How many calories in a cup of tuna? The definitive answer.

Are you curious about the number of calories you consume every time you eat tuna? Then this article is for you. Tuna is a popular seafood, notorious for its numerous health benefits, and an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

A single serving of tuna contains numerous nutrients, and several studies have linked Tuna consumption to various health benefits, including heart health, brain function, and cancer prevention.

Calories in a Cup of Tuna

So, just how many calories are in a cup of tuna? The answer depends on several factors, including the preparation method, the type of tuna, and whether it is canned or freshly caught.

Generally, a single cup of canned or cooked tuna contains approximately 179 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 39 grams of protein. But the numbers may vary depending on variables such as the addition of other ingredients, including oils, seasonings, and sauces.

The Importance of Portion Control

One essential aspect of healthy eating is portion control. Even nutritious foods, including tuna, can pose a threat to your health when eaten in large quantities over time.

Tuna is high in protein, and eating in excess may lead to the accumulation of nitrogen in the body, which can cause kidney complications. Eating too much of it can also cause mercury poisoning, which is why pregnant women, nursing mothers, and younger children should limit their tuna intake.

Therefore, before indulging in tuna, it is best to consult a nutritionist or a healthcare provider and ensure that you stick to a healthy serving size.

Different Types of Tuna

There are several types of tuna, each with a unique nutritional profile and calorie count. Their calorie counts often depend on the species of tuna, the method of preparation, and the serving size.

Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin Tuna is among the most beloved forms of tuna due to its high-quality taste and texture. A single 100-gram serving of raw Bluefin Tuna contains 199 calories, while a cooked version has 184 calories.

Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin tuna is among the most commonly eaten tuna in the United States. A Raw Yellowfin Tuna serving of 100 grams contains 109 calories.

Albacore Tuna

Albacore Tuna is a type of white tuna that is often canned for consumption. A 100-gram serving of canned Albacore Tuna in water has 128 calories, while its commercially canned counterparts often have higher calorie counts due to the addition of oils and seasonings.

Skipjack Tuna

Skipjack Tuna is a common type of tuna that is often canned. A 100-gram serving of canned Skipjack Tuna contains approximately 110 calories.

Preparing Tuna

As mentioned earlier, the number of calories in Tuna may depend on its method of preparation. The cooking method may affect how much of the fat and other essential macronutrients are retained.

The following are some popular methods of preparing tuna:

Baked Tuna

Baking is an excellent way of preparing tuna, especially if you seek to maintain its nutritional profile. This method of cooking helps retain the healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals in the fish.

Grilled Tuna

A well-grilled tuna, marinated in the right spices, is a delicious and healthy meal option. Grilling is a healthy, low-fat cooking method that leaves tuna with a smoky, savory flavor.

Pan-seared or Sauteed Tuna

This method of cooking tuna involves frying small cuts of tuna in a pan with seasoning and spices. When done correctly in minimal amounts of oil, Sauteed tuna retains almost all of its nutritional value.

Canned Tuna

Canned tuna is often available in water or oil. It is a convenient meal option that is ready for consumption, but it may not retain most of its nutritional value.

Tuna-Side Dishes

Tuna is a versatile food item that you can incorporate in meals in various ways. You can mix it with different side dishes to make delightful, nutritious meals. Here are some examples:

Tuna Salad

Tuna salad is a popular meal for those who want to eat healthily without putting in much effort. You can add vegetables, such as spinach, arugula, and cucumbers, and fresh avocado or olive oil to create a healthy, balanced meal.

Tuna Sandwich

Tuna sandwich, when made with whole-grain bread and low-fat mayonnaise, is an excellent source of essential nutrients and low in calories.

Tuna and Pasta

Tuna and pasta make an excellent healthy meal option. You can cook the pasta of your choice and add cooked tuna, chopped vegetables such as onions, peppers, mushrooms, and seasoning, to make a well-rounded meal.

Tuna Steak

Tuna steak is a delicious, healthy meal option when seared and paired with stir-fried or roasted vegetables and a nice glass of wine.

The Bottom Line

Tuna is a nutrient-dense food item that can contribute to a range of health benefits. It is often low in calories, high in protein and essential nutrients, making it a perfect meal option for various dietary needs.

As with other food items, it is essential to practice portion control and to prepare tuna in a healthy manner to maximize its nutritional value. Whether you prefer canned or fresh tuna, there is always a way to make it enjoyable, nutritious, and beneficial to your health.

Common Questions

  • 1. How many calories does a cup of tuna salad contain?
  • Two cups of tuna salad (combined with mayonnaise or sour cream) made of canned tuna contain approximately 960 calories.
  • 2. How many carbohydrates are in a cup of tuna?
  • A single cup of tuna contains virtually no carbohydrates, making it an excellent low-carb diet option.
  • 3. How does cooking affect the calorie count of Tuna?
  • The cooking method used on Tuna may affect its calorie count, but overall, the amounts typically remain minimal. The nutritional profile of the fish may vary depending on the type, preparation methods, and whether it is canned or freshly caught.
  • 4. Is tuna steak high in calories?
  • A single six-ounce serving of tuna steak contains approximately 200 calories, making it a low-calorie, nutritious meal option.


  • 1. Kris-Etherton, Penny M., et al. “Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease.” Circulation 106.21 (2002): 2747-2757.
  • 2. Azevedo, Larissa De. “Health benefits of tuna fish.” Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease. Academic Press, 2019. 335-347.
  • 3. Monro, John A., and John M. Nanartowicz. “Trace element composition of canned tuna products.” Food Chemistry 149 (2014): 87-92.
  • 4. Bostwick, Hannah E., James W. Tupper, and Penny M. Kris-Etherton. “Understanding Omega-3S and Health: From Fish to Supplement.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 1 (2009): 45-50.

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