Light Tuna Vs White Tuna
Albacore is America’s favorite tuna, and it’s the only species of fish that can be labeled as “white”. Its meat is lighter in color and less flavorful than “light” tuna, which typically comes from skipjack and yellowfin. The “light” tuna meat is slightly darker and more pink, and is considered more flavorful. In fact, the difference between light and white tuna meat is often compared to that of chicken breast and chicken thigh. Check the ingredient labels on your tuna to know exactly what fish variety you’re getting.
What About The Mercury Issue
Pollution releases mercury into the atmosphere, collecting in oceans and lakes and, consequently, in fish. There are trace amounts of mercury in all fish, but big fish like tuna accumulate more of it, so the more tuna we eat, the more mercury can build up in us as well.
There’s long been debate among health experts and scientists as to how much canned tuna we should eat or whether it’s worth eating at all, especially for pregnant women and kids. Too much mercury can do damage to a growing brain.
In guidelines released in January by the FDA and the EPA, the advice remains on the side of eating fish, including canned tuna, at least twice a week as a good source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Canned light tuna is the better, lower-mercury choice, according to the FDA and EPA. Canned white and yellowfin tuna are higher in mercury, but still okay to eat. Bigeye tuna should be avoided completely, but that species isn’t used for canned tuna anyway.
Another bit of advice worth noting in the federal guidelines: eat a variety of fish, not just canned tuna.
Wild Selections Solid Light Canned Tuna
Last but not least, this Wild Selections canned tuna is perfect for those looking for a healthy staple without missing out on the tender and flaky flavor of the iconic seafood. With an MSC label, its sourced from sustainable fish stocks, so you can enjoy your meals with ease of mind.
As you open the cans, youll encounter firm and solid tuna that are easily broken apart to nicely complement other ingredients in a palatable salad, tuna melt, or hot casserole. It also contains no gluten and soy. Especially, with a low number of calories, it can be a great addition to an effective weight-loss diet.
Furthermore, this pack of 4 cans can be conveniently opened thanks to their pull-tab tops, making them a handy choice for home use as well as on-the-go occasions. Whilst this canned tuna belongs to the expensive side its superior quality will surely live up to your expectations.
Recommended Reading: How Many Calories Tuna Sandwich
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.
Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna
Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna ranks as our all-around best can of tuna. Without added water or oil, you’ll only be tasting pure ingredients, which smell more like fresh seawater than pungent fish. We consider this product the freshest, most mild-tasting, and moist of all the canned tuna brands. Due to its meaty, rich texture, it makes for the best tuna casseroles and salads and because it’s not packed in oil, it doesn’t have a greasy mouthfeel or quality. One-hundred percent pure tuna and sea salt are the only ingredients that make it into each can, making it a versatile choice for various cooking methods and preparations.
Not planning to cook a casserole or mix with mayo? No problem! The pull-top function of the can also makes it a great choice for a quick and easy way to pop the top and eat it on the go. Sustainable sourcing practices make this brand a little extra delicious. At $0.57 per ounce, it’s moderately priced for the value it provides including transparency of ingredients, quality ingredients, portability, taste, and texture .
White Vs Light: Taste Texture And Nutrition
Believe it or not, this part of the label actually tells you what species of fish youre eating. White tuna is 100% albacore . Light tuna is either yellowfin , skipjack , or a combination of the two. These species have slightly different flavors, textures, and nutritional value, so it helps to know which is which.
You can see the difference between white and light tuna by cracking open a couple cans. Albacore tuna is noticeably white compared to yellowfin and skipjack, which are somewhere between tan and pink. But the colors arent the only differencethey have distinct flavors, too. Albacore is firm and meaty, with a light, mild flavor. Yellowfin and skipjack are a bit softer and have a richer, more intense taste. The choice comes down to personal preference: If you like a less fishy tuna experience, go for white tuna if you want stronger flavor, light tuna is a better choice.
Nutritionally, all three of these fish are pretty similar. All tuna is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, yet low in saturated fat and calories. However, albacore does have slightly more fat and calories than skipjack or yellowfinwhich means it has more omega-3 fatty acids. Its not a huge difference , but if youre serious about your omega-3s, you may benefit from choosing white tuna over light.
Safe Catch Elite Pure Wild Tuna
The official tuna of the American Pregnancy Association, this product focuses on producing canned tuna with low mercury levels. Because they test each individual fish for mercury, their mercury limit is ten times lower than the FDA action limit. Safe Catch’s tuna is sustainably caught without use of destructive fishing methods and they follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program recommendations. The only ingredients? Skipjack tuna and salt.
