Best Canned Tuna
It’s so frustrating to be eating healthy and find out that some of the good foods you’ve been eating may cause other health problems. Some brands aren’t really healthy at all…they just take advantage of an opportunity and know how to market their product. I’m committed to finding the safest brands and passing along this info to help others. I’ve done this with eggs, almond milk, and fish already—now it’s time to find out which is the best canned tuna.
But, first I want to talk a little bit about why I love tuna and some of the specific health concerns.
Why Eat Tuna?
Canned tuna is one of my favorite go to foods. It’s easy—just open the bag or can and throw it on a salad or brown rice. Voila! It’s also super affordable. That being said, I’d like to eat it more, but there are just too many health concerns with tuna. I limit it to once a week at most.
Health Concerns with Tuna
Tuna has been getting less and less popular because of various health and environmental concerns. If you’re like me, you knew something was up, but not exactly. Here’s a bit of info to fill us all in:
The biggest—and most well known—health concern with tuna is mercury. Mercury builds up in all fish and shellfish over time and is transferred to us when we eat it. Too much mercury causes brain and organ damage. Based solely on the mercury content, the FDA recommends no more than 12 ounces a week of light tuna and 6 ounces of albacore. But, the Mercury Policy Project says it should be even lower. As I mentioned, I limit myself to one tuna meal per week.
One study found radiation from the Fukushima disaster in tuna caught in the ocean off the Oregon coast. Although the official stance is that it’s not enough to be harmful, of course there dissenters. At the very least, it’s more support for eating tuna no more than once a week.
And, if this weren’t enough, genetic testing of tuna has found that nearly 84% of “white tuna” is NOT really tuna!!! It was actually escolar, which is a type of mackerel fish that was banned by the FDA until the early 1990’s because it caused “oily anal leakage.” Ummmm, ewwwww.
On top of these health concerns, there are big environmental concerns connected to tuna, including overfishing and fishing in a way that harms other sea animals.
Best Canned Tuna Ranked
Even if we’re only eating tuna once a week, we want to at the safest and purest tuna that’s available, right?
Canned light tuna—and specifically skipjack tuna—is lower in mercury than yellowfin or albacore. So, if you’re eating tuna weekly, canned light tuna is definitely the one to eat. If you only eat tuna once a month, you can go for the yellowfin or albacore. Either fresh or frozen is fine. And, buy the water-packed to avoid unnecessary calories and get slightly more Omega-3s.
Thanks to Greenpeace for their ranking of the best tuna brands! Here’s their list—starting with the best first. Just click on the image to get more specifics on each brand:
Notice something? The largest name brands are at the bottom. I’d like to say I’m shocked, but I’m not. This is exactly why I shop at Whole Foods or our local health food store!
Here are a couple of my favorite tuna recipes: