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Is Cod Fish Good For Weight Loss?

Fish are generally considered healthy and good for weight loss but some options are better than others. Find out how cod fish does in these areas.

Cod fish fits the lean, white fish category. Since its taste is relatively mild, cod can be a good choice for people who generally don’t like the taste of fish.

Like most, if not all, fish, cod tends to be good for weight loss for most people.

Its protein content will help you feel full, build muscle, and preserve muscle. At the same time, cod fish is relatively low in calories which can help you stay in an energy balance where you lose weight.

This article will also get more specific about the nutrients in cod fish and how it compares to other options like salmon when it comes to losing weight.

Micronutrients in cod

Most people know about the fat, protein, and carbohydrate macronutrients but whole foods like cod fish also typically contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients.

These play a role in your health and sometimes areas like weight loss.

100 grams of Atlantic cooked cod contains (1):

  • Selenium: 54% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B12: 18% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 14% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 14% of the DV
  • Niacin: 13% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 10% of the DV
  • Potassium: 7% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 6% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 5% of the DV

And a few other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

While there are better food options, cod fish does contain nice amounts of a few valuable nutrients.

One thing you do have to keep in mind is that you can also consume too much of certain vitamins and minerals. In the case of cod fish, you want to keep an eye on your selenium intake

There is a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of selenium. In simple words that means that too much selenium can cause negative side effects (2).

As an adult, you would have to eat over 1 kg of cod to reach this UL so not very likely (3).

That being said, the amount of selenium in cod fish is still something to keep in mind if you also eat other foods that are high in selenium like for example brazil nuts.

At the same time, selenium does play a role in metabolism so resolving any insufficiencies with cod fish could benefit your weight loss a tiny amount.

Protein in cod

When finding out how good a certain type of food is for weight loss you definitely want to look at the amount of protein in it.

Atlantic cooked cod contains about 22.8 grams of protein per 100 grams (1). To compare, salmon contains around 25.4 grams per 100 grams (4).

There are fish higher in protein but compared to whole foods in general, cod fish contains a lot of protein per 100 grams. This is typically a good thing for weight loss because of a few reasons.

First of all, protein seems to be the most filling of the 3 macronutrients. Since hunger and cravings can be so challenging for people who are trying to lose weight this can be a big benefit.

Additionally, eating enough protein is important for building muscle and preventing muscle loss. Muscle mass helps you use up more energy throughout the day so this is another benefit of cod fish in a weight loss situation.

Will cod help you lose weight?

Since meat does not contain any fiber the last detail to know about cod fish is the number of calories in it.

While not all calories are the same for weight loss, it does offer some information about how good a food is for this fitness goal.

Atlantic cooked cod contains around 105 calories per 100 grams (1). Besides no fiber, cod fish also does not contain any other carbohydrates unless you add these during the preparation process.

This last detail makes cod a great option for low-carb diets like the keto diet.

That aside, compared to other meats and even compared to other fish, cod fish is relatively low in calories.

While most vegetables and fruits will be lower in calories per 100 grams, cod fish tends to be a great food choice for weight loss.

The protein in it will help you feel fuller and help with important fitness goals like building and preserving muscle. In combination with the relatively low calorie count cod fish is definitely worth considering.

In theory, you can overdo it with cod in terms of calories, in that case, cod could be fattening. However, you will likely feel full before you come anywhere close to that point.

How to prepare cod when trying to lose weight

The next question is then what the optimal ways of preparing cod are if weight loss is your main goal.

You generally want to go for baking and cooking cod fish in a situation like this.

Deep frying fish is generally the worst way to prepare this type of food when trying to lose weight.

Besides these things, you also want to be mindful about the other foods you eat in combination with cod fish. Even something like choosing cauliflower rice instead of regular rice can make a difference.

Relevant studies about cod for weight loss

Interestingly enough, there is a study that looked into the effectiveness of cod in calorie-restricted diets with weight loss as a goal over an 8-week period.

The participants of the study were divided into three groups with the same dietary macronutrient composition.

One group did not receive any seafood, one group ate 150 grams of cod three times a week, and the third group was given 150 grams of cod five times a week.

The study found a dose-dependent increase in weight loss in the groups that ate cod (5).

A second small study found that the participants automatically consumed fewer calories at dinner when they ate a lunch with fish protein compared to eating a lunch with beef protein (6).

Cod vs other fish for weight loss

Cod is not the only option you have when it comes to fish. You may also be interested in how this food compares to other fish like haddock, tilapia, halibut, and salmon.

Cod vs haddock

First of all, haddock contains fewer calories than cod fish. More precisely, cod contains around 105 calories per 100 grams whereas haddock contains around 90 calories per 100 grams (7).

In terms of protein, cod has the upper hand with 22.8 grams per 100 grams vs the 20 grams in haddock. Lastly, haddock contains slightly higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Whether cod or haddock is better for weight loss depends on your protein needs and how much you get from the rest of your diet. In any case, the difference will be small.

Cod vs tilapia

Tilapia is another kind of lean fish that is a bit higher in calories than cod with its 128 calories per 100 grams (8).

This is partly due to the higher amount of protein of 26.2 grams per 100 grams in tilapia. In terms of vitamins and minerals, these fish are similar but tilapia does slightly better.

Again, whether cod or tilapia is better for weight loss depends on your preference for protein.

Cod vs halibut

Next, halibut is barely higher in calories. More specifically, this type of fish contains around 111 calories per 100 grams (9).

Additionally, halibut is just a bit lower in protein with 22.5 grams of protein. Halibut does contain slightly more of many vitamins and minerals.

This makes cod fish slightly better than halibut for weight loss but only to a small extent.

Cod vs salmon

Lastly the comparison between cod and salmon. Salmon is higher in calories than cod. More specifically, 182 calories per 100 grams vs the 105 calories per 100 grams of cod (4).

Next, salmon contains around 25.4 grams of protein per 100 grams which is a good amount higher than cod. Salmon also contains bigger amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Cod will likely be slightly better for weight loss than salmon but your protein and omega 3 needs can change your preference.

Chart of cod vs other fish

Most people will not notice the difference in their weight loss progress by choosing one of these fish over the other. You generally want to pay more attention to other factors like how much you each the tastes of each option.

Since vitamins and minerals are hard to put into one factor, you can find the calorie and protein content per 100 grams of each of the fish discussed in the table below.

NutrientCodHaddockTilapiaHalibutSalmon
Calories105 calories90 calories128 calories111 calories182 calories
Protein22.8 g20 g26.2 g22.5 g25.4 g
Chart comparing cod vs other fish for weight loss

Can you eat cod every day?

Human knowledge does currently not know what the perfect diet is. Partly because individuals can react differently to the same foods.

That being said, most people should be able to eat cod every day even though it is generally smart to switch up what foods you eat.

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Matt Claes

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.

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