One of the big questions anyone asks themselves when they are choosing which type of tuna to eat is: Do I eat the tuna packed in oil or the tuna that is packed in water?
Now if you can eat fresh tuna a couple times a week that would be ideal, but for most of us, that is not practical or realistic.
So our other alternative is canned tuna.
So the next question we ask is if canned tuna is healthy for us or not?
It is not as healthy as if you can eat fresh tuna, but it isn’t far off from being just as healthy.
What you miss out on are certain nutrients such as Thiamin and Riboflavin and a few other micronutrients.
Now it comes down to which type of canned tuna should you buy?
Canned tuna is a good source of Omega-3 fats, which is great, but the quantity of healthy Omega-3 fats depends on what type of tuna you choose.
You will find a variety of different types of tuna on the store shelves. You will see “light” tuna, “albacore” or “white tuna” and then packed in water or packed in oil.
These different types of tuna are similar in nutritional value except for the fat and Omega-3 content levels.
If you want to get the most from your canned tuna I suggest for most individuals you choose oil-based Albacore tuna over water-packed and here is why.
From a nutritional standpoint, the Albacore tuna is a little higher quality and you will get a few more grams of high-quality protein from Albacore tuna. Another reason for choosing oil based is the healthy Omega-3 fats you get.
If you choose Albacore tuna in Olive oil for example, you get around 8 gms of Omega-3 fats vs 0.5-1.4 gms when packed in water or just regular oil.
Now when you go to drain the tuna it is possible that some of the natural Omega-3 fats will drain out with the oil so that 8 gms will probably go down a little and you won’t consume quite that many grams of healthy Omega-3 fats.
So when you are draining the tuna don’t try and squeeze out every last bit of oil from the can. Just lightly drain it so that you can keep more of the healthy Omega-3 nutrients.
Now the final question is what about the extra calories from eating tuna packed in Olive oil?
The answer is it is ok to do this if you are applying other solid nutritional principles such as cycling your carbohydrates and controlling your overall fat intake.
You see you can eat oily foods a couple times a week if you are also following good nutritional principles the rest of the week.
When it becomes an issue is when you are eating fatty foods each and every day or a couple times a day 5 times a week. Then we have an issue that needs to be addressed.
In this case, you are also not just consuming fat, but a very healthy fat that is responsible for helping in the prevention of many different health risks. So don’t be afraid to eat healthy Omega-3 fat foods such as tuna packed in olive oil or other fatty fish when you are making good nutritional decisions with your overall meal plan.
To get you started eating healthy canned tuna I have provided a delicious MAYO FREE tuna recipe below that I think you are going to love.
1 (5oz) can olive oil packed Albacore tuna (drained) If you are unable to find olive oil packed and instead have to use plain oil packed then drain it and then add 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil to it.
1 tsp chopped parsley
1 celery stalk, diced
3 black olives (rinsed, pitted, and chopped)
3 capers (rinsed, chopped)
2 tsp lemon juice.
Mix all the above ingredients and then spread onto some whole-grain bread or if you are cycling your carbohydrates and it is a low carb or no carb day you can make a delicious salad and add this to a bed of greens instead of whole-grain bread.
The odds are you own more than a few cookbooks, yet every night you find yourself asking “What’s For Dinner?” Here is what I designed to solve this constant issue with my clients.