The short answer: as often as you’d like. But keeping reading if you’d like to learn more about how we arrived at this answer.
As we’ve previously discussed, the main reason you want to watch how much fish you’re eating is because of the risk of consuming too much mercury and/or PCBs. But as we saw in that post, wild Alaskan salmon have extremely low levels of mercury and PCBs – so low that you don’t need to worry about them at all. Therefore, one can conclude that you can eat wild Alaskan salmon as often as you’d like.
However, we wanted to check in with some trusted sources to verify this answer before we recommended it to you all. So verify it we did.
First, we consulted the State of Alaska Public Health website, where you can find this helpful guide that tells Alaskan women and children how much of each type of fish they should be eating (these are the most restrictive guidelines since mercury is the biggest threat to a developing fetus and young children). You can click on the image at the right to see the full-sized version.
As you can see, even for children and women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, they suggest that wild Alaskan salmon can be eaten in unlimited amounts. So according to the State of Alaska Public Health Department, you can eat as much wild Alaskan salmon as you’d like.
But we didn’t stop there. We also found this super helpful website called HowMuchFish.com, which provides a really helpful tool for telling you how much you can eat of a whole bunch of types of fish, wild salmon being one of them. We put in a weight of 150 lbs, chose a 6 oz portion, and selected wild salmon as our fish. The results were quite encouraging – it suggests that you can eat up to 7.5 pounds of salmon per week (that’s 120 oz).
To put this in perspective, the amount of salmon in a typical serving of the Wild Salmon Salad at Dig Inn is about 5 oz. So you’d have to eat the salmon 24 times in a week to get to a point where you should think about stopping – this is more than 3 times per day. Even if you wanted to double up your salmon serving at each meal, you could eat it twice a day for 6 days each week.
That’s a lot of salmon! And we’re guessing you don’t eat nearly that much fish. So like we said, you can eat it as often as you’d like.
This is not true for other types of fish, of course, so we do recommend that you consult HowMuchFish.com (which references trustworthy sources for each of its recommendations) and other guides like the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch when you’re thinking about eating other types of fish. Both of these guides have iPhone apps, which make them especially convenient and useful.
And lastly, it’s generally recommended that you eat fish at least twice per week, so if you’re not having it 3+ times per day, we’d suggest you try to work it into your diet 1-3 times per week (depending on how much fish you eat elsewhere). This is a great way to get your weekly quota of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for heart health, preventing cancer and other diseases, reducing inflammation, and offsetting damage done to the brain by excess sugar and old age.
Hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.