Mackerel is one of the most widely consumed fishes worldwide. This delicious fish can be fried, baked, steamed or grilled. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids and high amount of proteins, eating mackerel provides a wide range of health benefits.
Mackerel vs Salmon
Mackerel are saltwater fish that usually live in schools of fish in the ocean. They are about a foot long (30 cm) on average, and they are considered fatty fish due to their rich profile in omega fats. Mackerel are mostly eaten in Europe, specifically Germany, the United Kingdom, and France. The three countries combined consumed 51% of the total mackerel market globally. Mackerel fish have a property which is spoilage, and mackerel fish skin gets spoiled very quickly. However, it is a fish that is commonly eaten and has oily meat. Mackerel fish can be wild type and farmed; most of the market is wild type.
Salmon, on the other hand, live in saltwater areas, however, they migrate to up river sweet water areas to breed. There are two types of salmon, which are the wild type and the farmed type. In contrast to mackerel, most of the salmon is farmed. Also an oily fish, salmon are bigger in size. They are mostly consumed in Europe, specifically Belgium, Denmark, Norway, among other countries. Salmon has a bigger market than mackerel globally, highlighting its importance in the culinary world.
Warning! We recommend that you stay away from farmed salmon.
We will address the dangers of farmed salmon in a later blog post.
Mackerel contains 305 calories per 100g, whereas salmon contains 145 calories for the same weight.
Mackerel and salmon are very rich in proteins, and their essential amino acid profiles are very versatile and rich.
Both contain about the same amount of protein for the same weight.
Mackerel and salmon are fatty fish; however, mackerel contains four times more fat than salmon.
The fat profile of salmon is slightly better than that of mackerel. The ratio of saturated fat to unsaturated fats is less in salmon than in mackerel. Salmon has nearly half the amount of cholesterol and trans fat compared to mackerel.
Although all the fats are lower in salmon than mackerel, when it comes to the most important fat in these fishes, the omega-3 DHA/EPA fats, salmon is a better source than mackerel.
Salmon and mackerel have very rich and versatile vitamin profiles. Salmon is richer in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and folate. On the other hand, mackerel is richer in vitamins B12, K, D, E, and A. Of these, vitamins B12 and D are more than the recommended daily value.
What Are the Major Differences Between the Two?
Their differences come on different layers: taste, flavor, size, types, price, shelf life, and the culinary world.
Taste and Flavor
Mackerel and salmon are both oily fish. Mackerel is less salty than salmon, and has an authentic buttery ocean taste. Some describe it as close to tuna. Salmon, on the other hand, has fleshier meat and has an authentic smoky taste.
The average size of a mackerel fish is small compared to salmon. Mackerel are 12 inches (30 cm) on average, whereas salmon are larger than that on average.
There are over 30 types of mackerel that are very similar to one another, although many differences do exist between them. On the other hand, there are fewer types of salmon than mackerel; most varieties are within the pacific types.
Salmon is a much more expensive fish than mackerel. Salmon may cost as much as five-eight times more than mackerel. When smoked the salmon gets even more expensive.
Mackerel has a shorter shelf life as the skin spoils rather quickly. Consequently, mackerel must be deep frozen for storage for extended freshness. Salmon has a comparably longer shelf life. Yet it also needs to be refrigerated promptly, or frozen for long term storage.
In many cultures, mackerel is often available in cured and pickled forms in the market. They are of course available as fresh; however, fresh mackerel has to be eaten fairly quickly, within a day or two, or otherwise be frozen for storage immediately after being caught. Different varieties of foods can be prepared with mackerel, for example, fried, pan-grilled, chargrilled, added to rice, and can even be consumed pickled and cured.
On the other hand, salmon has even a wider variety of usages. Salmon is consumed raw, most notably in Japanese sushi. They can also be grilled and smoked before being served as a salmon steak. Salmon can also be found in soups and warm dishes in European countries.
Here Are Some Reasons Why You Should Start Eating Mackerel...
Mackerel Regulates Blood Pressure Levels
In case you are suffer from hypertension, consuming mackerel fish several times weekly will keep your blood pressure levels within control. The high levels of potassium present in mackerel helps in maintaining normal blood pressure in addition to lowering the risk of health complications associated with the increased blood pressure condition.
