Is Canned Tuna Healthy? Know Now!

Canned tuna is an item that has a die hard following of seafood lovers. It is in almost every kitchen due to its delicious taste and low price. But in addition to its popularity, its health status is also discussed among nutritionists. 

So, Is canned tuna healthy to eat or not? 

It is not easy to answer this question due to several things. However, eating canned tuna is generally healthy if you eat it right. By eating right, we mean that you should not eat it more than the appropriate amount and choose such canned tuna that has low mercury levels and low-fat content. 

So, enough beating around the bush, and let’s dig a little deeper to know everything about canned tuna health status

Why Is Canned Tuna Healthy?

The nutritional content of canned tuna is the reason why we are calling it a healthy food. Tuna fish varieties are rich in proteins and low in fat content and calories. Also, sodium and selenium are part of the nutritional value of canned tuna. 

The fish you see in the canned tuna isn’t just from one species. Over 61 fish species of tuna and tuna-like fish are canned just for you. Thus, they differ in the exact nutritional content.

is-canned-tuna-healthy

Similarly, canned tuna with oil has more fat content than the one that has water in it. The total calories in canned tuna in oil are 100 (in light canned) and 330 (in white canned), which is a lot. 

A 100 gram of canned tuna has the following nutritional value: 

NutritionTuna in WaterTuna in Oil
Calories90200
Fat1g8g
Protein20g30g
Selenium 68 mcg78 mcg

Moreover, there are two types of canned tuna you see in the market- Light canned and White canned. Light canned is better for you than white canned as it is much safer to eat. Light canned one contains slapjack or any other small tuna fish that has low levels of mercury, thus, chances of mercury poisoning are low. 

But the question arises- Is white canned tuna healthy or not? White tuna is also beneficial to eat and is backed by FDA and EPA. Although its tuna fish has higher mercury levels than light canned, however, these are still under the approved limit of the FDA. 

So, Where’s The Problem? 

The problem arises when you try to eat it in more than the recommended quantity. Three servings of light canned tuna (four ounce each) are enough to eat. Similarly, since white canned has more mercury levels, only one serving of four-ounce is enough per week. Consuming them in excess can lead to mercury poisoning, which can even cause organ failure. 

But if you eat them right, you can enjoy tremendous health benefits. 

Canned tuna health information infographic

Health Benefits of Canned Tuna

Get ready to enjoy these benefits if you are eating canned tuna according to the suggestion: 

Makes Heart Healthier

Canned tuna contains Omega-3 content that has so many beneficial effects. One great benefit of it is that it makes the heart strong. The Omega-3 content helps the heart by

  • Reducing bad cholesterol levels
  • Maintaining Blood pressure
  • Reducing piling of fat in arteries

Hence, it prevents heart attack, strokes, and other cardiovascular complications.  

Improves Brain Health

Another significant upside of Omega-3 is that it can improve brain functioning. The Omega-3 content ensures that the brain receives proper blood levels for better performance. If there is any disruption in this blood flow, Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other memory loss problems may arise.

Healthy For Diabetics

Those who have diabetes often search, Is canned tuna healthy for diabetics, and the answer will cause a great delight for them. Eating canned tuna does not lead to higher sugar levels in the blood if you eat it with care. Pretty amazing, right? 

Moreover, Omega-3 is present in canned tuna, which does not let type 2 diabetes from occurring. So, people with diabetes can enjoy eating canned tuna without thinking about its downsides. 

Weight Loss

One question tuna lovers always have in mind is, is canned tuna healthy for weight loss? Well, Canned tuna can surely help you burn body fat if you eat it appropriately. 

Water canned tuna is high in proteins and low in fat, making it a desirable meal. Such foods that are rich in protein and low in saturated fat content are highly effective in losing weight. They aid in metabolism, which leads to fat burning, and also do not let any fat cells pile up around the belly. 

Longer Lifespan

A tuna can stay in good condition for five years after manufacturing. Thus, you can store it in your kitchen cabinet or anywhere in the home. This property of canned tuna was very handy during the pandemic time when people weren’t allowed to come out of their homes. 

