Haddock – Nutrition, Benefits, Risks and Ways to Use

Gunjan Sooden

July 18, 2022

Haddock is a valuable North Atlantic fish of the Gadidae family. It is also known as Finnan Haddie. Haddock is a carnivore, feeding on invertebrates and fishes. It resembles the cod and has a chin barbel, two anal, and three dorsal fins. 

This deep-sea fish has a purplish-grey-coloured head and back with a white belly. The size is about three feet, and the average weight is 11 kg. It has an elongated, tapering body and has an oval black thumbprint. So it is also known as the Devil’s thumbprint. One can identify a haddock by a dark lateral line and a distinctive dark spot on each shoulder. Haddock is a healthy fish due to its high-protein, low-calorie and low-mercury content. 

Nutritional Values of Haddock

As per USDA, 100 grams of cooked haddock contain the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 90 kcal
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Fats: 0.55 g
  • Calcium : 14 mg
  • Iron : 0.21 mg
  • Phosphorous: 278 mg
  • Potassium : 351 mg
  • Selenium: 31.7 µg
  • Sodium : 261 mg
  • Magnesium: 26 mg
  • Vitamin B3: 4.12 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.327 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 2.13 mg
  • Choline: 79.6 mg
  • Folate: 13 µg

The HealthifyMe Note

The mercury content of haddock is 0.055 parts per million, which is relatively low compared to most marine saltwater fish. Haddock is rated one of the best fish to eat because of its high B vitamin, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and potassium content. 

Potential Health Benefits of Haddock

Improves Digestive Efficiency

Haddock is rich in B complex vitamins, a family of water-soluble nutrients humans must get from diet. Niacin plays a vital role in metabolising carbs and fats into energy.

It is also essential for digestion. Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, aids in the digestion of protein and carbohydrates and supports brain cells. Eating 100 grams of haddock offers 4.12 mg of niacin, 2.13 mg of B12, and 0.327 mg of vitamin B6. 

Reduces Bad Cholesterol (LDL)

Haddock has niacin present in it. A study shows that niacin decreases LDL cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol levels. As a result, it prevents the thickening of artery walls and atherosclerosis. 

Reduces Stress

Research has proven that pantothenic acid in haddock fish lowers stress and mental problems such as depression and anxiety, promoting mental fitness. Pantothenic acid helps regulate the production of the stress hormone cortisol when one is under chronic stress. It is necessary for the regulation of hormones that is the cause of the mental condition. 

Low Mercury Content

Most fishes carry traces of mercury, a heavy metal accumulation that causes neurological, digestive and immune disorders. Mercury contamination is the most serious among large fish. However, with just 0.055 ppm mercury, you can safely enjoy haddock twice a week. It is also one of the low-mercury fish chosen by the FDA for pregnant and nursing women.

Weight Loss Friendly

Broiled, poached, baked, and light sautéing or stir-fried haddock are low-calorie, healthy preparation for weight loss diets. Haddock has around 90 calories for every 100 grams serving portion. It is also low in fat and contains zero carbohydrates. However, deep-frying can add unwanted fat and calories to an otherwise nutritious haddock.

Rich in Minerals

Haddock supplies a mix of minerals, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. It has notable phosphorus and selenium content, while others are present in small amounts. Eating one serving of cooked haddock provides 19% of the daily value for phosphorus and 49% for selenium.

Smoked haddock gives you more selenium, around 66% of your everyday needs. Selenium boosts the antioxidant capacity of haddock and helps combat free radicals. The phosphorus mineral in haddock can also support building healthy bones and teeth.

Ways to Cook Haddock

As with all white fish, it is easy to overcook or undercook haddock. Therefore, you need to take the fish off the heat when it starts to flake and is hot in the middle. The residual heat will finish the pending cooking, not leading to overcooked or undercooked haddock. Haddock has a subtle flavour and soft texture. Therefore, it relies heavily on other ingredients. 

Cooking Haddock Whole

Baking is the best way to cook a whole haddock and retain its nutrients. If you’re roasting haddock as a whole, roast it for around 12-15 minutes per 1 pound of weight at 200°C. 

