Get started with higher satiety
Higher satiety foods
Higher satiety recipes
Get started with higher satiety
Higher satiety recipes
Higher satiety recipes

High-satiety seafood: the best options

High-satiety seafood: the best options – the evidence

This guide is written by Franziska Spritzler, RD and was last updated on March 12, 2024. It was medically reviewed by Dr. Bret Scher, MD on May 25, 2022.

The guide contains scientific references. You can find these in the notes throughout the text, and click the links to read the peer-reviewed scientific papers. When appropriate we include a grading of the strength of the evidence, with a link to our policy on this. Our evidence-based guides are updated at least once per year to reflect and reference the latest science on the topic.

All our evidence-based health guides are written or reviewed by medical doctors who are experts on the topic. To stay unbiased we show no ads, sell no physical products, and take no money from the industry. We’re fully funded by the people, via an optional membership. Most information at Diet Doctor is free forever.

Read more about our policies and work with evidence-based guides, nutritional controversies, our editorial team, and our medical review board.

Should you find any inaccuracy in this guide, please email

Whether you are a pescatarian or just enjoy eating fish and shellfish occasionally, opting for seafood is a smart move if you want to lose weight without feeling hungry. Why? Seafood provides a lot of satiety per calorie, meaning it can help you feel full and satisfied for very few calories.

This guide features satiety scores for all types of fish and shellfish. As you can see, most of them have excellent scores. We also provide delicious high-satiety recipes created to enhance the unique flavors of seafood.

What are high-satiety foods?

High-satiety foods help you feel as full as possible for the fewest number of calories. In other words, they provide high satiety per calorie

As part of our higher-satiety eating approach, we assign all foods a satiety score from 0 to 100. The score is calculated using four factors related to satiety:

  1. Protein percentage: the percentage of a food’s calories that come from protein rather than fat and carbs. Protein is an essential nutrient that reduces hunger and helps you feel full. For this reason, protein percentage is given the most weight when calculating the satiety score.
  2. Energy density: the calories (or energy) in a specific weight of food, such as 100 grams (3.5 ounces). Studies show that eating less-dense foods leads to eating less.
  3. Fiber: the non-digestible portion of carbs that can stretch your stomach and help you feel full.
  4. Hedonic factor: a score reduction for the decadent foods that can drive overeating.
SPC_Seafood-desktop – updated
Higher-satiety seafoods mobile version

If you want to lose weight, aim to eat at least one high-satiety food at each meal. Foods that score 60 or above are considered high-satiety foods. And most types of fish and shellfish have satiety scores above 60. So choose your favorites — with a few exceptions, which we’ll soon discuss. 

However, don’t feel that you must limit yourself to only high-satiety foods. For instance, you can combine high-satiety seafood with smaller amounts of lower-satiety foods, like butter or oil for preparation, or tartar sauce or melted butter at the table. This will make your meal more enjoyable, and you’ll end up with an overall satiety score that’s well above 50 — a good overall score for healthy, sustainable weight loss.

Want to delve deeper into the world of satiety? Head over to our sister brand Hava to explore the free version of the satiety calculator.

More high-satiety guides:



Fish are packed with protein and other essential nutrients. So it may not be surprising to hear that eating more fish can help you feel full and potentially lose weight, according to some studies.

Which type of fish should you choose? The short answer is, any type that you enjoy eating. While fatty fish like salmon and sardines have slightly lower satiety scores than lean fish like halibut and tuna, fatty fish provide higher amounts of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which research has linked to health benefits.

Farm-raised fatty fish are higher in fat than their wild counterparts, so their satiety scores are slightly lower. However, with a satiety score of 80, farmed salmon is still a great choice for higher-satiety eating.

Select fish based on the types you like, what’s available in your area, and your budget. (Canned fish is a great, inexpensive option.) But if your goal is feeling full and satisfied with fewer calories, stay away from seafood that’s been battered or breaded and deep-fried. 

Also, avoid or limit high-mercury fish like fresh or frozen albacore or yellowfin tuna and fresh, frozen, or canned bigeye tuna, King mackerel, swordfish, and shark. Women who are pregnant or are trying to conceive, nursing mothers, and children should be especially careful to avoid high-mercury fish.

Here are the satiety scores and grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of cooked fish — about the size of a deck of cards.


White fish*

About 25 grams of protein per serving


White fish

with 1 tablespoon of tartar sauce


White fish

with 2 tablespoons of tartar sauce

*(such as cod, halibut, flounder, orange roughy, sole, snapper, and tilapia)


Tuna, canned or raw (sashimi)

About 24 grams of protein per serving*


Salmon, wild

About 24 grams of protein per serving



About 24 grams of protein

*(Limit to once a week due to its higher mercury content)



About 26 grams of protein per serving



About 24 grams of protein per serving



About 24 grams of protein


Farmed salmon

About 24 grams of protein per serving



About 24 grams of protein per serving


Battered, deep-fried fish filet

About 14 grams of protein per serving

High-satiety fish recipes


If you want a high-satiety meal that’s tasty and fun to eat, shellfish is a great choice. All shellfish are high in protein and low in fat. Like fish, shellfish are a great source of important vitamins and minerals.

