Is Canned Tuna Good for You?
Answered by a Registered Nutritionist Luke Daley
Our Nutritionists are big fans of canned tuna for its practicality, taste and cost effectiveness. Nowadays you can buy a variety of different flavours you can buy | Sweet Chili | Lime | Lemon | Tomato and Rosemary | Curry | Medditerian herbs etc. The price can range from 0.75 cents a tin to $3 a tin, but per tin you can get up to 25g of protein, which is great for suppressing appetite and helping with muscular growth. However there are some downsides to canned tuna, below we have explored the question ‘”is canned tuna good for you?”
- It is a great source of protein and ticks of all the essential amino acids we need for growth repair. 1 tin (95g) can have as much as 25g of protein.
- It can be a rich source of omega-3 (DHA, EPA), which can have anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as improve cardiovascular functions in your body. It’s also involved in a wide variety of nervous system functions.
- It contains sources of B-vitamin such as B12 that research has shown to be good for maintaining energy levels and reducing high levels of homocysteine in the blood, which can increase the risk of atherosclerosis if levels get too high.
- It is cost effective and one of the cheapest forms of protein to buy in the supermarkets already cooked.
- In Australia there is a wide variety of flavours to suit your need. Our favourite is the lemon and lime cracked pepper types, as they tend to have a high tuna content.
- Canned tuna tends to be high in salt (sodium). An average tin can have 0.5g of salt (300mg of sodium) per tin, which is high per 100g. High salt diets can cause high blood pressure and increase risk factors for a stroke.
- The tuna they use in the tins sometimes can use unsustainable sources of tuna, such as yellow or blue finned tuna, which are being wiped out of the sea currently. Skip-jack tuna tends to be more sustainable.
- Mercury levels: some tinned tuna can be high in mercury, which in high doses can be toxic to the human body. Excessive consumption (10+ cans a day) can increase body mercury levels. If pregnant, talk to your local dietitian/nutritionist for advice on tuna consumption and safe levels.
Summary – Is canned tuna good for you?
The answer is yes in our opinion. The research behind tuna consumption is good and canned tuna is included in the NHMRC Australian Guide to Healthy Eating as a good source of protein and healthy fats. Our advice would be to consume as part of a healthy balanced diet, however make sure you drain the can to remove some of salt (sodium).
Posted by Registered Nutritionist Luke Daley