Is It Safe To Eat Salmon Skin?

The health benefits of salmon are widely known. As an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, it has even been described as a superfood.

But what about the skin of the salmon. Is it safe to eat — or is it better left on the plate?

Turns out, eating salmon skin can either be safe or dangerous depending on a couple of different factors.

According to Healthline, where the salmon comes from plays an important role in whether or not it's safe to eat the skin. For example, the salmon supply from the Atlantic ocean has reportedly been compromised due to environmental and chemical pollutants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which can be absorbed through the skin of the salmon. While eating salmon skin from polluted areas in small amounts will not likely have any adverse effects, it's advised to consume wild-caught salmon from the Pacific instead. Women who are nursing or pregnant should avoid salmon skin outright as a precaution.

The benefits of eating salmon skin

Just like the salmon meat itself, salmon skin also contains omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains nutrients not present in the flesh, such as phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin D. Vitamin D improves your ability to absorb calcium, which ultimately promotes bone health (via SafeBeat). Additionally, according to Medical News Today, salmon skin may also be helpful in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Not only that, but a study published in BMC Cancer found that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may also aid in preventing cancer. Salmon skin also includes protein, so it can be a good substitute for those looking to avoid red meat.

If you've never tried salmon skin, it can be quite tasty. There are numerous ways to prepare salmon with the skin intact, such as grilling, pan searing, or baking. Or, if you're looking for a new crispy snack, salmon skin chips may be worth a try (via Men's Journal).

However, if you're looking to serve salmon skin at home as a main dish, just make sure the salmon you buy is wild-caught and from safe waters, and your meal will surely be the catch of the day!