Fish Egg Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Fish Eggs

Caviar on spoon
Creativ Studio Heinemann / Getty Images

If you’re trying to lose weight or improve your diet, you should probably eat more fish. The American Heart Association recommends that you eat at least two servings of fish each week. But do fish eggs count? And are fish eggs healthy? 

Fish Egg Calories and Nutrition

Sturgeon Roe Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 tablespoon (16 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 42 
Calories from Fat 27 
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat .65g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.185g
Monounsaturated Fat  0.74g 
Cholesterol 94mg31%
Sodium 240mg10%
Potassium 29mg0.6%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Sugars 0g 
Protein 4g9% 
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

There are different types of fish eggs and you'll see them sold under different names at the fish market or grocery store:

  • Caviar is usually made exclusively from the eggs of sturgeon fish. These fish eggs are cured and then placed in tins for aging and storing. In North America, the term "caviar" is used to describe only roe that comes from sturgeon. But in Europe, the word may describe fish eggs from other sources. There are different types of caviar that come from different types of sturgeon. These include osetra, beluga, sevruga, and Siberian caviar.
  • Roe is the term used for female fish eggs. The eggs may come from a variety of fish, including trout, whitefish, salmon, or even carp and shellfish. Fish eggs may vary in size, texture, and color. 

There can be a nutritional difference between fish egg varieties. For example, sturgeon roe (see label) provides about 42 calories per serving and 3 grams of fat per one-tablespoon serving.

But herring roe provides only 20 calories per serving and one gram of fat, according to USDA data. Trout caviar provides roughly 35 calories per tablespoon and three grams of fat.

It's not always easy to find nutritional information for fish eggs when you buy the product online as many roe suppliers are located outside of the United States and may not have to provide a nutritional label.

However, when most of us eat fish eggs we eat only a very small amount as a garnish so the roe doesn't significantly change the calorie count or nutritional value of the meal.

Health Benefits of Fish Eggs 

The health benefits of fish eggs make the food popular with specialty dieters, such as those following the Paleo diet and other low carb eaters. The food is relatively high in cholesterol and can be high in sodium, but it is also a source of healthy fat. One serving of fish eggs provides 439 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA) and 608 milligrams of DHA.

A single serving also provides 133 percent of your daily dose of vitamin B12, which can help you to maintain a healthy metabolism and strong heart health. You'll also benefit from 79 milligrams of choline (or 18 percent of your target if you follow a 2,000 calorie per day diet). Choline supports healthy fat and cholesterol transport in your body and serves other important functions as well.

You'll also get a boost of magnesium and selenium when you consume fish eggs.

Choosing and Storing Caviar

Because there are many different types of caviar, there are different price points for the product. Many caviar connoisseurs only buy the very finest fish eggs that can cost a hundred dollars or more per ounce.

But there are also many less expensive fish eggs—including shelf-stable varieties—that you'll find for under $10.

When you serve caviar (or any fish eggs) use a spoon that is not made of metal as it can add a metallic taste to the delicate flavor. Pearl caviar spoons are sold in many markets, but you can also use a plastic or wood spoon if you don't have a pearl spoon at home.

Many fish egg lovers enjoy roe on top of a blini (small pancake), on toast, or if you're going low-carb on top of a cucumber with a dollop of creme fraiche. You'll also see fish eggs used as a garnish on dishes served in many restaurants.

To store caviar, keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator. When you pull it out to serve, keep it on ice to prevent warming. Try to serve the roe in its original container. Transferring the delicate eggs to a serving dish may damage them and they are best enjoyed intact. Throw away any unused caviar after 2-3 days.