What Is The Healthiest Canned Tuna On The Market
The Healthiest Canned Tuna You Can Buy 1. Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna One serving: 3 oz, 100 calories, 2.5g fat, 1g saturated fat, 85mg sodium, 0g carbs , 21g protein
Are there any health concerns with canned tuna?
On the one hand, we have a good amount of protein, omega-3, vitamin D for very few calories in canned tuna . On the other hand, tuna is naturally high in mercury . Tuna eats small fish, which leads to a buildup of mercury in the tuna.
Other Ways To Buy Tuna
Besides in a can, you can find tuna in a jar or pouch. Some pouched varieties are even seasoned for an easy grab-and-go protein source. Unseasoned pouched tuna usually comes packed in water. On the other hand, jarred tuna tends to be packed in water or oil.
Fresh tuna is also available at the fish counter, and youll find its almost identical to canned tuna nutritionally. According to data from the USDA, a 3 oz serving of fresh yellowfin tuna contains 93 calories, 21 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 0.4 g fat, and 38 mg sodium. Of course, unlike canned tuna, fresh tuna should be cooked before you eat it . It also needs to be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within one to two days, per Clemson Cooperative Extension.
With those healthy options in mind, choose the type of tuna that fits your needs. Then enjoy these creative and healthy tuna recipes that are quick and easy enough to make at work, whether thats in your own kitchen or at the office.
Youll even find that these recipes have only five main ingredients and theyre all ingredients you may already have on hand! Hows that for easy?
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup fresh arugula or other leafy green
How Healthy Is Canned Tuna
Canned tuna is an inexpensive, low-calorie source of protein and other important nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids. Some brands can last 2-5 years in your pantry.
What is the best quality tuna?
Here, the best canned tuna on the market.
- Best Overall: Ortiz Bonito del Norte.
- Best Budget: Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna.
- Best No Salt Added: American Tuna No Salt Added Wild Yellowfin Tuna.
- Best Pocket: Sea Fare Pacific Wild Albacore Tuna.
- Best in Oil Jars: Tonnino Tuna Ventresca in Olive Oil.
What is the best brand of tuna?
Raincoast Trading Wild Albacore Tuna
Consider this tuna brand the fancier of the bunch. While it’s an Amazon bestseller with phenomenal reviews, you have to get past the price tag of around $1 an ounce in order to try it . We found that the quality matched the pricing for the most part. First, there’s no oil or water added and the fish is cooked only once during the canning process, while most others cook the fish twice and need to add oil or water to the can to prevent drying. Raincoast uses small, young albacore making it one of the purest choices, low in mercury and other pollutants that may affect taste and quality. It’s hand-packed and has one of the meatiest textures of all the brands. While it may not be the best value for your money, it certainly ranks as one of our best-tasting, plain tunas. If sustainable sourcing is important to you, this company claims full transparency in sourcing and a commitment to preserving the marine habitat.
Chicken Of The Sea Chunk Light Canned Tuna
With a sodium content of 90 mg per serving, this canned tuna from Chicken of the Sea is sure to be a top-notch choice for a low-sodium restrictive diet. Not only great health-conscious food, its consistent texture and flavor also suit picky eaters who have a hard pass for fishy taste.
Unlike other varieties, this tuna is preserved in water and vegetable broth to enhance its flavor. Besides, it offers a rich supply of essential nutrients to improve your heart, eyesight, and sleep quality. You can eat it straight out of the can or turn it into other delicious dishes to jazz up your menu.
Plus, the tuna come in a pack of 24 5-ounce cans, so you can rest assured that theres enough of it to entertain your family for a while. With these low-cost and handy cans in your pantry, youll be able to make easy meals anywhere you are, whether at home or on outdoor adventures.
Lets find out how to make a delicious 5-minute snack with the Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Canned Tuna in the following video.
Best Overall: Ortiz Bonito Del Norte
Courtesy of Amazon
Who else recommends it? Saveur and Bon Appétit both picked Ortiz Bonito del Norte.
What do buyers say? 87% of 500+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
Considered the Cadillac of tuna fish, Spain-based Ortiz’s signature Bonito del Norte albacore garners rave reviews by tuna lovers. It’s widely praised for being carefully arranged in modernistic oval cans in bright primary colors. There’s no need for mayo with this Northern beauty. Pleasingly pink-hued chunks of moist, fine-textured meat are often eaten as-is but are lovely in a salad niçoise, too.
Line-caught individually in northern Spain since the late 19th century using traditional methods, Bonito del Norte are poached in the can with olive oil and plenty of salt and allowed to marinate for a spell before being sold globally. This albacore is so delicious it makes average store-bought tuna seem like cat food. Ortiz is pricey and difficult to find, but it’s worth every penny. Ordering online in bulk keeps the cost somewhat reasonable.