Now, let’s discuss why some people are wary about eating canned tuna. 

Why Some Say Canned Tuna is Unhealthy? 

The concerns experts attach with canned tuna are:

Higher Mercury Levels

It is the biggest concern of people who want to enjoy a good canned tuna meal. Mercury is our enemy as it is a highly toxic element that can affect kidneys, lungs, liver, and nervous systems. The problem is- Tuna fish have Mercury in them (which may be in higher levels) due to the water pollution in the ocean. Thus, eating such tuna fish can cause health problems and even organ failure.

Mercury level varies in tuna species depending upon the size. Larger tuna fish like bigeye have more mercury levels in them. Contrarily, the small tuna varieties like slapjack have less mercury content. But you don’t have to worry about mercury levels in the canned tuna as mostly smaller tuna varieties are there in the can.

Not For Pregnant Women

Pregnant women want to know- is canned tuna healthy for pregnancy, and we have some bad news for you. Experts recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding women should not consume canned tuna, and the reason is that even a slight amount of mercury can damage the baby’s health. Moreover, birth defects can also happen if you continue eating foods rich in mercury levels during pregnancy. 

Concerns Over Bisphenol A (BPA)

Manufacturers add BPA to keep the can from eroding. This chemical is controversial due to its possible adverse effects. Some say that it has negative impacts on the body and can cause some cardiovascular diseases to occur. There is a need for more research on this chemical to confirm its impact. 

You can also eat canned salmon and canned chicken to enjoy similar benefits if you are wary of canned tuna. 

Different Canned Tuna Brands and Their Health Status

Let’s tell you the top three brands in the canned tuna business and their health status. 

Is Starkist Canned Tuna Healthy?

Starkist canned Tuna offers both light canned and white canned tuna. Both of the tuna cans are rich in proteins, Omega-3 content, and Iron. The quality of the canned tuna can stay the same for two years. Thus, you can store it for months without any fear of spoilage. 

starkist-canned-tuna

Is Kirkland Canned Tuna Healthy?

Kirkland tuna is also one of the leading manufacturers of canned tuna. It adds both yellowfin tuna and slapjack. 

Kirkland tuna is popular for making tuna sandwiches. You can get vital protein, fat, and omega content from them. All of these have impressive health benefits, including brain and heart smooth functioning. 

Is John West Tinned Tuna Healthy?

John West is another brand that is making protein-packed tuna canes for people. 30g protein is present in one John west tinned tuna, which is one of the highest in this industry. Therefore, we recommend eating it in the right dose to experience a change in your life’s quality.  

FAQs

How much canned tuna is safe to eat per week?

You can eat up to three servings of Light canned tuna (8-12 ounces) per week. The reason you can eat light canned tuna more is the low mercury content in it. Moreover, if you are a fan of Canned White tuna, experts recommend eating one serving per week.

Is Wild caught canned tuna healthy?

Wild Caught canned tuna has more mercury levels than the acceptable one. So, it is better if you choose light canned tuna. However, adults eating one serving (four-ounce) per week of wild canned tuna should not do any harm.

Is flavored canned tuna healthy?

Flavored canned tuna is not very healthy to eat as it contains sugar and sodium levels. Thus, it is better to avoid it and go for other canned tuna options which have water instead of oil.

Final Thought

Canned Tuna is the go-to choice of thousands of people. It is easily available, cheap in price, and delicious in taste. But the question arises- Is canned tuna healthy to eat? Canned tuna is definitely healthy to eat if you buy the right can and eat it in the right way.

You should go for the light canned tuna with water as it is the healthiest one. Similarly, you should avoid those that have oil in the tuna can. You can avoid every negative effect if you just follow what we have suggested!

Dr Hafeez Arshad

Dr Hafeez Arshad

This is Dr. Hafeez. I have done my M.Phil in Pharmacology. I am a healthcare professional. My core competencies focus on writing different types of research articles/blogs regarding health sciences.

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