Rainbow Trout: Good for Your Body & Your Brain

Among the top five healthiest fish to eat, rainbow trout makes a tasty entrée and is one of the more affordable seafood options. It's best to buy farmed rainbow trout because wild trout can be contaminated from chemicals like mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

All rainbow trout on the U.S. market is farmed-raised in the United States, in accordance with strict environmental standards. Rainbow trout is farmed in raceways, which mimic a free-flowing river and use large amounts of freshwater.

Rainbow trout provides a number of nutrients important to physical and mental wellness. A cooked 3-ounce serving of farmed rainbow trout contains 21 grams of muscle-building protein. For brain health, a serving provides over 900 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids including EPA and DHA. Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent neurological disorders like dementia, depression, bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s disease; they are also linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer.

There are several ways to cook trout: grilled, smoked, pan-fried, roasted or baked. When baking, measure the thickness of the fish and plan on 10 minutes per inch (5 minutes on each side), and bake at 400 to 450 degrees F. You can use nearly any seasoning – herbs, lemon, salt, pepper – to finish off your trout. Additionally, many salmon recipes work well for rainbow trout.


USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Nutrient data for 15241, Fish, Trout, Rainbow, Farmed, Cooked, Dry Heat. Accessed 4 Nov 2016:

U.S.News & World Report Online – Health: Which Fish is the Best Fish? Consider Omega-3s, Sustainability, and Mercury. Accessed 4 Nov 2016:

MontereyAquarium: Seafood Watch Database: Trout. Accessed Nov 17,2016:

Rodale’s Organic Life Online: Accessed 4 Nov 2016.

Environmental Defense Fund: Rainbow (Steelhead) Trout:

Environmental Defense Fund: What You Need to Know about Buying Seafood. Accessed 4 Nov 2016. “Which Fish to Pick: Farmed or Wild?” Accessed 17 Nov 2016:

Ways to Cook Trout:

Grant, R. & Guest, J. “Role of Omega-3 PUFAs in Neurobiological Health.” Adv Neurobiol. (2016) 12:247-74. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-28383-8_13. Accessed via Pubmed on 4 Nov 2016

Knoechel, C. et. al., “Omega-3 fatty acids: repurposing opportunities for cognition and biobehavioral disturbances in MCI and Dementia.” Curr Alzheimer Res. (2016) Jun 2 (epub ahead of print. Accessed via Pubmed on 4 Nov 2016).

“Dietary fatty acids in dementia and predementia syndromes: epidemiological evidence and possible underlying mechanisms.” Ageing Res Rev. 2010 Apr;9(2):184-99. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2009.07.005. Epub 2009 Jul 28. Accessed via PubMed 4 Nov 2016.