Cooking Haddock Fillet

The haddock fillet must be pin-boned before cooking. To crisp the skin of the haddock fillet when pan-frying, place it skin-side down in a preheated pan for most of the cooking time. Then, turn the fillet over at the last minute to finish. 

Healthy Recipes Using Haddock

Broiled Haddock

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 20 minutes
  • Servings: 4


  • Haddock fillets: 2 pounds 
  • Onion powder: ½ tsp
  • Paprika: ½ tsp
  • Garlic powder: ½ tsp
  • Ground black pepper: ½ tsp
  • Salt: ½ tsp
  • Cayenne pepper: ¼ tsp
  • Lemon: 1 (cut into wedges)

Method of Preparation

  • Preheat the broiler and keep the oven rack 6 inches below the heat source. 
  • Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and line it with aluminium foil. Then, place the haddock on top of it.
  • Mix paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Then, marinate the fish with seasoning.
  • Preheat the oven to broil and cook the fish for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork. 
  • Serve with lemon slices on the side.

Baked Haddock

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 25 minutes
  • Servings: 4


  • Milk: 3/4 cup
  • Salt: 2 tsp
  • Brown bread crumbs: ¾ cup 
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: ¼ cup 
  • Ground dried thyme: ¼ tsp
  • Haddock fillets: 4 
  • Olive oil: ¼ cup


  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine the milk and salt in a small bowl. 
  • Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and thyme in a separate bowl. 
  • After dipping the haddock fillets in the milk, coat them with the crumb mixture. 
  • Drizzle olive oil over haddock fillets in a glass baking dish. 
  • Bake for 15 minutes on the top shelf of a preheated oven until the fish flakes easily.

Baked Haddock With Roasted Tomato and Fennel

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • Total time: 55 minutes
  • Servings: 2


  • Haddock: 250 g
  • Olive oil: 2 tbsp
  • Garlic, minced: 3 cloves 
  • Lemon zest from one lemon
  • Kosher salt: ½ tsp
  • Cracked pepper: ¼ tsp
  • Thyme: 1 tbsp
  • Onion, thinly sliced: 1
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Fennel bulb, very thinly sliced: 1
  • Tomatoes: 2 cups

Method of Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Cut the haddock into 4-6 pieces.
  • Mix olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Toss the mixture with fish, and set aside.
  •  Place onion slices and fennel on a lightly oiled baking dish. Top with tomatoes, one teaspoon of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Then, place the haddock overtop, nestling among the tomatoes. 
  • Drizzle the leftover marinade and cook for 7-8 minutes or until the fish cooks to the desired level.
  • Remove from the oven. Add any remaining lemon juice and thyme. 

Storage and Safety Tips

  • You should refrigerate the haddock within two hours of cooking. Refrigerate cooked haddock in shallow airtight containers or wrap securely in heavy-duty aluminium foil to extend its shelf life for safety and quality. Cooked haddock will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days if refrigerated properly.
  • Cooked haddock can be frozen to increase its shelf life. Freeze it in closed airtight containers or freezer bags, or wrap it securely in heavy-duty aluminium foil or freezer wrap. It will keep its finest quality for around 2 to 3 months if properly stored. The freezer time indicated is for optimal quality only. 
  • Bacteria tend to develop quickly at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F. Therefore keeping cooked haddock at room temperature for more than 2 hours is not safe.
  • A foul smell and a slimy texture are signs of rotten haddock. Therefore, discard any haddock with an odd smell, pale brownish gills, and cloudy mucus skin. 

The HealthifyMe Note

In addition to correct handling and storage, checking the skin, gills, and eyes is essential to ensure a safe, high-quality seafood product. For example, an excellent quality haddock shows bright red gills with little to no mucus, bright and bulging eyes, and shiny, transparent mucus skin. 

Potential Side Effects of Haddock

High Sodium

Sodium occurs naturally in haddock, with 261 mg per 100 grams. Adding too much salt during cooking can increase the sodium levels in haddock. People with hypertension and heart disease should eat less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium. 


