7

votes

Does cooking salmon oxidize its omega-3 fats?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 02, 2010 at 7:13 AM

Everyone agrees it's a bad idea to cook with omega-3 oils due to the rapid oxidation this causes, but is it fine to consume cooked omega-3 fats in salmon (let's say baked in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes) frequently? Salmon, of course, has quite a lot of omega-3s. Do its omega-3s oxidize just like omega-3 oils, or can they actually withstand oxidation when cooked?

43873f3cea4f22f91653b0f5ec7ab9d9

(401)

on February 28, 2013
at 09:02 PM

Any actual evidence of this, raydawg?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on December 15, 2011
at 10:14 PM

Cooking with lite olive oil is fine, just do it at low-medium heat. Tastes fine. Using EVOO to cook is horrible, save it for salads.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 15, 2011
at 10:04 PM

I "slow-fry" my bacon. It takes a while but it's just as crisp and nice with no smoke.

Ab19df3ededa28f7bf7daeba8435b205

(1471)

on February 18, 2011
at 09:36 PM

What is your bacon like after 250 at 2 hours? crunchy or limp but rendered?

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on September 13, 2010
at 06:28 PM

Thanks for the link, xjhues!

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on September 13, 2010
at 06:25 PM

Which is, of course, not the question. Not crazy about it myself, but oxidation is the question.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 03, 2010
at 06:01 AM

I iwhs I could find the source (perhaps Eades...) but I remember reading that you're less likely to denature the proteins and oxidise the fats in egg yolks if you soft-fry them than if you try to soft-boil them, mainly since you can visually gauge your progress. Personally, I can never boil an egg and yet keep the yolk undamaged. Frying? Runny every time.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 03, 2010
at 05:59 AM

It most certainly changes between animal sources - I haven't been able to heat pork fat to a high enough point to achieve smoke, for instance.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 03, 2010
at 05:58 AM

It's all about the fat, which runs through the muscle meat. Test it for yourself - scrape off some visible fat, render it over gentle heat so that any attached protein loosens itself and you can remove it, and then keep heating the fat until it starts to smoke. There are numbers bandied around online, but they conflict, and not everyone gauges their individual ovens/grills/stovetops precisely.

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2

(1239)

on September 03, 2010
at 05:58 AM

Mmmm...another tasty excuse for a good marinade...

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on September 02, 2010
at 11:04 PM

Good point. A fat soluble antioxidant, like rosemary, oregano, turmeric, or ginger, may be best to avoid oxidation of the PUFAs. Re prevention of other type of heat damage, I'm not sure you need to worry about solubility.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 02, 2010
at 10:05 PM

Ugh, I hate canned fish.

F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on September 02, 2010
at 08:33 PM

Relevant and interesting - http://www.paleonu.com/panu-forum/post/886761 Apparently canned salmon cook time varies between 86-128 min at 235-250 degrees F.

C90eecdd76cf57a387095fa49de23807

(960)

on September 02, 2010
at 05:52 PM

Ok, here goes ignorance. What would you call the 'smoke point' for salmon, then? Is it due primarily to the nature of the fat--that is, the omega 3 pufa--or to the nature of the fish? Then does it change between animal sources?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 02, 2010
at 05:24 PM

Sushi chefs I know use conventional freezers.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 02, 2010
at 02:08 PM

Steaming is the best cooking method for salmon.

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12 Answers

5
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 02, 2010
at 05:26 PM

Another solution not mentioned here is to marinate fish in an antioxidant, such as orange or lemon juice, ginger, garlic, etc.

I like to steam fish myself. But a good seared fish is much tastier :)

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2

(1239)

on September 03, 2010
at 05:58 AM

Mmmm...another tasty excuse for a good marinade...

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on September 02, 2010
at 11:04 PM

Good point. A fat soluble antioxidant, like rosemary, oregano, turmeric, or ginger, may be best to avoid oxidation of the PUFAs. Re prevention of other type of heat damage, I'm not sure you need to worry about solubility.

4
1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 02, 2010
at 09:13 AM

My rule of thumb: don't allow any fats to reach their smoke point. If they don't smoke, they're okay to consume. (Not necessarily 'great', but 'okay')

I lightly grill salmon if I am to cook it. Poaching is also an option. However, I ADORE salmon sashimi and will eat a fillet raw rather than change its flavour through cooking!

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 03, 2010
at 05:58 AM

It's all about the fat, which runs through the muscle meat. Test it for yourself - scrape off some visible fat, render it over gentle heat so that any attached protein loosens itself and you can remove it, and then keep heating the fat until it starts to smoke. There are numbers bandied around online, but they conflict, and not everyone gauges their individual ovens/grills/stovetops precisely.

C90eecdd76cf57a387095fa49de23807

(960)

on September 02, 2010
at 05:52 PM

Ok, here goes ignorance. What would you call the 'smoke point' for salmon, then? Is it due primarily to the nature of the fat--that is, the omega 3 pufa--or to the nature of the fish? Then does it change between animal sources?

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 03, 2010
at 05:59 AM

It most certainly changes between animal sources - I haven't been able to heat pork fat to a high enough point to achieve smoke, for instance.

