We wanted to put our salmon skin cracklets to the test and see if they really are a “great catch!” So we went on a hike with Jennifer McDaniel, the founder of Mcdaniel Nutrition Therapy––evidence-based, credible, up-to-date nutrition advice with a personalized and genuine approach.
Who is Jennifer McDaniel, the founder of McDaniel Nutritional Therapy?
At Mcdaniel Nutrition Therapy, her team works with athletes training for major competitions or games, families wanting to eat and live healthier, individuals seeking to lose weight and reclaim their relationship with eating, and companies supporting their employees with wellness. Jen is also a nationally recognized media spokesperson and co-author of the Mediterranean Table Cookbook. Her degrees and certifications include an MS, RDN, CSSD, and LD certification, as well as managing to run marathons, bike epically long distances, and keep up with 3 wild little boys! She is no small fish!
Like many of us Williwawers, Jen is a tree hugger and loves exploring the great outdoors! Naturally, we interviewed her on a hike near her home in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Going beneath the skin of salmon skin: Interview with Jen
1. Williwaw: Salmon is definitely a superfood packed with Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Vitamin D. How much should someone get a day, and does it depend on factors like age and lifestyle?
Jen: The amount of omega-3s and vitamin D a person needs depends on their age and gender. For males ages 14 and up, the recommended adequate intake for omega-3 is about 1.2-1.6 g/day. For females ages 14 and up, the recommended intake is about 1.0-1.2 g/day, and 1.3-1.4 during pregnancy and lactation. The omega-3 content of fish varies widely! Cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines, contain higher amounts of omega-3s compared to fish with a lower fat content—such as shellfish, tilapia, or cod. The omega-3 content of fish also depends on the composition of the food that the fish eats.
Our body can actually make some of the vitamin D your body needs. However, we still need to consume some of the vitamin D through foods such as salmon skin, eggs, tuna, broccoli, UV-exposed mushrooms, and milk. The recommended intake for vitamin D is about 15-20 mcg (600-800 IU) for both males and females ages 14 and up.
2. Williwaw: Williwaw salmon skin cracklets are made up of only salmon skin, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), and spices. Why do you suggest eating snacks with limited ingredients?
Jen: Although it is not absolutely necessary to eat only foods with less than a certain number of ingredients, a smaller ingredient list might help to ensure you’re enjoying more “whole” or “natural” foods. Ideally, in addition to looking at the “quantity” of ingredients, we also recommend looking at the quality of ingredients. And, we’d give two thumbs up to fish, olive oil, and spices! It’s right in line with the eating pattern from the Mediterranean Diet; a dietary pattern we often recommend to our clients.
3. Williwaw: Salmon skin is an excellent source of collagen. What is the scoop on collagen from a dietitian’s point of view?
Jen: Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins, and it is found in connective tissue. Collagen has also been found to help relieve joint pain and help you maintain the integrity of your skin!
4. Jen: Now, it is my turn to ask a question! What about PCBs of wild-caught vs. farm-raised salmon?
Williwaw: Great question, Jen. We are all about transparency at Williwaw and are happy to dive into this. Northeast Europe and other highly industrialized areas of the world have high concentrations of PCBs in their waters. This is also the case with dioxins and some heavy metals. In many parts of the world, farmed salmon is mostly fed groundfish which is another way they usually get PCB contamination.
Williwaw cracklets are carefully selected and sustainably sourced from the crystal clear glacial waters of Patagonia, Chile. Our salmon farms exist close to mostly uninhabited or very small populations with no industrial presence. Our salmon also feed off of local catch in the South Pacific area, very low on PCB concentrations.
In short, the water quality is different depending on the area of the world and that, in turn, will determine the presence of contaminants in the fish that are farmed there. Another reason to help keep our oceans and lands clean!
5. Williwaw: Would you suggest Williwaw cracklets to your clients as a healthy option for hiking, on-the-go-snacking, and a nutritional ingredient in recipes?
Jen: Absolutely! Williwaw salmon skin cracklets are a perfect snack or ingredient for powering up with anti-inflammatory fats and proteins!
Swim along with Jen and McDaniel Nutritional Therapy
via Instagram: @STL.Dietitians