Tuna is a popular fish that is consumed in many forms, and canned tuna is no exception. With people having a busy lifestyle, canned tuna is a quick and convenient food option for them. Canned tuna is readily available, easy to store, and versatile to use.
In this article, we will explore if canned tuna is good for you, what its benefits and risks are, and how to incorporate it into your diet.
What is canned tuna?
Canned tuna is a processed tuna fish that has been cooked, seasoned, and packed in a can. It is a popular food item in many parts of the world and is available in different forms.
What are the different types of canned tuna?
There are two main types of canned tuna:
- Chunk light tuna
- Solid white albacore tuna
Chunk light tuna is made of smaller tuna species like skipjack, yellowfin, and tongol. It is less expensive and has a milder flavor than solid white albacore tuna. Solid white albacore tuna is made of larger tuna species and has a firmer texture and a stronger flavor.
Nutritional Value of Canned Tuna
Canned tuna is a rich source of several essential nutrients that are important for overall health. A 3-ounce serving of canned tuna contains approximately:
|Omega-3 fatty acids||0.7-1.1 grams|
|Vitamin D||68% of Daily Value|
|Niacin||36% of Daily Value|
|Vitamin B12||165% of Daily Value|
|Selenium||77% of Daily Value|
What are the health benefits of canned tuna?
Canned tuna has several health benefits due to its numerous nutrients.
- Rich in Protein: Canned tuna is an excellent source of protein that is essential for muscle development, repairing cells, and building blocks of enzymes and hormones in the body.
- Lowers Cardiovascular Risks: Omega-3 fatty acids in canned tuna help to lower the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and inflammation.
- Contains Vitamin D: Canned tuna is a good source of vitamin D, which helps in the absorption of calcium, healthy bones, and teeth.
- Reduces Stress: Niacin and Vitamin B12 in canned tuna help to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety by regulating the neurotransmitters in the brain.
- Boosts Immunity: Selenium in canned tuna helps to boost the immune system by regulating the thyroid and protecting cells from oxidative damage.
What are the risks of consuming canned tuna?
Despite the numerous health benefits, canned tuna has some risks associated with it.
- Mercury Poisoning: Tuna is at the top of the food chain, and thus has higher levels of mercury, which can lead to mercury poisoning when consumed excessively.
- BPA Contamination: Bisphenol A (BPA) is a substance used in the lining of cans, which can leach into the tuna and can be harmful to health.
- High Salt Content: Canned tuna has a high salt content, which can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and kidney issues when consumed excessively.
How to incorporate canned tuna into your diet?
Canned tuna can be consumed in many ways, some of which are:
- Sandwiches: Canned tuna can be used as a salad ingredient on a sandwich or as a spread to make a tuna melt.
- Salads: Canned tuna can be used as an ingredient in salads, pasta, or coleslaw.
- Soups: Canned tuna can be added to soups, casseroles or a tuna noodle bake.
- Tacos: Canned tuna can be used as a filling for tacos or wraps.
- Sushi: Canned tuna can be used to make sushi rolls or sashimi.
Canned tuna is a healthy and convenient food option that is rich in essential nutrients. However, canned tuna also has some risks associated with it, and thus it should be consumed in moderation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. How much canned tuna is safe to eat in a week?
A. The FDA recommends eating two to three 3-ounce servings of fish that are low in mercury per week, which includes canned light tuna, salmon, shrimp, and catfish.
Q. Is canned tuna better than fresh tuna?
A. Both canned tuna and fresh tuna have their own set of benefits and risks. Canned tuna is convenient, less expensive, and has a longer shelf life; however, it may also contain added ingredients like salt and preservatives. Fresh tuna is more expensive, but it has a better taste and texture, and is less likely to be contaminated by added substances.
Q. Can canned tuna cause food poisoning?
A. Like any other food item, canned tuna can also cause food poisoning when not handled or cooked properly. It is essential to pay attention to the expiry date, inspect the can for any signs of damage or leakage, and ensure that it is cooked thoroughly before consumption.