7 healthy recipes for canned tuna

A tuna sandwich is a lunchtime staple, and for good reason. Canned tuna is shelf-stable, relatively affordable, and is a sustainable source of protein when you choose MSC-branded products for bluefish, notes the Marine Stewardship Council.

Also, while the 2020-2025 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 8 ounces (ounces) of fish per week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicates that the average American adult gets only about a third. of this amount.

If grilling salmon or preparing some fish tacos is feeling overwhelming, canned tuna can be a simpler way to add more fish to your plate.

However, the typical tuna salad sandwich isn’t perfect. The health benefits can be nullified if you eat mayonnaise, for example, because this condiment is high in saturated fat. You’ll find about 1.6 grams of these unhealthy fats per tablespoon, according to the USDA. That’s about 12 percent of the recommended daily limit set by the American Heart Association – in just one tablespoon! Without mayo, tuna could be a naturally healthy option that’s packed with protein—there are 22 grams (g) in 3 ounces, according to USDA data. Moreover, tuna mainly contains healthy and unsaturated fats.

What to consider when choosing canned tuna

At the grocery store, you may find the tuna aisle overwhelming. What can you reach? Here’s what to consider.


The Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration list light tuna as the best choice. This is because it has less mercury than other types of tuna such as white and albacore, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. Mercury is a naturally occurring element and an industrial by-product that can have negative health effects, especially for pregnant or breastfeeding women and young children. However, these groups can enjoy canned light tuna three or more times per month, depending on age. If the fear of getting too much mercury keeps you from eating fish more often, let us convince you. According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, one to two servings of low-mercury fish may reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent.

You will also see tuna available in solid white tuna chunks. The terms “piece” and “solid” refer to the size of the tuna chunks in the can. The solid will contain larger, sturdier pieces of fish, and the piece will be smaller chips of fish, according to Bumblebee.

What is packed

You’ll find canned tuna packed in oil or water.

The water-filled version has fewer calories and is the kind most nutritionists recommend.

If you choose oil-filled tuna, be sure to check the type of oil used. Many brands will use the cheapest oils (such as soybean oil) to package the tuna – and that translates to reduced fats that are healthy for you. For example, while a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil contains 10 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, you’ll find only 3.1 grams in the same serving of soybean oil, according to the USDA. One healthy option is canned tuna packed in extra virgin olive oil that’s full of healthy monounsaturated fats (according to the USDA). However, keep in mind that this option may be more expensive than canned tuna packed in other oils or water.

Other ways to buy tuna

Besides the can, you can find tuna in a jar or bag. Some packaged varieties are even seasoned for an easy-to-use protein source. Canned tuna usually comes in unusual bags packed in water. On the other hand, sliced ​​tuna tends to be packaged in water or oil.

Fresh tuna is also available at the fish counter, and you’ll find it’s nutritionally nearly identical to canned tuna. According to USDA data, a 3-ounce serving of fresh yellowfin tuna contains 93 calories, 21 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0.4 grams of fat, and 38 milligrams of sodium. Of course, unlike canned tuna, fresh tuna must be cooked before eating it (unless it’s from the sushi category). It should also be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within one to two days, according to Clemson Cooperative Extension.

With these healthy options in mind, choose the type of tuna that best suits your needs. Then enjoy these innovative and healthy tuna recipes that are quick and easy enough to prepare at work, whether it’s in your kitchen or in the office.

You’ll also find that these recipes contain only five main ingredients (excluding spices, oil, and vinegar) all of which are ingredients you may already have on hand! How is it so easily?

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