As the sun rises over tranquil waters, anglers worldwide cast their lines into the depths, seeking the thrill of the catch and the promise of a delicious meal. Among the many choices, bass, and trout stand as two beloved contenders in the angler’s world, each boasting unique characteristics and flavors that tantalize the taste buds. Beyond the thrill of the catch and the joy of outdoor adventure, eating fish offers a treasure trove of health benefits, making them a nutritious addition to any diet.
In this article we dive deep into the world of bass vs trout health benefits, exploring the unique qualities of each fish and uncovering the numerous health advantages they bring to the table. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a culinary enthusiast, join us to discover the extraordinary health benefits these aquatic wonders offer.
Indulging in white fish, such as bass, is a superb choice for promoting your health. These fish offer a rich source of complete and highly digestible protein, along with generous amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and selenium. Remarkably, a mere 3-ounce (85-gram) serving packs in just 124 calories. Whether you opt for Chilean sea bass, striped bass, or any other variety, you’ll reap nearly identical nutritional benefits and health advantages1.
Bass Nutrition Facts
The nutritional content of bass can vary slightly depending on the specific type of bass and how it’s prepared2. Here are the approximate nutrition facts for a 3-ounce (85-gram) cooked portion of bass, specifically striped bass, which is commonly consumed:
There are 20.65 g of protein in a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked bass. Fish is a good source of protein since it includes all nine essential amino acids and is easy to digest. These essential amino acids play a vital role in supporting growth and maintaining a proper nitrogen balance within the body3.
Vitamins and Minerals
A 3-ounce (85-gram) cooked bass portion has potassium, selenium, and vitamin B12. Selenium is needed for DNA synthesis, reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, oxidative stress, and free radical defense, while potassium supports cell fluid homeostasis. Bass provides 25% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for selenium and 11% of the RDA for potassium. Furthermore, vitamin B12, which supports blood, nerve function, and DNA production, is also present. Remarkably, a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of fried bass delivers a substantial 79% of the RDA for vitamin B12, making it an excellent choice for meeting your nutritional needs4.
Bass is a low-calorie option, with just 124 calories in a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving. What’s noteworthy is that 66% of these total calories are derived from protein, making it a protein-rich choice, while 29% come from fats. This balanced nutritional profile makes bass an appealing option for those looking to maintain a healthy diet and manage their calorie intake effectively.
Bass Health Benefits
Bass is beneficial for your health, offering a range of advantages. Here are some ways that bass might be good for your health:
Helps Preserve Muscle Mass
Bass is a good way to lose weight because it is low in calories and high in protein. A high-protein diet helps build and keep muscle and makes you feel fuller after a meal5.
One review of data released in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher-protein diets helped people lose weight, control their appetites, and lower their risk factors for cardiometabolic disease6.
Provides Immune System Support
Selenium, a trace mineral essential for the body, serves as a potent antioxidant. Among its numerous health benefits, it bolsters the immune system, helping it ward off infections such as the common cold and flu. Selenium plays a crucial role in fortifying immune cells against the harmful effects of free radicals and invading pathogens. Incorporating selenium-rich foods into your diet is an effective way to enhance your immunity7,8.
Improves Heart Health
Heart attack and stroke remain the leading causes of death in the United States. A diet rich in omega-3-containing foods like bass has been shown to have several heart health benefits to avoid heart attack and stroke9.
Offers High-Quality Protein Source
Bass is one of the leanest proteins. It provides 20 grams of high-quality protein every 3-ounce cooked meal, or 6 grams per ounce10.
Bass Potential Side Effects
Bass fish is a popular type of fish consumed worldwide, and it’s generally considered safe to eat as part of a balanced diet. However, like any food, there can be potential side effects or considerations associated with consuming bass fish:
One of the primary concerns with eating bass fish, especially larger and older individuals, is the potential for mercury contamination. Mercury is a heavy metal that can accumulate in the tissues of certain fish over time. High levels of mercury consumption can be harmful, particularly for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children. Knowing local advisories and guidelines for consuming fish in your area is important, as they may provide specific recommendations for bass and other fish species11.