In addition to maintaining normal blood pressure levels, potassium exerts a myriad range of health benefits. If you are on a low-carb/ketogenic diet, we recommend you to regularly consume salmon and mackerel and all types of meats (red meat and chicken) to obtain you daily requirement of potassium (4700 mg). Dairy products such as double strained Greek yoghurt, cheese are also high on this essential nutrient. Dark leafy vegetables like kale, mustard greens as well as radishes, mushrooms and avocados are the best sources of dietary potassium.
Blood pressure (BP) is an essential function of the body. As the heart alternately pumps and relaxes, the pressure exerted on the walls of the arteries fluctuates. Your blood pressure is measured by the combination of two values: The systolic pressure is the higher number and measures your blood pressure while the heart pumps blood. The diastolic pressure is the lower number and measures the blood pressure between two heart beats.
With most adults, the normal blood pressure reading needs to be below the 120/80 measurement. This remains the golden rule for adolescents, adults, and older adults. If your blood pressure is higher than the normal rate, this condition is termed as high blood pressure. There may be many underlying reasons for this condition such as your blood vessels not relaxing normally or possible blockages in your arterioles.
Although your blood pressure naturally fluctuates throughout the day - higher during activity and lowest when you are sleeping - persons with undetected stress levels are at greater risk for high blood pressure. Prolonged high blood pressure can also become a risk factor for many chronic diseases such as:
· Heart failure and stroke (especially at the time of waking up from deep sleep) and heart attack
· Hardening of the arteries
· Enlarged heart muscles
· Kidney damage
· Endocrine gland malfunction
· Weakened cardio-vascular system
· Increased workload of heart and arteries.
Mackerel Prevents Heart Disease
One of the most effective ways to prevent heart disease is to consume a diet containing high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. Mackerel fish is not only rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) but also is also low in saturated fats. Hence, eating mackerel regularly lowers your risk of heart complications like stroke, atherosclerosis, heart attacks and arrhythmia.
Mackerel Lowers Diabetes Risk
Mackerel contains a good amount of healthy fats namely monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) which play a key role in the prevention, as well as control of blood sugar levels in diabetics. Consuming mackerel on a regular basis not only regulates blood sugar levels in the body, but it also lowers visceral fat, thereby lowering your risk of diabetes.
Mackerel Reduces Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Studies demonstrate that dietary factors play a more significant role than mechanical factors in the link between obesity and osteoarthritis. Including mackerel or other oily fishes that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, such as salmon, herring, anchovies and sardines, mackerel, in your diet is found to improve your joint health tremendously, compared to foods containing high amounts of omega 6 fatty acids (from plant based industrial oils and seed oils).
Mackerel, like other cold water oily fishes, contains anti-inflammatory compounds which help in lowering the joint pain and stiffness of muscles in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Mackerel Improves Cognitive Function
Research studies have proven that people consuming high levels of omega-3 fatty acids are at a lower risk of depression. Hence, adding mackerel to your daily diet aids in reducing mood swings common in individuals suffering from depression. Mackerel consumption also improves the effectiveness of antidepressant medications.
Mackerel is loaded with DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and consuming this fish lowers your chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Mackerel Increases Survival Chance of Bowel Cancer Patients
Mackerel is one of the very few natural sources containing good amounts of vitamin D that is known to up the survival chances of bowel cancer patients.
Research studies have proven that cancer patients with high levels of vitamin D in their blood are more likely to survive the disease, in addition to improving their health condition.
Where to Buy Fresh Mackerel in Riverside County?
Based on our experience, the 88 Ranch Marketplace has the largest and freshest selection of seafood in Riverside and North San Diego counties. Their seafood department has a variety of items you cannot get at other markets, from live blue crab to sushi grade yellow fin tuna, and of course fresh mackerel.
88 Ranch Marketplace (Temecula, Riverside County) Hours: 8AM - 8PM 27473 Ynez Road, Temecula, CA 92591
88 Ranch Neighborhood Market (Oceanside, San Diego County) Hours: 8AM - 8PM
4131 Oceanside Blvd., Oceanside, CA 92056