Best Budget: Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna
Courtesy of Amazon
Widely available in grocery chains, this skipjack tuna is a smaller species that often is the unnamed chunk light tuna in cheaper brands. Sustainable and delicious, its healthy population is good for the pocketbook, especially when you buy cans by the dozen online. Skipjack has darker flesh and a stronger flavor than albacore, which can be a little too mild and dry. This tuna is cooked once in the can in its own juices, with only a bit of salt added. However, some crumbled pieces used to fill in gaps can detract from the presentation.
Sustainably caught with pole and line in the central or north Pacific ocean, this species is processed at partner facilities in Thailand, Vietnam, Morocco, Ecuador, Cape Verde, and Spain. However, Wild Planet is a California-based company recognized by Greenpeace for its sustainable practices and environmentalist mission.
Tonnino Tuna Fillets In Spring Water
A higher end gourmet product from a Costa Rican brand, Tonnino tuna is definitely an experience in comparison to standard tuna cans. It comes in glass jars, packed in water or olive oil, and in a variety of flavors including garlic, capers, and jalapeño. The brand only sources from vessels registered with CIATT, a group that ensures conservation of resources and on-board observers who guarantee no species other than tuna get caught in the mix. They use responsible fishing methods and give back to their local community. While this brand has slightly higher sodium levels than others, it shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
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 babys health. Moreover, birth defects can also happen if you continue eating foods rich in mercury levels during pregnancy.
Best Canned Tuna Brands In 2022
Canned tuna is a staple in most American households and for good reason. A 3-ounce serving contains about 20 grams of protein, plus its incredibly versatile. You can eat it on its own add it to your favorite dishes like sandwiches and salads, or use it as a high-protein ingredient in things like omelets and casseroles.
You dont necessarily need to buy the most expensive tuna brands either some of the best-canned tuna is sold at grocery stores that arent exactly known for having the highest quality products. That said, there are many canned tuna brands out there, so choosing between them can be difficult without knowing what to look for.
To help you make an informed decision at the supermarket next time youre stocking up on tuna, we researched some of the most popular brands and compared them to see which ones came out on top.
But first, lets dive deeper into the details before jumping to the brand list.
Bumble Bee Solid Wild Albacore Tuna
The best option for canned tuna lovers on the keto diet is Bumble Bee White Albacore in a can. Youll discover huge and firm solids from the first moment, ensuring a tasty mouth-filling taste that will satisfy picky eaters.
With this convenient canned fish on hand, creating an energy-boosting pick-me-up snack is as simple as pressing a button. It combines well with a wide range of foods, including pasta, salads, and casseroles owing to its delicious and mild flavor.
They use pole and line or troll fishing methods to obtain their tuna, so you know its responsible. They even have a 5-ounce can version if youre looking for lower calories and carbs.
Which Tuna Should You Not Eat
Though tuna is very nutritious, its also high in mercury compared to most other fish. Therefore, it should be eaten in moderation not every day. You can eat skipjack and light canned tuna alongside other low-mercury fish a few times each week, but should limit or avoid albacore, yellowfin and bigeye tuna.
So What Should I Look For
“FAD-free” is a less common label but a good sign if you see it, Hocevar says.
Another good indicator is the MSC-certified seal. The assesses specific fish populations and catch methods and how well fisheries are managed, and is considered the most reputable in terms of certification, says Brownstein.
Don’t pay much attention to “wild-caught” or “dolphin-safe.” Wild-caught just means the tuna wasn’t farmedand with canned tuna, it usually isn’t. “Dolphin-safe” was a buzzword decades ago when dolphin bycatch was a problem, but that’s no longer the case. “These days, the bigger impacts are on other species,” Hocevar says.
Is It Healthy To Eat Tuna Every Day
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans says we should all be eating at least two seafood meals a weekor a total of 8 ounces. The guidelines also say that we should aim for a variety of seafood, and some folks should seek out lower mercury fish.
Based on that recommendation: can women of childbearing age and children eat canned tuna every day? “Technically, the answer is yes, but their daily portion size would have to be very small. A pregnant woman could eat 1 or 2 ounces a day of light canned tuna and still stick with the guideline,” explains Weiss. “But I prefer the FDA recommendation to eat seafood two to three times weekly versus every day. Then you leave room for other protein-rich foods, including eggs, chicken, beef, beans, and tofu.”
It’s a good idea to eat a variety of foods and that includes mixing up your protein. Even the most avid tuna lovers probably shouldn’t eat tuna every single day of the week to make sure they aren’t overdoing it on mercury and they’re getting other healthy proteins in their diet.