A dietitian on Shape’s advisory board gives the nutritional lowdown on crispy salmon skin.
Crispy fried salmon skin is the new hot favourite snack. Photo: Wanchai Chaipanya / www.123rf.com
If you’ve tried crispy salmon skin, you’ll know it’s impossible to stop at one. Sink your teeth into the impeccably deep fried slivers and you’re off to umami heaven.
A labelled pack of crispy salmon skin would state that the snack is high in protein and omega-3 fats. Sounds promising. Does this make crispy salmon skin the healthier version of potato chips? Here’s what Jaclyn Reutens, a clinical dietitian at Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants says.
Crispy salmon skin is rich in protein, and low in carbs.
Crispy fish skin packs in 60g of protein per 100g, which is pretty high compared to potato chips (7g). It’s also significantly lower in carbs. Contrary to marketing claims, crispy salmon skin is not rich in omega-3 fats, as most of those fats are found in the flesh of the fatty fish.
Crispy salmon skin has a comparable calorie and fat content to potato chips.
100g of crispy fish skin and potato chips each contain about 550 calories, says Jaclyn. The fat content is similar, at about 35 per cent. Due to limited nutrient data provided by manufacturers, it’s unclear how much of the fat in crispy salmon skin is saturated and unsaturated. If palm oil is used, then a large portion of fat is saturated, which is unhealthy.
So, can crispy salmon skin be considered a healthy snack?
With its high protein and low carb content, crispy salmon skin is healthier than potato chips, but it should be consumed sparingly as it’s high in fat and calories. With MSG added, it’s also a source of sodium, so those with hypertension or a history of stroke should avoid overeating. I would stick to having no more than 30g – equivalent to 150 calories – of this snack.