2
F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on September 02, 2010
at 04:00 PM

As far as omega 3, the less you cook it the better. I'm one of those who can't stomach raw fish, unfortunately, so I cook mine slightly.

From what I've come to understand lower temp cooking is better all around. I cook bacon in the oven at 250 for 2 hours, whole chicken in the crockpot on low for 8 hours, etc.

Ab19df3ededa28f7bf7daeba8435b205

(1471)

on February 18, 2011
at 09:36 PM

What is your bacon like after 250 at 2 hours? crunchy or limp but rendered?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 15, 2011
at 10:04 PM

I "slow-fry" my bacon. It takes a while but it's just as crisp and nice with no smoke.

1
145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

on September 02, 2010
at 07:22 PM

Well, and does this all mean that canned salmon is worthless?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 02, 2010
at 10:05 PM

Ugh, I hate canned fish.

F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on September 02, 2010
at 08:33 PM

Relevant and interesting - http://www.paleonu.com/panu-forum/post/886761 Apparently canned salmon cook time varies between 86-128 min at 235-250 degrees F.

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on September 13, 2010
at 06:25 PM

Which is, of course, not the question. Not crazy about it myself, but oxidation is the question.

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on September 13, 2010
at 06:28 PM

Thanks for the link, xjhues!

1
15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on September 02, 2010
at 04:45 PM

Yes. I poach salmon to reduce this type of damage. I also boil eggs rather than fry them for the same reason.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 03, 2010
at 06:01 AM

I iwhs I could find the source (perhaps Eades...) but I remember reading that you're less likely to denature the proteins and oxidise the fats in egg yolks if you soft-fry them than if you try to soft-boil them, mainly since you can visually gauge your progress. Personally, I can never boil an egg and yet keep the yolk undamaged. Frying? Runny every time.

0
867037077e38af784632b49316dd32fd

on May 21, 2013
at 01:51 PM

Ok then take a raw pressed fish oil supplement.

0
Abf0b6d5e20906f742fd600887292c15

on February 28, 2013
at 05:47 PM

Cooking salmon destroys the Omega 3, which is a highly sensitive fat. When you consider that salmon are cold-blooded and live in freezing waters that's not too hard to understand. You can eat gravlax and cold smoked salmon which haven't been destroyed be heat

0
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on December 15, 2011
at 10:36 PM

I'm not giving up bbq cedar plank soaked in water salmon. It tastes too good. And it smokes it at a higher temperature than 300*F. Mouth waters.....

Also the omega ration is 1:4 in O6's favor. People seem to forget that. Although it seems like both O3 and O6 should be limited overall.

0
9b38ac90af1be472fade41531775e4d2

on December 15, 2011
at 10:00 PM

The structure of Omega 3 is very sensitive to temperature. No matter what method, the temperature will destroy them easily. You're better off eating fish raw.

Let me say this, the reason Omega 3's are such a big deal is because it has so many health benefits. But wait....isn't there some perfect ratio 1:6, 1:4, 1:2. Well the scientific community says that a 1:1 ratio is the best.

Guess what, for a 1:1 ratio, you can only have 2 tbsp peanut butter, 2 tbpsp olive oil with a salmon steak. HmMMM maybe everybody needs to stop eating all that tasty junk like chicken, beef, bacon, sausage, cheese, ham, french fries. "eat in moderation" you tell me? No, once you eat one of these crappy meals, your omega 3 - 6 ratio is thrown off for days.

Basically, people keep saying you need to get more omega 3's to balance out the 6s. But it doesn't work that way. You need to almost completely change your current diet to get rid of all those omega6s.

Good luck

0
8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on September 02, 2010
at 05:23 PM

One benefit of cooking fish thoroughly is you don't have to worry about catching a nasty parasite.

like this: http://www.rawpaleoforum.com/general-discussion/worms-in-my-fresh-raw-wild-salmon-from-whole-foods-a-short-video-showing-them/

Although the raw fish could be safe if it were frozen to temps low enough to kill any worms or larvae hiding in there. I don't know if a conventional freezer in a fridge is cold enough though.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 02, 2010
at 05:24 PM

Sushi chefs I know use conventional freezers.

0
Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on September 02, 2010
at 08:13 AM

In short, yes, the Omega 3's in salmon will oxidise as well. They aren't exposed to the same level of heat as a cooking oil would be, so it will be to a lesser degree though.

This IS a good reason to eat sushi though, less oxidised omega 3's.

0
8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on September 02, 2010
at 07:43 AM

This just opens a whole can of worms. Because that would mean that we could never cook any unsaturated fat. And there are all these people cooking with olive oil because they know it's healthy.

Wouldn't the fact that it's a whole food and not a processed oil mean it is less likely to be oxidized. Just a guess. I really don't know.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on December 15, 2011
at 10:14 PM

Cooking with lite olive oil is fine, just do it at low-medium heat. Tastes fine. Using EVOO to cook is horrible, save it for salads.

43873f3cea4f22f91653b0f5ec7ab9d9

(401)

on February 28, 2013
at 09:02 PM

Any actual evidence of this, raydawg?

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