Pure Alaska Salmon Review

As I’ll detail in an upcoming post (once I’m sure the dietary protocols are repeatable), I’ve been experimenting with Protein Sparing Modified Fasts (PSMF) in an effort to cut the most fat in the shortest amount of time possible. One of the things I really like about PSMFs are that they cut out all of the fluff, leaving you with the bare minimum you need to sustain your muscle mass and health in the interest of shortening the normally fairly extended pain window associated with dieting down. Anyhow, as part of these experiments, I needed a way to both get protein and Omega 3 I a very slim caloric window, and after reading the landmark new study on rancidity in liquid fish oil products, I needed to find a better method of getting my protein and Omega 3’s than my typical Ogre Juice shakes.

The obvious answer was canned light tuna – 97% protein by weight, with the 3% that isn’t protein being high quality Omega fats. However, I then read some research that indicates that tuna is heavily poisoned by mercury, so much so, in fact, that the FDA has issued an advisory on the issue. Now, the FDA’s recommendations are not to eat more than 15 ounces of white tuna (.5 PPM mercury levels) per week, and light tuna typically has lower mercury levels (in the .1 PPM range). However, considering that I need to eat 15 oz of it a day (75 oz a week), I’m still in the danger zone. So I started looking into the alternatives, and it turns out that canned Alaskan salmon is an ideal replacement, as it has only slightly higher caloric content, but considerably more Omega oils, and no major contaminants. It was in researching salmon that I came across Pure Alaska Salmon Co., a family owned company that catches, cans, and sells premium Alaskan salmon.

While looking through their site, I happened to notice that something was amiss with the layout. I sent them an email informing them of the problem, just trying to be a nice guy, but I jokingly mentioned that they could ‘repay me in salmon’ if they so chose. Well, turns out they did, and a few days later, a nice package with a hand-written thank you note arrived at my door:
They sent me a box with seven assorted cans of salmon, and I liked it so much, I thought I’d give it a review.

First, they sent me four varieties of salmon:

  • Sockeye salmon fillets
  • Sockeye salmon with edible skin and bones
  • Pink salmon fillets
  • Pink salmon with edible skin and bones

First up, I tried the sockeye (redhead) salmon, and flavor-wise, this is the best of the bunch. The taste is very subtle, but it’s warm and smooth, not salty or sharp at all, and it has that wonderful, distinctive salmon flavor without any fishy aftertaste. Between the fillet and traditional, I prefer traditional, as the edible skin provides a very tasty fatty flavor over the top. However, I’m not a huge fan of the bones, though they are more like cartilage (very easy to chew up, and probably loaded with calcium).

Redhead salmon with edible skin and bones. The red coloring is natural, and tasty as all hell.

Unfortunately, the redhead has significantly higher quantities of fat (roughly 5 times more at ~5g per serving) and less protein, so I won’t be able to eat it on my PSMF. The pink salmon, however, has a wonderful nutritional profile, and though it doesn’t taste quite as good as the redhead, it is still heads and tails above tuna.

Salmon fillets – Pink on the left and redhead on the right

Just so I had something besides tuna to compare it to, I bought a can of Bumblebee Alaskan salmon and A/B tested between it and the Think Pink pink salmon. The Bumblebee is obviously highly salted, so much so that ‘salt’ is probably the primary flavor. In contrast, the think pink has a very mellow flavor (though not quite as mellow as redhead), with only a hint of saltiness. I vastly prefer the Pure Alaska Salmon to Bumblebee, though I suspect Bumblebee would be fine for a recipe where the salmon flavor is more or less drowned out by the other competing flavors. For me, however, I have already ordered another two dozen cans (roughly $86 with shipping, or $3.58 per can) for my next PSMF week.

If you have any interest in canned salmon, I heartily recommend these guys, looks like a great little company and they put out very high quality food.

  1. #1 by Californian on October 2, 2013 - 3:17 am

    “Heads and tails above the tuna.”

    I have no words for this though I did sigh and laugh.

  2. #2 by Brian Hill on October 2, 2013 - 12:12 pm

    LOL. Believe it or not, I didn’t even realize I had made that particular pun.

  3. #3 by 34956766-35f1-11e0-af6b-000bcdcb5194 on October 14, 2013 - 7:38 pm

    I am on an extended PSMF on my sixth week. I have been using the Whole Foods brand of wild caught pink salmon at about 180 calories per can. I eat one per day after morning workout with BCAAs and do not take fish oil. Also, Skipjack is a better bet over albacore tuna as they are smaller fish and have very little mercury.

    Best of luck on your PSMF!

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