How to Choose Canned Tuna

Updated February 21, 2017

Canned tuna comes in a dizzying array of varieties. Choosing the best tuna for your table will be both a matter of taste preferences and health considerations. One of the biggest concerns with canned tuna is the mercury levels. Even the cooking and canning process cannot destroy mercury, which can in high doses have neurological and cardiovascular effects, notes the Environmental Protection Agency. Choosing the right type of canned tuna will help you to avoid excess mercury and sodium in your diet.

Look for chunk light tuna, which contains less mercury than albacore or white tuna. Albacore and white tuna are used interchangeably for the same product. Look for all varieties of canned tuna in supermarkets or grocery stores located near other canned meat products.

Limit consumption of chunk light tuna to 340gr. per week or white (albacore) to 85.1gr. per week. This equals two standard 170gr. cans of chunk light tuna weekly or half a 170gr. can of albacore tuna. Some markets also have 85.1gr. pouches or cans of both light tuna and albacore tuna. One of these smaller sized containers would meet your weekly limit for albacore tuna.

Opt for tuna chunks instead of whole canned tuna steaks for lower mercury levels.

Choose tuna that is low in sodium or tuna packed without salt if you are on a reduced sodium diet. Most grocery stores and supermarkets should sell low sodium tuna fish. Read the label to verify that there has not been added salt to the tuna.

Pick tuna packed in water instead of oil if you are on a low fat diet.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author