Key Ingredients: Salmon

In the May 2009 issue of Reader’s Digest, our culinary experts Bonnie Stern and Fran Berkoff bring you some great recipes and nutritional tips for healthy home cooking based on one key ingredient. May’s key ingredient: Salmon!  

It’s good for you, quick to cook, easily available and delicious. The health benefits of eating two servings of fish a week—whether farmed or wild—outweigh the potential risks associated with mercury exposure. And according to Health Canada, salmon is among the “safe” fish, with very low levels of mercury.

A 100-gram serving of salmon contains:

  • 40 mcg of selenium, about 70 percent of the recommended daily requirement for adults. Selenium, an important antioxidant, is necessary for normal functioning of the thyroid and immune system.
  • Vitamin D, important for bone health. This vitamin is currently being studied for its role in lowering risk for diseases. Atlantic salmon has 6.8 mcg and wild Pacific sockeye has about 22 mcg.
  • A significant source of omega-3 fats, which contribute to heart health and support the normal development of the brain, eyes and nerves. Studies are exploring the association of the intake of omega-3 fats with improved blood pressure and reduced risk of stroke, cancer, asthma, depression and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Salmon is high in protein, low in saturated fat and an excellent source of vitamins B6 and B12, niacin and phosphorus.


Bonnie Stern has been teaching people to have fun in the kitchen, to eat more healthfully and to nourish their families since she started her cooking school in 1973.


Fran Berkoff is a consulting dietitian/nutritionist in Toronto, as well as a columnist for newspapers and magazines, and co-author or several books.

Popular Videos