Rainbow Trout Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Rainbow trout

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Rainbow trout is a tender, flakey, ray-finned fish in the salmon family. The flesh can be white, pink, or orange in color. Rainbow trout is mild in flavor, which is great news for people who don’t like seafood that tastes too fishy. This popular fish is packed full of protein, healthy fats, vitamins such as vitamin D, and minerals.

Fish is considered one of the best sources of two forms of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which help keep our heart healthy. 

Rainbow trout can be baked, broiled, grilled, smoked, pan-fried, sauteed, or steamed. It pairs well with vegetables like asparagus, red potatoes, rice, or a green salad. Here’s everything you need to know about the nutrition facts, health benefits, preparation, and storage of rainbow trout.

Rainbow Trout Nutrition Facts

The following nutritional information is provided by the USDA and is for a 3-ounce serving of wild, raw rainbow trout.

  • Calories: 103
  • Fat: 2.94g
  • Sodium: 41mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 17.4g

Carbs

Rainbow trout does not contain any carbohydrates. Therefore, it is not a good source of dietary carbohydrates.

Fats

Both wild and farm-raised rainbow trout have fat, but the wild variety has half the fat as farm-raised. The total fat content for wild rainbow trout is 2.94 grams, with a breakdown of 0.614 grams of saturated fat, 0.96 grams monounsaturated fat, and 1.05 grams of polyunsaturated fat.

Farm-raised rainbow trout contains 5.25 grams of fat with a breakdown of 1.18 grams of saturated fat, 1.68 grams of monounsaturated fat, and 1.28 grams of polyunsaturated fat.

Protein

Rainbow trout is a rich source of protein, with a 3-ounce serving of both wild and farm-raised fish containing about 17 grams of protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Rainbow trout is high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and niacin. A 3-ounce serving of rainbow trout has 57mg of calcium, 409mg of potassium, 26.4mg of magnesium, and 4.58mg of niacin. It also has 52.7 IU of vitamin A, 3.78mg of vitamin B-12, and 645 IU of vitamin D.

Health Benefits

Besides being a lean white fish, rainbow trout offers significant health benefits for pregnant women and for your brain, heart, and bones. Here are some ways that rainbow trout can boost your health.

Great Source of Protein

Protein is an essential building block for muscles, bones, skin, blood, and cartilage. While the amount of protein you need each day depends on several factors such as your body weight and activity level, aiming for the minimum requirements of 46 to 56 grams of protein per day is ideal.

Including fish such as rainbow trout at least twice a week can help meet your protein needs. Plus, if you’re trying to lose weight, choosing a lean protein source such as fish over fatty red meats can reduce the number of calories you eat.

Heart-Healthy Fats

Rainbow trout is filled with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit both healthy people and those who have cardiovascular disease. In addition to lowering triglyceride levels, omega-3 fatty acids can also reduce blood pressure, keep plaque from clogging your arteries, and prevent the development of arrhythmias.

Brain-Boosting Fats During Pregnancy 

In addition to heart-health, omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for brain health. During pregnancy, omega-3 fatty acids aid healthy brain development in your fetus. To benefit from the omega-3s in fish, the guidelines form the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) say pregnant women should eat at least two servings of fish per week during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

According to ACOG, "some types of fish have higher levels of mercury than others. Mercury is a metal that has been linked to birth defects. Do not eat bigeye tuna, king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, or tilefish. Limit white (albacore) tuna to only 6 oz a week. You also should check advisories about fish caught in local waters."

Adults ages 19 and older, should get 1.1 grams to 1.6 grams of omega-3s each day. Women who are pregnant should aim for 1.4 grams a day. And women who are breastfeeding should get 1.3 grams per day.

Excellent Source of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is needed for bone growth and bone remodeling. It also helps promote calcium absorption, reduces inflammation in the body, and benefits neuromuscular and immune function. Since vitamin D is naturally present in only a few food items, including fish such as rainbow trout is an excellent way to get a healthy dose of vitamin D from food. A 3-ounce serving of rainbow trout has approximately 645 IUs of vitamin D, which is 81 percent of the daily value.

Allergies

You can develop an allergy at any age in response to any type of food. Common symptoms of food allergies include hives, shortness of breath, wheezing, vomiting or stomach cramps, swelling of the tongue, dizziness, and in rare cases, anaphylaxis. If you think you have an allergy to rainbow trout, stop eating it and talk with your doctor.

Varieties

Rainbow trout is available in both wild or farm-raised varieties.

When It’s Best

Rainbow trout spawn in late winter or spring, and more specifically, between March and May, but you can purchase and eat rainbow trout year-round. To make sure your fish is fresh, smell it before purchasing it. Fish should smell fresh and mild. If it has a sour or ammonia-like smell, do not buy it.

Storage and Food Safety

At the store or market, only buy fish that is refrigerated or displayed on ice. Once at home, store fresh rainbow trout in the refrigerator or freezer. Wrap it in plastic or foil and place in an air-tight container. If you plan on eating your rainbow trout within two days of purchase, you can store it in the refrigerator.

Otherwise, you should tightly wrap the rainbow trout and place it in an air-tight container or freezer-safe bag and store it in the freezer. When you’re ready to cook the frozen rainbow trout, remove it from the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Do not thaw at room temperature.

How to Prepare

There are a variety of ways to prepare rainbow trout including baked, grilled, pan-fried, oven-roasted, sauteed, boiled, and smoked. Rainbow trout, like other types of seafood, should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rainbow trout has a rich flavor that can be enhanced with lemon, pepper, olive oil, garlic, dill weed, thyme, and many other seasonings. If you have leftover rainbow trout, make sure to wrap it and store it in the refrigerator. Do not leave it out at room temperature.

Recipes 

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Article Sources
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