Are salmon burgers good for weight loss?

Salmon burgers have become a popular alternative to traditional beef burgers for those looking to lose weight. Salmon is well known as a healthy fish that is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Many people believe that swapping out beef for salmon can aid weight loss efforts. But are salmon burgers truly an effective option for dropping pounds? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional profile of salmon burgers and see if the claims hold up.

Calories in salmon burgers

When it comes to weight loss, overall calorie intake matters more than anything else. Eating fewer calories than your body expends leads to weight loss over time. So how do salmon burgers stack up calorie-wise?

On average, a 4-ounce cooked salmon burger contains:

  • Calories: 190
  • Fat: 8g
  • Protein: 22g
  • Carbs: 0g

A standard 4-ounce beef burger contains:

  • Calories: 245
  • Fat: 15g
  • Protein: 19g
  • Carbs: 0g

Comparing the two, salmon burgers contain significantly fewer calories and less fat than beef burgers. Salmon also provides more protein ounce for ounce. This indicates that replacing beef patties with salmon patties can help reduce calorie intake.

Other salmon burger benefits for weight loss

Beyond just calories and macronutrients, salmon burgers offer additional benefits that can promote weight loss:

  • High protein: Protein is the most filling macronutrient and can boost metabolism. The high protein content in salmon keeps you satisfied for longer between meals.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Salmon is one of the best sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3s. These healthy fats support fat burning andweight management.
  • Nutrient density: Salmon contains many nutrients like B-vitamins, selenium, potassium, and iron. Nutrient-dense foods can aid weight control.
  • Less processed: Homemade salmon patties contain minimal processed ingredients compared to beef patties. Processed foods are linked to overeating and weight gain.

By providing a powerhouse of protein, healthy fats, and micronutrients, salmon burgers promote weight loss in ways that go far beyond just calories.

Potential downsides of salmon burgers for weight loss

Salmon burgers have some advantages over beef when it comes to weight loss. But there are also a few potential downsides to keep in mind:

  • Restaurant/fast food varieties may be high in calories: If ordering salmon burgers out, beware of added oils, cheeses, sauces, etc that can drive up the calorie count.
  • Some types are heavily processed: Pre-made frozen salmon patties are convenient but often loaded with fillers, oils, and preservatives.
  • Higher cost than beef: Salmon tends to be pricier than beef, so salmon burgers may not be as budget-friendly for some.
  • Mercury content: Salmon can contain mercury and other contaminants from the environment. It’s best to limit intake to 2-3 servings per week.

To maximize the weight loss benefits of salmon burgers, opt for homemade varieties using wild-caught salmon fillets and minimal add-ins.Frozen prepared burgers can also be a decent option if you read labels carefully.

Are salmon burgers good for weight loss?

Overall, salmon burgers can be an excellent choice as part of a weight loss eating pattern. Replacing some beef burgers with salmon burgers can help reduce calories, increase protein intake, provide healthy fats, and improve the nutritional quality of your diet.

To get maximum results:

  • Choose wild-caught salmon to limit contaminants
  • Make patties at home with simple ingredients
  • Watch calories in condiments and buns
  • Incorporate other nutritious foods into your diet
  • Stay active with regular exercise

Salmon burgers alone won’t magically make you lose weight if the rest of your diet is unhealthy. But substituting them for beef in moderation can be an effective strategy to support weight loss goals as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

Simple homemade salmon burger recipe

Making delicious salmon burgers at home is easy and allows you to control the ingredients. Here is a simple recipe to try:


  • 1 lb salmon fillet, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Chop salmon into smaller pieces and add to a medium bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except oil. Mix until well combined.
  3. Form salmon mixture into 4 equal patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Cook patties 3-4 minutes per side until browned and cooked through.
  6. Serve on whole wheat buns with desired toppings like lettuce, tomato, and avocado.

This easy recipe makes 4 salmon burgers with minimal ingredients. Feel free to tweak seasonings or add-ins to suit your tastes.

Healthy meal ideas with salmon burgers

Salmon burgers aren’t limited to just being served on a bun. They can also be incorporated into a variety of healthy meals, for example:

Salmon burger salad

Serve a salmon burger on top of a mixed greens salad topped with vegetables like cucumber, tomato, avocado, and carrots. Drizzle with an olive oil and lemon dressing.

Sheet pan meal

Cook salmon patties with roasted vegetables like potatoes, broccoli, peppers, and Brussels sprouts for an easy sheet pan dinner.

Salmon burger bowl

Layer quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, kale, and avocado in a bowl. Top with a warm salmon burger.


Break up a salmon patty and add to bibb lettuce leaves or corn tortillas along with cabbage, salsa, and Greek yogurt sauce.

Salmon burgers can be the star of the show in nourishing, well-balanced meals to support your health and weight loss goals. Let your creativity run wild!

Expert tips for choosing salmon burgers

When shopping for store-bought frozen or fresh salmon burgers, keep these expert tips in mind:

  • Check the ingredients: Opt for burgers with minimal added fillers, oils, sugars, and preservatives.
  • Look for sustainable salmon: Choose “wild-caught Alaskan salmon” or look for sustainability certifications.
  • Don’t overcook: Cook until just opaque in the center to prevent dryness.
  • Consider costs: Pre-made salmon patties are pricier than buying salmon fillets to make your own.
  • Watch the size: A serving is often 4 ounces – about the size of a deck of cards.

Taking a few minutes to read labels and understand how the salmon was caught can help you make the healthiest and most sustainable choice.

Frequently asked questions

Are salmon burgers healthier than beef burgers?

Yes, salmon burgers are healthier overall than beef burgers. They are lower in calories, total fat, and saturated fat. Salmon also provides more protein and important nutrients like omega-3s.

What is the healthiest way to cook a salmon burger?

Grilling, broiling, baking, or pan-searing salmon burgers are all healthy cooking methods. Avoid deep frying. Cook until just opaque throughout.

Can you freeze homemade salmon burgers?

Yes, homemade salmon burgers freeze very well for up to 3 months. Flash freeze on a baking sheet before transferring to bags or containers. Thaw in the fridge before cooking.

Are salmon burgers gluten-free?

Salmon burgers made from salmon fillets are naturally gluten-free. However, some pre-made varieties may contain gluten from added ingredients like breadcrumbs or seasonings.

Can kids eat salmon burgers?

Yes, salmon burgers are safe and healthy for kids. Make sure any bones are removed. Stick to a 4-ounce portion size for younger children.

The bottom line

Salmon burgers can be a nutritious substitute for beef burgers for those looking to lose weight. They tend to be lower in calories and fat while providing high-quality protein, omega-3s, and essential vitamins and minerals. Choosing wild-caught salmon and making burgers at home with minimal add-ins can maximize the health benefits. Pair salmon patties with a balanced diet and active lifestyle for optimal weight loss results.

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