D needs.

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The study by the university’s Nutritional Analytical Service also revealed that salmon has 4.5 times the daily recommendation for omega-3 fats, more than half of daily protein needs, and 42% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.

The analysis, commissioned by Salmon Scotland – formerly the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation - collected 15 samples of farm-raised Scottish salmon flesh, representative of typical Scottish produce, and put them through a variety of laboratory tests to assess nutrient levels.

Click on image to enlarge. Graphic: Salmon Scotland.

Vitamin D and omega-3s

The new figures for vitamin D and omega-3s are 7% to 8% higher than previous tests conducted in 2003 and 2020.

Dietitians recommend that adults and children should eat two weekly servings of fish – and one of these should be oily fish, like farmed salmon.

Vitamin D is particularly important in winter, when the lack of sunshine in Scotland makes it harder for humans to produce it naturally.

Immune function

In a press release from Salmon Scotland, dietitian and TV nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton said: “Vitamin D is essential for normal immune function, something focusing everyone’s mind at the moment, as well as supporting bones, muscles and teeth.

Percentage of daily recommendation from one salmon portion

  • Protein: 56%
  • Calories: 19%
  • Vitamin D: 71%
  • Vitamin E: 42%
  • Salt: 2%

“More than a quarter of us are vitamin D deficient and this only gets worse in the winter when sunshine – which stimulates our bodies to make vitamin D – is in short supply.

Vision and heart

“Omega-3 fats from marine foods – nutrients that many of us lack because we don’t eat enough fish – are proven to support vision and heart function. Experts also say these important fats contribute to infant development when eaten by mums during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

“If everyone followed advice to eat one serving of oily fish a week, such as a tasty fillet of farm-raised Scottish salmon, we would get more than two thirds of our weekly omega-3 recommendation in that single meal.”

Year-on-year improvements

Salmon Scotland chief executive Tavish Scott said: “Year-on-year improvements to the way producers in Scotland are rearing and feeding their stock seems to have paid off in terms of the nutritional value of salmon.

“It’s fantastic news that this new expert study has found salmon is healthier than ever.

“This only adds to our knowledge about the benefits of choosing foods from Scotland’s extensive and high-quality larder.”