Is raw Salmon good for you?
The short answer to this is yes, you can eat raw salmon! Uncooked salmon can be extremely tasty and may also help to bring some great health benefits as it is full of nutrients and proteins.
Whilst it is okay to eat uncooked salmon, you do have to be careful because there is the chance that raw or unprocessed salmon could contain parasites, with it being on the FDA’s list of foods that are known to be a source of these organisms. Parasites can cause a wide range of negative effects on the body, and in some people a parasitic infection can even be fatal.
Raw salmon has been most commonly known to sometimes contain a tapeworm called Helminths, which sets up home in your small intestine and can grow over 12 meters long (yuck!). These tapeworms can cause you to experience some very unpleasant symptoms including diarrhea, unintentional weight loss, abdominal pain and anemia. These can all develop into very serious issues, which is why it is very important that you are careful when choosing to eat raw salmon.
There is also the chance that you could develop salmonella from eating raw salmon, which can cause you to experience symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. This usually happens if the fish has been poorly handled or stored prior to sale, meaning it has been more exposed to harmful bacteria and viruses.
Another risk that comes with eating raw salmon, is that it could contain nasty chemicals called persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals. These build up, accumulate in our bodies and can eventually reach toxic levels. This can then lead to some very unpleasant and severe health effects such as cancer, immune disorders and even birth defects.
How do you know if Salmon is safe to eat raw?
What should you do to ensure you can enjoy your raw salmon meal without being worried that you’re going to contract some very nasty side effects? There are a few things you should do to help prevent parasitic infection from raw salmon.
Firstly, you need to ensure that you get your salmon from a reliable source. So, if you have a fishmonger who you regularly go to and you know is good, then try to make sure you always go to them to get your salmon. This will help you to feel more comfortable and assured that you have some good quality salmon.
You also need to make sure that the salmon has been blast-frozen to about -35°C. What does this do? Well, pathogens can’t survive such extreme temperatures, and so it will help to kill the majority of pathogens living on the salmon. Unfortunately, most freezers that you find in homes can’t actually reach this temperature. Therefore, when purchasing your salmon from your local fishmonger or supermarket, you need to check with them that it has been blast frozen. This is why it is always good to go to someone you trust!
Another way to know whether your salmon is safe to eat is by looking carefully at its appearance. If your salmon is safe and has been properly frozen and defrosted, then it should be nice and firm, with no bruising or discoloration and also shouldn’t have any bad odors.
If the Salmon you bought from the supermarket says “for raw consumption or “sashimi Salmon”, you can eat them raw.
In order to help avoid your raw salmon from getting infected with salmonella, one thing you should do is try to keep your raw meats (such as the salmon) separate from other items of food when they’re in your shopping cart or stored at home. Keep things stored in their food categories and avoid any mixing or crossover of the food until you are serving up.
Then, when you’re getting ready to prepare your raw salmon dish, you need to make sure that all your cooking equipment, surfaces and anything else you will be using is completely clean. In the time that you’re getting everything ready you should also make sure that you keep the salmon in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it, as this helps to minimize potential pathogen exposure.
Furthermore, for some people it is recommended to avoid having any type of raw fish altogether. Anyone who is considered to be at high-risk, so for example the elderly, children, people who have weak immune systems and women who are pregnant, shouldn’t eat raw salmon. For these more vulnerable groups, the impact of a potential parasitic infection could be very severe.
How much raw Salmon can you eat?
Whilst it is okay to eat raw salmon, there is a recommended limit to how much you should eat. You should try not to eat more than 12 ounces of salmon a week, which works out as about two average sized meals.
Is Salmon in sushi raw?
Salmon in sushi can be raw. Although it depends on the dishes and cooking style, Salmon in sushi can be raw as well as cooked. The sushi is always cooked well, the fish it includes may not be. Some sushi dishes include smoked or cooked Salmons.
Can you eat raw Salmon from the store?
Yes, you can definitely eat raw salmon from the stores but make sure they are frozen and stored well. Look for the line: “for raw consumption” on the packaging or ask the supermarket staff. Just make sure it’s not “fresh and never frozen”.
Can I eat raw Salmon from Costco?
If the packaging doesn’t say anything like “for raw consumption” ask the Costco staff if the Salmon can be consumed raw. If the fish is fresh and never frozen, don’t eat it raw. Do not eat fresh raw wild salmon unless it’s flash frozen or curd in brine that kills the hidden parasites. Salmons spend time in fresh water rivers where they pick parasites or worms. These worms can be passed in your intestine if ingested raw and can cause nasty side effects mentioned above.
Benefits of raw Salmon
Even though there are potential risks to eating raw salmon, there are also benefits that it can bring to your health.
Salmon contains a lot of essential nutrients which can help to nourish your body. For example, it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids Why is omega 3 so good for you? Well, they are amazing for helping to promote good brain health and can even help to reduce your risk of getting heart disease. Furthermore, they can help to lower the chances of you developing type 2 diabetes.
For all those keen gym-goers out there, you’ll be very pleased to know that having raw salmon could actually be a great post-workout snack, seeing how it has been proven to help encourage healing and recovery. This is in part due to the fact that it contains a lot of protein, which is essential for the growth of muscle. If you’re hoping to lose weight whilst keeping your muscle mass, then protein can also help you to do this. So, raw salmon can be a great option for those who are into fitness.
So, there you have everything you need to know about eating raw salmon. It can make for an extremely tasty meal but there are some potential risks which makes it imperative to ensure that you get your salmon from a reliable source, and prepare it in a safe, hygienic way.