Difference Between Trout vs Salmon

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Many people debate the benefits of trout vs salmon, and while both are healthy additions to your diet, there are some key differences between the two.

Trout vs Salmon

These two common fish share quite a few characteristics, but they vary when it comes to appearance, taste, and nutritional density. While there are various types of salmon (Atlantic, Sockeye, Pink, etc.) and trout (Rainbow trout, Sea trout, etc.), most of these characteristics, aside from appearance, remain quite similar. [1]


  • Salmon are slightly more streamlined in appearance, and rarely have black spots on their lower half.
  • Sea trout have a flat tail, rather than a concave tail.
  • Other than these small details, it is very difficult to tell the difference between sea trout and salmon.
Trout fish and salmon comparison image

Trout fish vs Salmon comparison Photo Credit: Shutterstock


  • Salmon has a much more pronounced flavor and is even considered sweet to some palates. [2]
  • Trout has a mild, unassuming flavor, which can pick up other spices and seasonings very well.
  • Trout tend to be firmer, while salmon has delicate, flaking flesh when grilled or baked.


  • Salmon and trout both possess high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Salmon has total fat, but less total cholesterol than trout. [3]
  • A 100-gram serving of salmon has about 150 calories, 22 grams of protein, and 3 grams of saturated fat.
  • A 100-gram serving of trout contains 120 calories, 20 grams of protein, and 2 grams of saturated fat.
  • Salmon has high levels of vitamin D, while trout offers higher concentrations of B vitamins. [4]

Health Benefits

  • In terms of health benefits, trout and salmon can both offer good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower overall cholesterol and reduce inflammation throughout the body. [5]
  • Salmon can also be good for improving brain health and regulating metabolism, thanks to its potential antioxidant and selenium content.
  • The two fish may also be quite similar in protein content, meaning that they can both help with repair, growth, and development for those who regularly consume it.

Which is Healthier?

Depending on your health conditions, present fitness goals and dietary preferences, one of these fish may appear healthier than another. That being said, salmon is often considered the healthier of the two.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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