Some individuals may be allergic to fish, including bass. Fish allergies can range from mild to severe, and symptoms may include hives, difficulty breathing, or digestive issues. If you suspect a fish allergy, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.
Like many fish, bass can potentially contain parasites, such as tapeworms. Proper cooking and freezing can help reduce the risk of parasitic infections. Cooking fish to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) can kill most parasites and pathogens.
Like all raw fish, bass can carry harmful bacteria, such as salmonella and listeria. Proper handling, storage, and bass cooking are essential to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses.
The bass fish may be exposed to environmental toxins and pollutants depending on where it was wild caught. These contaminants can accumulate in the fish and pose health risks if consumed regularly. It’s a good practice to choose fish from reputable sources and be aware of the water quality in the areas where it is caught.
Bass fish may contain small bones that can be a choking hazard if not properly removed before consumption. Careful preparation and eating can help mitigate this risk.
Bass fish is a protein and healthy fat source, but it may not suit everyone’s dietary preferences or restrictions. For example, people following a vegetarian or vegan diet would not consume fish.
A trout is a freshwater fish from the farmed Salmon family. Trouts are known for their sleek, elongated bodies and are highly valued by anglers for their sport and culinary qualities. They are typically found in cool, clear streams, rivers, and lakes in North America, Europe, and Asia.
There are several species of trout, including the rainbow trout, lake trout, brown trout, brook trout, and cutthroat trout, each with distinct characteristics and habitat preferences. Rainbow trout, for example, are known for their colorful, iridescent skin, while brown trout have a more mottled appearance. Trout are carnivorous and feed on smaller fish, insects, and other aquatic organisms.
Trout Nutrition Facts
The USDA gives the following nutrition information for a 3-ounce raw, wild rainbow trout dose12.
Both wild and farm-raised trout contain fat, but their fat content differs. Wild rainbow trout has 2.94 grams of fat, with 0.614 grams saturated, 0.96 grams monounsaturated, and 1.05 grams polyunsaturated.
Conversely, farm-raised rainbow trout has 5.25 grams of fat, 1.18 grams saturated, 1.68 grams monounsaturated, and 1.28 grams polyunsaturated.
Trout is a good source of protein, with about 17 grams of protein in a 3-ounce amount of wild and farm-raised fish.
Vitamins and Minerals
Calcium, potassium, magnesium, and niacin are abundant in rainbow trout. Rainbow fish includes 57 mg calcium, 409 mg potassium, 26.4 mg magnesium, and 4.58 mg niacin per 3-ounce serving. It contains 52.7 IU of vitamin A, 3.78mg of vitamin B-12, and 645 vitamin D.
Trout Health Benefits
Trout comes with a wealth of advantages. Here are some ways that trout can help your health:
Great Source of Protein
Rainbow trout provides a generous protein supply, offering approximately 17 grams of protein in a 3-ounce serving, whether it’s wild-caught or farm-raised13.
Rainbow trout contains heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids for healthy and cardiovascular patients. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce triglycerides, blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and arrhythmias14.
Brain-Boosting Fats During Pregnancy
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain and heart health. It helps fetal brain development throughout pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends pregnant and breastfeeding women eat two servings of fish each week for omega-3s15.
Excellent Source of Vitamin D
Fat-soluble vitamin D is needed for bone formation and remodeling. It boosts calcium absorption, lowers inflammation, and improves neuromuscular and immunological function. Fish like rainbow trout are a good source of vitamin D as few foods naturally contain it. Rainbow trout offers 645 IUs of vitamin D, 81% of the daily intake, per 3-ounce serving16.
