Mackerel and smoked mackerel – calories, nutritional values ​​and curiosities

Mackerel is one of the fish that Poles reach especially often. We especially like smoked mackerel – not smoked, it is not so popular. It is worth eating mackerel because it has many valuable nutritional values. In addition, it has a relatively affordable price, which means that almost everyone can buy it. 

What are the differences in nutritional values ​​between the nutritional values ​​of smoked mackerel and raw mackerel? When is it worth reaching for a mackerel and what can you do with it? 


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Fresh mackerel and smoked mackerel – nutritional and healing properties 

In 100 grams of fresh mackerel we find an average of 189 calories (calories) – the calorific value depends on the age, season, spawning period, migration. Maybe for some it is a lot, but it is worth knowing that caloric mackerel comes from a large content of healthy fats. Mackerel like every fish contains a set of exogenous amino acids, so it is a source of full-value protein. Mackerel is rich in omega-3 acids that greatly affect the work of the brain and the entire nervous system. These are fatty acids, which we should reach as often as possible. Man should absorb both omega-3 and omega-6, unfortunately in the diet of modern man the latter prevail, which is not beneficial to our health. The more we should reach for more products rich in omega-3 acids to ensure the balance of fatty acids. These are found in oily fish, and mackerel belongs to one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. 

In mackerel you can also find valuable and in very large quantities of vitamins – D3 and B12. 100 grams of fresh mackerel fills the daily demand for vitamin D3 in more than 100%, and for vitamin B12 in over 300%! We should reach for the mackerel, especially during autumn and winter, when the sun is much less and thus we do not absorb so much vitamin D3. Mackerel also contains quite large amounts of other vitamins from the B group – B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. There is also a lot of choline in mackerel. 

Mackerel is also very rich in selenium.

This extraordinary element is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. There are more and more people with thyroid disease, and research shows a correlation between selenium deficiency and the emergence of, for example, hypothyroidism. We recommend mackerel food to all those who have problems with the endocrine system. In mackerel you will also find a lot of phosphorus, magnesium and some potassium and zinc. Thanks to this mackerel has a positive effect on the heart, strengthens bones, prevents their demineralization and positively affects the sodium-potassium balance. Mackerel as a sea fish contains large quantities of precious iodine 

– iodine deficiency in children decreases learning ability, slows down growth and physical development during puberty. In adults, it can impair reproductive functions, make it difficult to maintain a pregnancy, lead to thyroid insufficiency and, as a consequence, to inhibit the function of many organs and life processes of the body. 

In smoked mackerel we find more calories – 100 grams of fish is about 200 calories (kcal) – here, as in the case of fresh mackerel it is dependent on many factors. Smoking is a method of food preservation by means of smoke and also temperature. Smoking has a huge impact on the amount of water in the products. During smoking, not only the water content is reduced but also chemical and physicochemical changes. As a result of smoking and water loss, the ingredients get thicker. Depending on the type of fish smoking – whether cold, hot or hot, there is a greater or lesser loss of vitamins and minerals. Smoked mackerel contains much more sodium than raw mackerel, due to the compaction of ingredients but above all by the addition of brine. Salting preserves fish, so their durability is definitely higher. To the products during smoking, also substances prolonging its durability (formaldehyde and phenols) penetrate. Smoke smoke kills the microflora in the fish and stops the spoilage. Generally, the content of vitamins and minerals in smoked mackerel is similar or even higher (due to the compaction effect of ingredients) to the value of fresh mackerel, however, as already stated, this quantity depends on the method of smoking. It is also worth knowing that the amount of precious omega-3 acids can also be high in fish, just like in raw fish. Although omega-3 acids are very sensitive to temperature, the content of acids is also largely dependent on the method of smoking and temperature. 

Comparison of calories and nutritional values ​​of fresh and smoked mackerel 

The values ​​per 100 g of the product 

Ingredient Mackerel smoked mackerel 

Calories (energy value) 189 kcal / 791 kJ 

200 kcal / 837 kJ 

Protein 19.08 g 

Total fat 11.91 g 

Omega-3 fatty acids 2.304 g 

Omega-6 fatty acids 0.324 g 

Carbohydrates 0 g 

Mackerel? Yes but … 

Although you must certainly appreciate the health-related properties of mackerel, you should pay attention to a few things. First of all, the potential content of heavy metals – including mercury. Secondly, the fish is characterized by a large number of purines, which consumed in excess can cause arthritis. Thirdly (this applies only to smoked fish) mackerel smoked by the traditional method may contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – the same compounds are also released when smoking cigarettes, in traditional smoked fish there may also be nitrosamines and dioxins. Currently, industrially smoke aromas are used more and more often instead of traditional smoking, which are made of purified smoke, which largely deprives it of harmful compounds. It is worth noting that smoked fish also contains a lot of sodium, which is important information for people with hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. The last issue is allergenicity. Fish are among the most common food allergens, both in adults and children – the main identified fish allergen is parvalbumin. Mackerel and especially smoked mackerel may contain large doses of histamine (resulting from the transformation from the histidine amino acid), which may cause poisoning. 

Mackerel – use in the kitchen 

Mackerel can be fried – although due to the omega-3 content it is not recommended to bake and stew. As it is a fatty fish, it is great for grilling. Fish is also a popular ingredient in salads, pastes, stuffing, sauces, soups and casseroles.  


You can read also: Omega 3 more important than we thought