Dipping shellfish in melted butter can make your dining experience more enjoyable without lowering its satiety score too much. 

However, battered, deep-fried shellfish isn’t a good choice for higher-satiety eating. Another type of seafood that scores low on the satiety scale is imitation crab meat, which is made from fish combined with sugar, starch, and additives. It may resemble crab’s taste, but it’s far lower in protein, and its nutritional profile is much less favorable.

Here are the satiety scores and grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 ounces) serving of cooked shellfish:



About 20 grams of protein per serving



with 1 tablespoon of melted butter



with 2 tablespoons of melted butter

*(approximately one small lobster tail or two-thirds of a cup of lobster meat)


Shrimp and prawns

About 24 grams of protein per serving



About 20 grams of protein per serving



About 20 grams of protein



About 26 grams of protein per serving (approximately 10 medium slices)



About 25 grams of protein per serving (approximately 10 small clams)



About 19 grams of protein per serving (approximately two-thirds of a cup of squid)



About 20 grams of protein per serving (approximately 10 medium slices)


Oysters, raw

About 17 grams of protein per serving (approximately four to six medium links)


Oysters, cooked

About 17 grams of protein per serving (approximately one-half cup)


Imitation crab meat (surimi)

About 8 grams of protein per serving ((approximately one-half cup of surimi)


Battered, deep-fried shrimp

About 14 grams of protein per serving (approximately 6 pieces of shrimp)

High-satiety shellfish recipes

High-satiety meal plan

Would you like a meal plan that’s packed with high-satiety seafood dishes? Check out our maximum-satiety weight loss meal plan, which features a seafood meal most days of the week.


Seafood is a winner for higher-satiety eating. Plus, adding a little butter or sauce to a generous portion of fish or shellfish increases its flavor while keeping its satiety score high. So go for tasty, filling seafood meals often, whether you prepare them at home or order them at a restaurant.

  1. In a 12-day randomized crossover study, people were allowed to eat as much as they wanted on a high-protein, normal-protein, and low-protein diet. During the high-protein portion of the trial, they consumed 500-550 fewer calories than they did during the normal-protein and low-protein portion of the trial:

    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013: Protein leverage affects energy intake of high-protein diets in humans [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

    A systematic review of randomized controlled trials found that higher-protein diets tend to promote weight loss, due in part to reducing hunger and increasing satiety:

    Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2004: The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review [systematic review of randomized trials; strong evidence]

  2. In short-term trials, overweight and lean women ended up eating fewer calories when they were allowed as much food as they wanted at low-energy-density meals compared to high-energy-density meals – even though they reported having similar hunger and fullness levels after all meals:

    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1998: Energy density of foods affects energy intake in normal-weight women [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2001: Energy density of foods affects energy intake across multiple levels of fat content in lean and obese women [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

    In a one-year trial, overweight women who cut back on fat and increased the amount of low-energy-density foods in their diet lost more weight than women who simply cut back on fat, even though both groups were allowed to eat as much as they wanted:

    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007: Dietary energy density in the treatment of obesity: a year-long trial comparing 2 weight-loss diets [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

  3. In a small study, people who ate a large portion of spinach at lunch felt significantly full, which researchers attributed in part to the increased fiber in the meal:

    International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 1995: Satiety effects of spinach in mixed meals: comparison with other vegetables [non-controlled study; weak evidence]

  4. In a study conducted in an inpatient hospital ward, 20 people ate a non-calorie-restricted ultra-processed diet and non-calorie-restricted minimally processed diet for two weeks each, in random order. The participants ate an average of 500 calories more per day on the ultra-processed diet — entirely from carbohydrates and fats — and gained 2 pounds (0.9 kilos), on average:

    Cell Metabolism 2019: Ultra-processed diets cause excess calorie intake and weight gain: An inpatient randomized controlled trial of ad libitum food intake [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

  5. In a small trial, young men who ate fish or beef at lunch reported feeling full and satisfied. In addition, those who ate the fish-based meal ended up eating less at dinner:

    European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2006: A comparison of effects of fish and beef protein on satiety in normal weight men [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

    In a trial of 324 people, men who ate either lean or fatty fish as part of a weight loss diet lost an average of 2.2 pounds (1 kilo) more in four weeks than men who ate less seafood. However, in this study, women lost the same amount of weight regardless of their seafood intake:

    International Journal of Obesity 2007: Randomized trial of weight-loss-diets for young adults varying in fish and fish oil content [moderate evidence]

  6. Some studies suggest that omega-3 fats may provide health benefits, or at least improve certain markers of heart health:

    Metabolism 2014: A fish-based diet intervention improves endothelial function in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized crossover trial [moderate evidence]

    British Journal of Nutrition 2012: Dietary inclusion of salmon, herring and pompano as oily fish reduces CVD risk markers in dyslipidemic middle-aged and elderly Chinese women [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

    Nutrition Research 2010: Inclusion of Atlantic salmon in the Chinese diet reduces cardiovascular disease risk markers in dyslipidemic adult men [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

  7. Fish lose about 25% of their weight in cooking. The protein content of 4.5 ounces of raw fish is equivalent to about 3.5 ounces of cooked fish.