Is Canned Tuna Nutritious?
Canned tuna nutrition is a topic that affects many people. Tuna has become a staple in many diets – from families who cook meals with canned tuna to people who eat canned tuna as a quick meal or snack on the go. The convenience of canned tuna and its delicious taste have led to people finding new and exciting ways to enjoy its versatility – either on its own or part of more complex dishes.
Recent concerns over canned tuna have led many consumers to question the overall nutritional value of tuna and whether the nutrients outweigh any potential concerns. In order to make an informed decision, it is necessary to look at both the nutritional benefits of canned tuna as well as the potential concerns.
Nutritional Benefits of Canned Tuna
Canned tuna is an excellent source of protein and most are low in fat. Protein is used by the body to build and repair cells in order to maintain healthy muscle tissue. As a rule, people who lead an active lifestyle typically need more protein in their diets in order to maintain healthy cells (Lemon, 1996). Tuna is a valuable source of complete protein – this means that it provides all 10 of the amino acids that are vital for the body (Tremblay, 2014). Protein that is also low in fat can also be beneficial in weight loss because it takes a longer time for the body to digest and therefore makes you feel full longer (Tremblay, 2014). Canned tuna contains high levels of protein and a relatively low number of calories, especially canned tuna in water.
Canned tuna contains long-chain omega-3 fats, which have been shown to improve heart health by increasing blood vessel function, lowering triglycerides and easing inflammation (The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2014). Omega-3 fats supplements are available, but getting omega-3 fats through consuming fish has the added benefits of many other nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium.
Concerns of Canned Tuna
Some people are concerned about eating any type of tuna due to the mercury it may contain. Tuna has been shown to contain relatively low mercury levels, especially canned light tuna (The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2014). Studies have shown that the benefits of fish intake exceed any potential risks, however people with very high consumption of seafood (five or more servings a week) should limit intake of those species of fish with higher mercury levels (Mozaffarian D, 2006).
Sustainability of the Tuna Industry
Canned tuna is nutritious and delicious, but is the industry sustainable? Clover Leaf has worked hard to improve the overall sustainability as a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), by working extensively to assess fishing practices and implement measures which ensure global tuna stocks are managed in a sustainable manner.
Clover Leaf currently sources at least 95% of its products sustainably, with efforts ongoing to further improve this level (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014). This commitment to sustainability allows consumers to continue benefiting from canned tuna nutrition for generations to come.
Lemon, P. (1996). Is increased dietary protein necessary or beneficial for individuals with a physically active lifestyle? Retrieved October 23, 2014, from pubmed.gov:
Mozaffarian D, R. E. (2006, October 18). Fish intake, contaminants, and human health: evaluating the risks and the benefits. Retrieved October 23, 2014, from pubmed.gov:
The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014). FAQ - What does 'sustainable seafood' mean? Retrieved October 1, 2014, from Clover Leaf:
The President and Fellows of Harvard College. (2014). Fish: Friend or Foe. Retrieved October 22, 2014, from Harvard School of Public Health - The Nutrition Source:
Tremblay, L. (2014). The Effects of Canned Tuna. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from Healthy Eating: