Does Albacore Tuna Have Mercury

Must Try

Mercury And The Food Chain

Concerned about Mercury Levels In Tuna?

Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that exists at a low concentration in the ocean. This mercury comes from a number of sources. Though some mercury enters the ocean naturally from sources like volcanoes, the majority comes from human activity. The burning of fossil fuels is the largest contributor. Industrial pollution from waste directly dumped into waterways is another large contributor.

Even with human pollution, ocean water does not contain toxic levels of mercury. Only predators high on the food chain contain dangerous levels of mercury. This is because mercury undergoes a process called biomagnification.

Living things cannot process and remove mercury quickly. When fish eat plankton, the mercury they contain gets concentrated. This happens at each level of the food chain. As a result, large predatory fish like tuna can contain as much as 10 million times more mercury than the water they live in.

Larger fish that are higher on the food chain contain the most mercury. This means larger tuna, like albacore, contain more mercury than smaller tuna like skipjack.

The Benefits Of Eating Fish Outweigh Potential Contaminants Even For Women Who Are Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology in conjunction with the guidelines established by the FDA and EPA believe it is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women to eat 8-12 ounces of seafood each week. However, research shows that half of all pregnant women are only eating two ounces or less weekly and therefore, are not capturing the nutritional benefits needed by them and their developing babies. These benefits include better fetus brain and eye development, reduced risk of mental illness, and a healthy heart.

Why Eat Fish And Which To Choose

Most fish contain some of the long chain omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid . Recent evidence has suggested that fish consumption and the associated intake of EPA and DHA from fish can help maintain healthy heart function. Consumption of fish has also been associated with reduced risk of sudden cardiac death in healthy people and there is evidence that regular consumption of fish by pregnant women and women who may become pregnant plays a role in normal fetal brain and eye development.

Some types of fish have higher levels of these beneficial fatty acids than others. Fish and shellfish that contain higher levels of these fatty acids and are also low in mercury include: anchovy, capelin, char, hake, herring, Atlantic mackerel, mullet, pollock , salmon, smelt, rainbow trout, lake whitefish, blue crab, shrimp, clam, mussel and oyster.

All fish are also a significant source of vitamin D and contribute valuable mineral nutrients to the diet such as selenium, iodine, magnesium, iron and copper.

Recommended Reading: How Much Are Pearls Worth From Oysters

How It’s Possible To Get High Levels Of Methylmercury In The Body

“All fish have some level of mercury, but that level varies widely canned tuna has relatively high levels of mercury so its consumption could potentially become harmful above three or so servings a week,” says Andrea Paul, MD, medical advisor to Illuminate Labs.

Nearly everyone has a small amount of methylmercury in their blood that’s below levels that may trigger health effects, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. But methylmercury is a powerful neurotoxin, so eating too much fish may result in mercury poisoning. Symptoms include itching or a pins-and-needles feeling in the toes and fingertips, muscle weakness, coordination, speech and hearing impairment, and reduced peripheral vision. High mercury levels in women who are pregnant may result in central nervous system disorders in their babies.

Which Fish Has Least Mercury

ingredient selection

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that to consume those higher amounts, children should only be fed fish from the Best Choices list that are even lower in mercury these fish are anchovies, Atlantic mackerel, catfish, clams, crab, crawfish, flounder, haddock, mullet, oysters, plaice, pollock, salmon,

Don’t Miss: Blue Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit

Which Tuna Has Less Mercury

When buying tuna, opt for skipjack or canned light varieties, which do not harbor as much mercury as albacore or bigeye. You can consume skipjack and canned light tuna alongside other low-mercury species, such as cod, crab, salmon and scallops, as part of the recommended 23 servings of fish per week .

How Much Tuna Is Safe Per Week

According to the administration, adults can typically consume two to three 4-ounce servings of light tuna each week. However, if you choose albacore tuna, you should limit your consumption to only one 4-ounce serving per week and refrain from eating any other fish.

Also Check: Deep Sea Fishing Trips Florida

Australian Guidelines For Safe Levels Of Mercury In The Diet

The Australian guidelines for safe levels of mercury in the diet were revised in 2004 by Food Standards Australia New Zealand . Advice on the consumption of fish was updated to reflect the Joint FAO and WHO Expert Committee research. Advice was extended to cover pregnant women, women intending to become pregnant within the next six months, young children and the general population.

Types Of Fish That Should Be Eaten Less Often

Mercury in Tuna: What Type is Good and Bad?

Health Canada has identified certain fish as being of more concern when it comes to mercury in fish. Fish can accumulate mercury in their muscles through absorption from the surrounding water but mostly from the prey that they eat. This mercury can also concentrate up the food chain. Therefore, predatory fish that eat lots of other fish for food tend to contain higher levels of mercury.

These include fresh/frozen tuna, shark, swordfish, marlin, orange roughy and escolar (Note: Additional health information on escolar is available from Health Canada’s Fact Sheet on escolar and CFIA’s fact sheet.

Canadians who like to consume these types of fish can continue to do so, but should limit their consumption to the amounts shown in the table below. Other types of fish should be chosen to make up the rest of their recommended weekly fish consumption.