Potential Side Effects Of Trout
Trout is a popular freshwater fish that is generally considered safe to eat and is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. However, like bass, there are potential side effects or considerations to keep in mind:
Trout, especially larger and older ones, can contain low levels of mercury, a toxic heavy metal that can be harmful when consumed in large quantities. Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children are advised to limit their intake of high-mercury fish and choose smaller, younger trout when possible17.
Like many fish, trout can potentially contain parasites such as tapeworms and roundworms. Cooking trout thoroughly (to an internal temperature of 145°F or 63°C) will kill these parasites and make the fish safe to eat18.
Like other seafood, trout can carry bacteria, including salmonella and listeria, which can cause foodborne illnesses. Proper handling, storage, and cooking are essential to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination19.
Trout is relatively low in saturated fat, but it does contain cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol levels or other cardiovascular concerns, consuming trout in moderation and as part of a balanced diet is essential20.
Bass vs Trout Health Benefits: Main Comparisons
Bass and trout are two popular fish types often sought after by anglers. While they share some similarities, they also have many differences in terms of habitat, behavior, appearance, and fishing techniques. Here’s a main comparison between bass and trout:
Bass: Bass are freshwater fish commonly found in various freshwater habitats, including lakes, ponds, rivers, and reservoirs. They prefer warm water and are often associated with submerged structures like rocks, fallen trees, and aquatic vegetation.
Trout: Trout, on the other hand, are also healthy fish but are often associated with colder, cleaner, and faster-flowing streams and rivers. They are more commonly found in mountainous regions and thrive in clear, well-oxygenated water.
Bass: There are several species of bass, with largemouth bass and smallmouth bass being the most well-known. These two species have different preferences and behaviors, with largemouth bass favoring still or slow-moving water and smallmouth bass being more partial to clear, rocky streams.
Trout: Trout encompasses various species, including rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, and cutthroat trout, among others. Each trout species has its preferred habitat and can be found in different regions of North America and beyond.
Behavior and Feeding
Bass: Bass are predatory fish known for their aggressive feeding behavior. They often hide and ambush their prey, including smaller fish, insects, and mammals. They are known for their powerful strikes when hunting.
Trout: Trout are also predators but tend to be more cautious and selective in feeding habits. They primarily feed on aquatic insects, small crustaceans, and smaller fish. Trout are known for their keen vision and are often targeted with more finesse in fishing techniques.
Bass: Largemouth bass are typically greenish with a distinctive dark lateral stripe. They have a large mouth, which is their defining feature. Smallmouth bass are bronze or brownish with vertical bars along their bodies.
Trout: Trout species can vary in coloration but often have a streamlined body shape with spots along their sides. Rainbow trout are known for their vibrant pink stripe, while brown trout have a more mottled appearance.
Bass: Bass fishing often involves techniques like casting lures, using live bait, or fly fishing. Anglers may target bass in various ways, including topwater fishing, crankbait fishing, etc.
Trout: Trout fishing is often associated with fly fishing, particularly in fast-flowing rivers and streams. Anglers use delicate presentations and various fly patterns to entice trout. Spin fishing with small lures or bait is also common for trout.
Bass and trout are popular freshwater fish with distinct characteristics and health benefits. Whether sea bass or striped bass, bass are rich in complete protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium. They support immune systems, help preserve muscle mass, promote satiety, and improve heart health. Trout, such as rainbow trout, is an excellent source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It is particularly beneficial during pregnancy for brain development and offers ample vitamin D for bone health. Both fish have health advantages, but the choice may depend on individual preferences and dietary considerations.
1 Mason GJ, Lavery JM. What Is It Like to Be a Bass? Red Herrings, Fish Pain and the Study of Animal Sentience. Front Vet Sci. 2022 Apr 27;9:788289. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2022.788289. Erratum in: Front Vet Sci. 2022 Jun 07;9:948567. PMID: 35573409; PMCID: PMC9094623.
