Canned Tuna – What to Know Before You Buy

Canned Tuna – What to Know Before You Buy Portion of Tuna salad in a small bowl (close-up shot)

How do you handle your canned tuna shopping? Do you just pick something that looks ok off the supermarket shelf? Maybe it’s time to be more aware with that and we’ll tell you why right away.

I’ve been eating canned tuna for most of my life and it’s to the day one of my favorite things to have. When I was little, we could only find that shredded variety, in oil, and I remember it being a pleasant thing I liked to do, using a can opener to remove the top of the can and then draining that oil and getting everything so greasy and messy. Later on, I graduated on to getting tuna pieces in their own juice, really loving the texture and consistency of the larger pieces. Not to mention the extra flavor.

And with good reason, I love this. After all, there are so many ways to use canned tuna when cooking and it’s also a nutritious thing to include in your diet, number one being the tuna sandwich.

So what are the things you should know when you pick out your canned tuna of choice? Let’s find out.

Canned Tuna – What to Know Before You Buy

Know what kind of tuna you're adding to your sandwich.

Canned tuna – how do you choose it?

1. Think of the environment

Canned tuna can be absolutely great for your body, not so much for the environment. Find out which option is the most sustainable for the environment where you live and go for that. For that, go to Seafood Watch, because they compiled lists of the best tuna out there, that is fished or farmed to protect the environment as much as possible.

2. Be mindful of mercury

Canned tuna comes in two varieties: light and white. Unfortunately, all varieties contain some mercury, so you can't really escape that, because it's a consequence of industrial pollution. Light tuna usually has less mercury than the white one and you can check that out on the label of the can you're getting. You should also verify that light tuna comes from skipjack (a type of tuna) - this one is lighter in mercury. Yellowfin and albacore have a higher mercury content so be mindful of that.

3. Be careful with the packaging

Make sure that the label of your canned tuna mentions that it has no Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical that is sometimes used in the lining of cans. It has been linked with the development of precancerous lesions, so it can be dangerous. A lot of brands are steering clear of that and it should say so on the cans.

I’m a pop culture nerd who thinks too much about fried bacon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and life, the Universe and everything. I love food and sometimes you can see that on my hips, but I don't care that much about that.
What I do care more about is trying to eat healthier, even though I admit that I like to indulge in my food fantasies. I’m addicted to puns, so forgive me for that when you read my articles. I now know too much about nutrition to be fun to hang out with. So long and thanks for all the fish-based omega-3 fatty acids.

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