  • General Population – 150 g per week
  • Specified Women * – 150 g per month
  • Children 5-11 years old – 125 g per month
  • Children 1-4 years old – 75 g per month

* Specified women are those who are or may become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

150 grams is equivalent to approximately one cup.

This advice does NOT apply to canned tuna. Information on canned tuna is provided in the next section.

Canned Tuna

However, for those who consume large amounts of canned albacore tuna, there is some potential for exposure to higher levels of mercury than is considered acceptable.

Canned Albacore Tuna Advice

Read Also: All You Can Eat Shrimp Red Lobster 2021

Brands To Look For When Considering Sustainability

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommends buying canned tuna from brands that are eco-certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, or that they rate as âgreen Best Choiceâ or âyellow Good Alternative.â It recommends the brands American Tuna, Fishing Vessel St. Jude, Mind Fish Co., Ocean Naturals, Safe Catch, Wild Planet, and Whole Foods as good options.

Greenpeace also offers its own recommended brands and shopping methods, with many of those brands matching up with Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watchâs suggestions. In addition to confirming Wild Planet, Ocean Naturals, and American Tuna as good options, Greenpeace suggests specific types of tuna from grocery store brands, like Trader Joeâs skipjack, Costcoâs Kirkland Signature skipjack, and Hy-Veeâs Select Responsible Choice in either skipjack or albacore.

For the best canned tuna for your body and for the planet, look for a low mercury tuna that has been sustainably sourced using key phrases printed on the label.

Can Yellowfin Tuna Be Eaten Rare

In a nutshell, youre at very little risk from eating a rare yellowfin tuna steak if youre fit and healthy. But to cook yellowfin tuna to 145 degrees Fahrenheit is your golden rule if youre serving it to very young or old people, pregnant women or those with illnesses that leave them immuno-compromised.

Don’t Miss: Is Tuna Bad For You

Mercury Alert: Is Canned Tuna Safe

The tuna sandwich is a lunchbox staple. But several species of tuna like other large ocean fish contain higher-than-average amounts of mercury, a highly toxic metal that can cause severe health effects.

This is of particular concern for young children, since their nervous system, brain, heart, kidneys and lungs are all susceptible to the harmful effects of mercury.

Viii Additional Tips For Eating Fish

Safe Catch Low

1. How does eating 2 to 3 servings of fish a week fit within a healthy eating pattern?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that those who are pregnant or breastfeeding eat 8 to 12 ounces per week of a variety of fish lower in mercury. Fish should be eaten in place of other protein sources, such as some meat and poultry. This may also mean paying attention to how the fish are prepared. Broiled fish, for example, typically contain fewer calories than fried fish and can be healthier in other ways as well. Sodium and cholesterol content from the fish or from the cooking process should also be considered as with other aspects of healthy eating. If you are uncertain about what the right number of calories is for you, please visit www.myplate.gov for information regarding appropriate caloric intake . If you want more information, we recommend that you consult a nutritionist or your physician.

2. Is it true that those who are pregnant and children should avoid raw fish?

Yes. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and FDA recommend that those who are pregnant and children should only eat foods with fish, meat, poultry, or eggs that have been cooked to safe internal temperatures to protect against microbes that might be in those foods. This includes not eating raw fish, like that found in some sushi or sashimi, available in many restaurants and food stores. Those who are pregnant and children often have weaker immune systems and are more at risk for foodborne illnesses.

Recommended Reading: Tuna Fish With Eggs Recipe

Tuna In Australian Cupboards Is Likely Smaller Species

Over the years, some scientists have raised concerns about high concentrations of mercury in canned tuna.

Mercury concentrations are higher in predatory fish such as tuna and generally increase with age and size. So this concern has largely been associated with the use of tuna species such as albacore and larger tuna specimens.

Skipjack and yellowfin are the main tuna species listed as ingredients in canned tuna in brands sold at Australian supermarkets.

Skipjack are the smallest of the major tuna species, while yellowfin are larger.

So, the fact the canned tuna in Australian cupboards is likely to contain smaller species is already a bonus when it comes to reducing mercury risk.

But lets drill down to the details.

Environmental Impact Of Canned Tuna

In addition to mercury content, it’s also important to consider the environmental impact of your canned tuna selection. According to the World Wildlife Fund, tuna is a fish that has grown in popularity in recent decades, causing certain species of tuna to be in danger of overfishing. Some tuna fishing methods are also harmful to other ocean wildlife as well. Bycatch, or unwanted animals caught in tuna fishing nets, can sometimes make up 28% of a catch, harming populations of species like dolphins and sea turtles that are being killed needlessly. Because of these issues, it’s important to look for the type of tuna being purchased and how it was caught.

Seafood Watch also recommends avoiding any canned tuna that are caught using Fish Aggregating Devices , which are responsible for much of the industry’s bycatch issues. Instead, it recommends looking for phrases like “pole-caught,” “troll-caught,” or “pole and line caught” on cans. These indicate the tuna was sustainably fished using methods less likely to harm other species.