2 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2022. USDA Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies 2019-2020. Food Surveys Research Group Home Page, http://www.ars.usda.gov/nea/bhnrc/fsrg
3 Lopez MJ, Mohiuddin SS. Biochemistry, Essential Amino Acids. [Updated 2023 Mar 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557845/
5 Alhussain MH, ALshammari MM. Association Between Fish Consumption and Muscle Mass and Function in Middle-Age and Older Adults. Front Nutr. 2021 Dec 13;8:746880. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2021.746880. PMID: 34966766; PMCID: PMC8710756.
6 Leidy, H. J., Clifton, P. M., Astrup, A., Wycherley, T. P., Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S., Luscombe-Marsh, N. D., Woods, S. C., & Mattes, R. D. (2015). The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 101(6), 1320S-1329S. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.114.084038
9 Virani SS, Alonso A, Aparicio HJ, Benjamin EJ, Bittencourt MS, Callaway CW, Carson AP, Chamberlain AM, Cheng S, Delling FN, Elkind MSV, Evenson KR, Ferguson JF, Gupta DK, Khan SS, Kissela BM, Knutson KL, Lee CD, Lewis TT, Liu J, Loop MS, Lutsey PL, Ma J, Mackey J, Martin SS, Matchar DB, Mussolino ME, Navaneethan SD, Perak AM, Roth GA, Samad Z, Satou GM, Schroeder EB, Shah SH, Shay CM, Stokes A, VanWagner LB, Wang N-Y, Tsao CW; on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2021 update: a report from the American Heart Association [published online ahead of print January 27, 2021]. Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000950
10 Fan Z, Wu D, Li J, Zhang Y, Cui Z, Li T, Zheng X, Liu H, Wang L, Li H. Assessment of Fish Protein Hydrolysates in Juvenile Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) Diets: Effect on Growth, Intestinal Antioxidant Status, Immunity, and Microflora. Front Nutr. 2022 May 12;9:816341. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.816341. PMID: 35634365; PMCID: PMC9136635.
11 Mieiro CL, Pacheco M, Duarte AC, Pereira ME. Fish consumption and risk of contamination by mercury—considerations on the definition of edible parts based on the case study of European sea bass. Mar Pollut Bull. 2011 Dec;62(12):2850-3. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.10.004. Epub 2011 Oct 29. PMID: 22041498.
12 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2022. USDA Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies 2019-2020. Food Surveys Research Group Home Page, http://www.ars.usda.gov/nea/bhnrc/fsrg
15 Jones PJH, Rideout T. Lipids, sterols, and their metabolites. In: Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, Tucker KL, Ziegler TR, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 11th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2014.
17 Bartz, K. K., Hannam, M. P., Wilson, T. L., Lepak, R. F., Ogorek, J. M., Young, D. B., Eagles-Smith, C. A., & Krabbenhoft, D. P. (2023). Understanding drivers of mercury in lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), a top-predator fish in southwest Alaska’s parklands. Environmental Pollution, 330, 121678. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2023.121678
18 Buchmann K, Uldal A, Lyholt HC. A checklist of metazoan parasites from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Acta Vet Scand. 1995;36(3):299-318. doi: 10.1186/BF03547676. PMID: 7502947; PMCID: PMC8095422.
19 Kayış, Ş. , Soyköse, G. , İpek, Z. Z. & Er, A. (2021). Determination of Bacterial Contamination and Antibiotic Resistance of the Bacteria in the Some Trout Farm Hatcheries in the Eastern Black Sea Region of Turkey . Journal of Limnology and Freshwater Fisheries Research , 7 (2) , 101-107 . DOI: 10.17216/limnofish.827718
20 Deng J, Bi B, Kang B, Kong L, Wang Q, Zhang X. Improving the growth performance and cholesterol metabolism of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fed soyabean meal-based diets using dietary cholesterol supplementation. Br J Nutr. 2013 Jul 14;110(1):29-39. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512004680. Epub 2012 Nov 27. PMID: 23182370.