Selecting the Right Tuna for the Best Tuna Salad
There are so many different ways and recipes to make tuna salad but what really makes or breaks it is the kind of tuna you use. To make sure you’re eating the best tuna salad, it comes down to the quality and taste of the main ingredient. We’ve invited Jordana Hart from I Hart Nutrition to share with us her tuna salad recipe, along with four things to keep in mind when selecting the right tuna.
When I was growing up, some foods were almost always on rotation, like a
tuna salad sandwich. It made for a perfect, easy lunch –- creamy tuna in between two pieces of pillowy white bread. When I was really in the mood for a treat, I would add cheese and extra mayo.
Why I “HART” tuna:
I always have several cans of tuna in my pantry because it’s a quick, easy protein that I can have on hand and not worry about it going bad. It’s also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Remember, your body can’t make omega-3 fatty acids on its own. So, you need to get it from food! I like to buy Wild Planet Wild Tuna because it’s naturally lower in mercury content and it’s not packed in water or oil, making it the perfect tuna to incorporate into recipes.
How to select tuna:
Like with most foods, you should be knowledgeable about what you are getting before you buy. Tuna is not different. Although tuna is high in protein and nutrients, it’s important to be mindful of how often you consume it. Here are four questions to ask when selecting the right tuna:
1. How is the tuna sourced?
When you do eat tuna, consider where it comes from. I prefer to buy wild tuna rather than farmed, and I follow this rule with any fish that I buy!
You can be assured when you purchase Wild Planet tuna, you are receiving quality fish. Wild Planet is meticulous with where it sources its seafood (not just its tuna)! Its tuna is caught individually using pole and line and troll methods. The pole and line fishing method involves catching tuna one by one, using a pole, line and hook. The troll fishing method involves fishing with a lure on a line that you pull through the water. These methods ensure that no other marine life is caught or harmed in the process.
2. How is the tuna cooked?
To ensure higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, Wild Planet tuna is only cooked once in order to retain the natural nutrients, compared to other brands whose tuna are cooked multiple times.
3. What is the mercury level in the tuna?
The average mercury content of tuna rises with the age and size of the fish. Wild Planet only sources younger and smaller, migratory tuna that are caught near the surface using pole and line and troll fishing methods. These fish (3-5 years of age) have accumulated lower levels of mercury as compared to older and larger tuna (6-12 years old) which live at much lower depths and in a different part of the Pacific Ocean.
Wild Planet’s annual testing protocol verifies that Wild Planet tuna averages 0.067PPM for Skipjack (which is 14 times lower than the FDA “Action Limit” of 1.0PPM) and 0.17PPM for Albacore (which is six times lower than the FDA “Action Limit” of 1.0PPM). Since 2004, Wild Planet has been controlling the average and range of mercury in its products and continues to do so. If you’d like more information, please visit #13 on their FAQs.
4. How is the tuna canned?
Wild Planet’s products are packed in cans that do not have the intentional addition of BPA, an industrial chemical found in many canned foods. Each can is packed with 100% tuna and sea salt and no liquid is added. So you get a 5oz whole steak in every can; compared to 3.5 ounces of tuna and the rest water or oil, as found in conventional tuna brands. This results in 40% more tuna per can, making once cooked Wild Planet tuna an outstanding value.
How to pack in more nutritional value in your tuna salad:
- Mix the juice, full of nutrients, from the can back in with the tuna steak.
- Swap out mayo for avocado mayo or just avocado
- Swap out mayo for plain Greek yogurt
- Toss the tuna in a food processor and add veggies to the mix. I like adding carrots, peppers and celery – any combo of these.
- If using tuna in a sandwich, opt for sprouted grain bread
- Use the tuna as a dip with sliced veggies or crackers
My Go-To Tuna Salad Recipe:
- 1 can Wild Planet Wild Skipjack Tuna
- 1 tbsp avocado mayo
- 1 stalk of celery (finely chopped)
- 1 red pepper (finely chopped)
- Sea salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Optional: chili flakes for an added kick
If you have a food processor, this recipe is great when everything gets tossed all together and really gets combined. This makes for a smoother tuna salad. But if you prefer your tuna salad with more texture, chop the veggies and mix it up by hand!
Now that you’ve got the lowdown on how to make a healthy and nutritious tuna salad, let us know if you try it and how it tastes!