There are some foods that we’ve been eating since we were children. They are classics. Things like grilled cheese and tomato soup, peanut butter & jelly, spaghetti and meatballs and tuna fish sandwiches. These foods often elicit a sense of comfort; they are things we can rely on time and time again. However, recently there has been some doubt raised in the marketplace resulting in increased curiosity and many consumers posing the question, “Is canned fish good for you?”
Here, we hope to provide assurance around this topic by sharing canned tuna health benefits, guidance from experts on how much canned tuna is safe to eat weekly and links to some of our favorite canned tuna recipes so that you can not only feel confident eating tuna fish, but you can also add a variety of delicious dishes to your cooking repertoire.
While there are many fish in the sea, tuna reigns supreme
According to the National Fisheries Institute, canned tuna is the most popular canned seafood product in the United States. In fact, nearly 90% of all US households have consumed canned tuna at some point and almost half eat it at least once a month. Furthermore, when considering all of the canned seafood sold in this country, 72% of those sales are canned tuna. This is 7x greater than the next most popular canned seafood, which is canned salmon.
Canned tuna nutrition is exceptional
Is canned tuna healthy? Absolutely! One of the reasons canned tuna is so popular is the incredible health benefits associated with it. This is due to a robust and efficient delivery of essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium and essential omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA. Just 3oz of canned tuna is able to provide the average adult nearly 50% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin D, which is critical for ensuring bone health and a strengthened immune system. The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids are very beneficial with studies showing a positive correlation between omega-3s and reduced rates of cardiovascular disease, reduced inflammation and improved eye and brain health. As if that wasn’t enough, seafood is also low in saturated fat. That, combined with the high levels of lean protein make canned tuna an excellent food to help maintain a healthy weight and body composition.
How much canned tuna is safe?
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) work together to update and release the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Dietary Guidelines) every five years. These guidelines provide a recommendation that adults consume at least 8oz of seafood per week in order to capitalize on the health benefits. However, it is important to note that there are some species of tuna that are higher in mercury and they should be consumed in moderation if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or are a child under the age of 11. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provide helpful guidance on how to navigate seafood choices safely. According to these organizations, for these consumers Skipjack tuna (also known as “light tuna”) is considered a Best Choice while Albacore tuna and Yellowfin tuna are considered a Good Choice.
A way to help illustrate the amount of tuna that is safe to eat is to think of it in terms of tuna fish cans. Based on the FDA’s recommendation, the average adult can eat 2-3 cans of light tuna such as our Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna each week without any concern. That’s about 4-6 tuna sandwiches depending on your tuna salad recipe and how robust you like your sandwiches.
There are so many ways to enjoy canned tuna!
While some people love the classics and would want to eat a tuna fish sandwich every day or even eat plain tuna fish in a can (yes, canned tuna is safe to eat out of the can) there are so many wonderful and surprising ways that tuna can elevate your meal any time of the day. Here are some of our favorite recipes:
Wild Planet seeks to provide you with the most delicious and safest canned tuna possible
Since 2004, Wild Planet has committed itself to utilizing the most sustainable fishing practices in the industry. We selectively catch tuna using a pole & line; no nets are ever used and we have deep relationships with the small-scale fishing families that work every day to bring the highest quality fish to shore. This, along with a third-party testing protocol we implement, helps to ensure an exceptional product that is safe, well cared for and processed in a way that results in a delicious product you can feel confident in feeding your family.