Also Check: Ina Garten Lobster Mac And Cheese

Mercury In Tuna: Is This Fish Safe To Eat

Tuna is a saltwater fish eaten all over the world.

Its incredibly nutritious and a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins. However, it can contain high levels of mercury, a toxic heavy metal.

Natural processes such as volcanic eruptions as well as industrial activity such as coal burning emit mercury into the atmosphere or directly into the ocean, at which point it begins to build up in marine life.

Consuming too much mercury is linked to serious health issues, raising concerns about regular intake of tuna.

This article reviews mercury in tuna and tells you whether its safe to eat this fish.

1 ).

This is because tuna feed on smaller fish which are already contaminated with varying amounts of mercury. Since mercury is not easily excreted, it builds up in the tissues of tuna over time .

Is Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna Healthy

The Difference Between Albacore Tuna and Chunk Light Tuna

Whether you want a mouthwatering tuna melt or a rich and savory tuna casserole, Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna in Water satisfies the craving. Bonus facts: its easy, its affordable, its lean, its packed with protein, mixes with almost everything, doesnt come with a delivery fee, and wont cost a ham or a turkey leg.

You May Like: Good Seafood In Las Vegas

Is Costco Tuna Mercury Free

Safe Catch Ahi Tuna Review A delicious tuna that has been tested to 10x below the FDA Action Limit for Mercury. The tuna is sustainably caught and is packed with no extra oil or water. I was strolling through the Costco the other day and was surprised by how many different types of canned tuna they had in stock.

Vii Fish Caught By Family And Friends

1. What if I eat fish caught by family and friends?

When eating fish you or others have caught, pay attention to fish advisories on those water bodies. There are waters where there may have been little or no monitoring and, therefore, the extent of potential mercury contamination is unknown. If advice isnt available, you should limit your consumption of that fish to one serving per week and not eat any other fish that week. Adults should eat no more than 6 ounces that week, children under the age of six should limit their consumption of these fish to 1 to 2 ounces per week, and older children should limit their consumption to 2 to 3 ounces per week. Again, neither adults or children should eat other fish that week.

2. Where do I get information about the safety of fish caught by family or friends?

Check the applicable fishing regulations booklet or website for information about recreationally caught fish. Local, state, and tribal health departments and fish and game agencies also have information about advisories for consuming fish in their jurisdiction. The department that provides information about fish consumption advisories is often different from the one that has information on shellfish bed closures. Different agencies might also be responsible for information about freshwater fish and marine fish. See also EPAs website about fish consumption advisories and links to websites for state, territorial, and tribal fish advisories.

Don’t Miss: Three From The Sea Red Lobster

What Are Tuna Pouches Made Of

Tuna pouches are made from the same foil and polymer film as military meals ready to eat, and heat penetrates this thin material more quickly. Canned tuna needs added water to block out air inside the can. No water is added to tuna pouches, although you find some liquid inside that comes from the fish itself.

What About The Mercury

Safe Catch Low

There has been a lot of talk about the unsafe mercury levels in Tuna recently, which has become a growing concern for many tuna lovers. In order to understand the facts behind these serious statements we must first understand that the Tuna with unsafe levels of mercury are by no means a lump sum. There are many different species within the genus of Tuna. The specific species that contain these unsafe amounts of mercury are found in older Yellow Fin, Blue Fin and Albacore.

All the aforementioned species can reach a long life span of over 40 years. As these fish get older they tend to migrate to warmer pacific waters and live. It is in these circumstances that they have seen higher mercury levels. These fish are very old and have had many years to accumulate mercury into their bodies. However our albacore is hook & line caught off the Pacific Northwest Coastline. When albacore are younger they stay in the colder Pacific waters.

All the albacore that we catch and process from the colder Pacific waters are specifically between the ages of 2-5 years old. Using the hook & line methods allows us to monitor and inspect each catch. Mercury levels in such fish are at minimal trace levels, some non-detectable. The albacore we catch from the northwest has a very high oil content.

You May Like: Hook And Reel Cajun Seafood

Which Is Better Yellowfin Or Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin Tuna are the most prestigious and luxurious fish money can buy. In comparison to Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna meat is leaner, with a lighter taste. While it may lack the coveted fat content of Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin meat is still of great quality. Yellowfin meat is great for sashimi and steaks.

According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand:

Two separate maximum levels are imposed for fish a level of 1.0 mg mercury/kg for the fish that are known to contain high levels of mercury and a level of 0.5 mg/kg for all other species of fish.

However, whether mercury is harmful or not also depends on the amount of fish you eat and how often. After all, it is the dose that makes the poison.

Based on international guidelines, Food Standards Australia New Zealand also provides recommended safe limits for dietary intake. In other words, how much mercury you can safely have from all food sources .

This limit is known as the provisional tolerable weekly intake or PTWI.

The dose for pregnant women is approximately half this value 1.6 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per week).

Pregnant women are advised to limit their fish intake because of placental transfer of mercury to the unborn foetus and the effect of mercury on neural development.

Latest Recipes

More Recipes Like This