Whitefish, such as haddock, can cause an allergy in a small number of people. Unlike other dietary intolerances, a fish allergy may not exhibit itself until you’re an adult. Hives, sneezing, headaches, respiratory issues, and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis is all haddock allergy symptoms. If you have signs and suspect you are allergic to fish, avoid eating it.


Haddock provides a plethora of health advantages. Haddock is good for digestion and bone health and keeps the body’s fluid levels in check. In addition, a 100 grams serving of haddock is rich in several B vitamins, including vitamins B6, B12, and niacin or B3. The healthy preparation methods for haddock include light sautéing or stir-frying, baking, broiling, and poaching. However, deep frying and adding too much salt can increase the calories, sodium, and fat in an otherwise healthy haddock. In addition, those with a fish allergy should avoid consuming it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Is haddock a healthy fish to eat?

A. Haddock is high in minerals that help strengthen bones and regulate heart rate, including selenium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron. In addition, haddock is full of necessary vitamins, especially B vitamins like niacin, cobalamin, vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins play essential roles in cell and food metabolism and red blood cell production.

Q. Which is healthier, cod or haddock?

A. Vitamins A, B12, B6, and B3 are more significant in the haddock, whereas vitamins C, E, D, B1, and B5 are higher in the cod. Moreover, haddock has a more excellent protein content, but cod has a higher calorie content. Nevertheless, cod and haddock are low-fat protein alternatives to red meat with several health benefits.

Q. What health benefits does haddock have?

A. Haddock is rich in minerals that help build bone strength and regulate heart rate, including protein, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron. In addition, mercury contamination is relatively lesser in haddocks. Therefore, it is also suitable for pregnant and nursing women. 

Q. Is haddock as healthy as salmon?

A. Haddock has fewer calories than salmon. Moreover, the calories in salmon come from fat, whereas most of the calories in haddock come from protein. It’s also clear that salmon has a higher fat content than haddock. The high B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium levels make haddock as healthy as salmon. It is also a nutritious alternative to salmon. 

Q. Does haddock have an iron?

A. 100g of haddock contains 0.21 mg iron, according to USDA. Despite not being a prominent iron source, the combined effect of iron, B vitamins, and protein makes haddock healthy. 

Q. Is haddock high in protein?

A. Yes, haddock is rich in protein. You get around 20 grams of protein from eating 100 grams of haddock. So it is a go-to protein source for many, particularly for weight loss diets. 

Q. What vitamins are in haddock?

A. One serving of cooked haddock meets more than 20% of daily needs for vitamin B12. It is also an abundant source of vitamin B5 and B6. Besides vitamins, haddock offers a healthy dose of protein, potassium, and calcium. 

Q. Is haddock good for the heart?

A. Haddock is an omega3-rich nutrient. Studies show that omega3 supports heart health. The omega-3 fats you’ll find in haddock are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). 

Q. Is haddock high in cholesterol?

A. Yes, haddock is high in cholesterol. However, the amount of cholesterol varies as per the types and serving sizes of haddock. It also changes according to how you cook and prepare haddock. For example, methods like deep frying can cause a rise in fat and cholesterol levels of haddock. 

Q. Is haddock fish high in mercury?

A. Mercury is present in all types of fish. However, this does not imply that you should exclude fish from your diet. For example, haddock is a low mercury fish approved by the FDA. It has only 0.055 ppm of mercury, which is comparatively lesser. 

About the Author

Gunjan Sooden graduated from Delhi University with a degree in nutrition and dietetics. She is passionate about helping people understand the value of healthy eating, cooking, and food & nutrition in their fitness journey. Eating healthy, she believes, should not be boring. With experience as an intern in the food sector, she is best at exploring and producing recipes using local, day-to-day ingredients. This generation differs from the previous one. We need to figure out quick ways to make our regular meals healthier and more delicious. Because this is our current way of life, we must balance being busy while still being able to eat healthily, right?

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