A few years back, the concept of eating salmon to prevent wrinkles became well publicized.  Fish in general, particularly that obtained from deep salt-water, is excellent for the skin as it supplies both protein and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Contrary to what you may believe, all salmon is not created equal, and consuming the wrong kind can actually be harmful to your health.  There are basically two types of salmon - wild and farmed.  Wild salmon are those obtained from their natural environment.  Farmed salmon are those commercially raised by breeders.  The difference between the two in nutritional value, safety of consumption, and price is significant.

Wild salmon are just that - they are obtained from the wild.  They breed, are hatched, and grow in their natural, West Coast waters habitat without human intervention.  They feed upon other sea creatures such as shrimp and krill.  It is this diet that gives them their characteristic pink color. 

Farmed salmon grow up quite differently than wild salmon and are a prime example of why we should not attempt to mess with nature.  Farmed salmon are hatched by breeders and grow up in conditions very unlike what nature had intended.  Their living conditions are crowded so they are given antibiotics to prevent disease.  Their diet is unnatural, as well.  Many are fed soybean pellets and other cereal based foods.  As a result, farmed salmon are higher in saturated fat and omega-6 fatty acids (substances which are already abundant in our diets), and lower in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.  Some farmed salmon are fed fish meal feed that is highly contaminated with PCBs and other cancer causing toxins.  These salmon ingest the PCBs which are stored in their fat for extended periods of time.  Consumption of the contaminated salmon exposes you to the same cancer causing toxins.  Numerous studies have called farming practices an environmental hazard.  Artificial coloring is added to farmed salmon since their unnatural diet does not supply the pink color associated with feeding in the wild.

In order to maximize the benefits of eating salmon to prevent wrinkles and not harm your body in the process, always purchase wild salmon rather than farmed salmon.  We’ve always been taught that fresh is better than canned, but such is not the case with salmon, unless you are certain that in addition to being fresh, it is also wild.  Canned salmon tends to be wild salmon, where as the fresh salmon offered in many areas of the country are farmed.  In fact, it has been estimated that farmed fish constitute 90% of this country’s salmon sales.  It has been recommended that farmed salmon be eaten only once per month or even two months as it poses cancer risks to human beings.

Another disturbing fact is that salmon may be advertised as being wild when, in fact, it is not.  Tests performed for The New York Times in March of 2005 on salmon sold as “wild” by eight of the city’s stores showed that six of the eight were farm raised.  Consequently, you may think you are getting authentic wild salmon and paying the price for it when, in fact, it is farmed. 

Eating salmon to prevent wrinkles, enhance heart health, and improve cognitive function is highly recommended.  Just be certain that you do your research and purchase it from a source you can trust.