Is Salmon Good for Weight Loss?

Is Salmon Good for Weight Loss?
Spicy BBQ Salmon & Veggies Foil Pack. Courtesy of

Salmon is often touted as a healthy fish to add to your diet. But does that mean it’s good for weight loss? I’m Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien, and I’m investigating the claim that salmon can help you drop pounds.

Let’s start with an overview of the claims about salmon as a weight loss tool.

One common claim is that salmon's omega-3 fatty acids can help you lose weight. Omega-3s are known to stimulate leptin production in the body.

And leptin, a protein hormone, has been shown to regulate appetite and metabolism. This study found that when leptin levels fall, signals are sent to the brain to increase feeding and burn fewer calories; but when they rise again, the signals are reversed. And monounsaturated fats, in general, have been shown to aid weight loss

The fish is also packed with protein, a nutrient that’s linked to weight loss. One study found that a high-protein diet can be a metabolism booster, and this study revealed the positive effects of protein on appetite suppression. 

(Another food that’s full of protein and good for weight loss? Almonds!)

Here’s my take on the claims:

Salmon doesn’t have magical fat-burning properties, but it’s definitely a smarter choice than a lot of other foods. All the protein and healthy fats will help fill you up and keep you satisfied. I’m a big believer in eating lots of protein when you’re trying to lose weight!


But it’s important to watch your portions when you’re chowing down on salmon, because the calories add up fast. Depending on the variety, a 4-oz. serving of salmon has 215-260 calories and 10-15g fat. Keep in mind, most restaurants serve portions that are twice as large. So keep your eye on the amount you eat, and keep any sauces or toppings on the light side.

A squeeze of lemon is all it needs! And pair it with steamed veggies or another low-calorie side. 

HG Ideas

Make smoked salmon appetizers. Top whole-grain crackers with a reduced-fat cream cheese, thinly sliced cucumber, and lox-style salmon for a crowd-pleasing party starter. Or just enjoy it as a snack! 

Create a scoopable salad. Sometimes, you need a break from chicken and tuna salads. Replace ‘em with canned or pouched salmon! Try StarKist Salmon Creations — portion-controlled and delicious. Or mix plain flaked salmon with fat-free Greek yogurt, creamy Dijon mustard, and a squirt of lemon juice; then mix in some chopped cucumber, red onion, and capers. Season to taste, and serve over greens. YUM!

Throw it on the grill. There’s nothing better than a perfectly grilled piece of salmon. (Okay, maybe a fantastic shoe sale... followed by a perfectly grilled piece of salmon.) Try sprinkling it with taco seasoning for extra flavor!


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