Is Canned Tuna Healthy?

People all over the world love canned tuna, not just for its taste, but for its nutritional value as well. It is true that fish has omega-3 fatty acids which provide you with some amazing health benefits. However, there are people who believe canned tuna is not a healthy food choice. Is it true? Are there any side effects or dangers of eating canned tuna? Keep reading to find out more.

Is Canned Tuna Healthy?

The simple answer is yes. Eating canned tuna provides you with several health benefits. It is mild in flavor but you can still include it in a variety of recipes. If you opt for tuna canned in water, you will get 1 g of fat and about 100 calories in every serving. It also provides you with a good amount of potassium and iron.

Health Benefits of Canned Tuna

Is canned tuna healthy? Yes, it is. Here are the reasons why you should include canned tuna in your diet.

1. Omega-3s

Canned light tuna contains a small amount healthy unsaturated fat which includes omega-3 fatty acids. Your body cannot produce these fat types on its own, but it needs omega-3s for healthy brain function and overall development. Omega-3s also help reduce inflammation in your body and help prevent complications such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. Omega-3s also help lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Moreover, it helps manage depression and anxiety in a better way.

2. Niacin

You will get about 11.3 mg of niacin from a 3-ounce serving of canned light tuna. Women need about 14 mg of niacin each day, whereas 16 mg is recommended daily requirement of niacin for men. You will get enough niacin from one serving of canned tuna. Niacin or B-vitamin helps keep your skin, digestive system, and nerves healthy. It also helps improve good cholesterol levels in your body and prevent mental problems and skin disorders.

3. Vitamin B12

Your recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12 is 2.4 mg, and you will get about 2.5 mg of vitamin B12 from a 3-ounce serving of canned light tuna. This vitamin is extremely important for healthy brain function. It also promotes the formation of red blood cells and turns food into usable energy.

4. Improved Protein Levels

Why is canned tuna healthy? Another reason is that it provides you with loads of protein. A 4-ounce serving of water- or oil-packed canned tuna provides you with 30 g of protein. It is about 50% of your recommended daily intake of protein if your body weight is around 150 pounds.

5. Fewer Calories

Yet another reason why canned tuna is healthy lies in the fact that it contains fewer calories and is quite low in fat. It serves as a better source of protein as compared to dairy products and meats because it does not contain many calories. Eating tuna will also keep you full longer and help you achieve your weight loss goals.

6. Preventing Several Diseases

You will be able to lower your risk of having a stroke by eating canned tuna regularly. Studies show that eating 1-4 servings of canned tuna a week reduces your risk of having a stroke by 27% or more. There is also evidence that tuna helps reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. It may also help lower your risk of getting kidney cancer.

Are There Any Risks When Consuming Tuna?

You now know the answer to "Why is canned tuna healthy", but it is also important to understand that there are certain risks associated with eating canned tuna regularly. For instance, due to pollution, canned tuna becomes contaminated with mercury. Eating contaminated tuna may cause nervous system damage, especially in children. So eat it in moderation.

How to Avoid the Contaminated Tuna

You will find two types of tuna – solid white and chunk light. Solid white tuna is albacore and has mercury levels three times higher than canned light tuna. Here are some guidelines to help you make a better choice:


Mercury levels

Recommended Intake per Month

Canned white

0.32 parts per million of mercury

One 3-ounce portion for children under six; two 4.5-ounce servings for children between 6 and 12 years of age; 8-ounce portions for adult men; and 6-ounce portions for adult women

Canned light

0.12 parts per million of mercury

Three 3-ounce servings for children under six; once a week for older children 

Two Wonderful Ways to Eat Canned Tuna

Tuna Salad

Tuna salad is just what you need when you are on a low carb diet. It is loaded with Lycopene that offers amazing health benefits.


  • 1 can of tuna
  • Fresh spinach leaves, up to 2 cups
  • ¼ cup of salsa, fat-free
  • Cucumbers, carrots, red peppers – all diced
  • Salt and pepper


Get a large bowl and add spinach leaves to it. Top it with salsa, tuna, diced veggie, and then spoon on the salsa. Toss it a few times and sprinkle with salt and pepper for added taste.

Tuna Pizza

If you do not eat pizza just because you do not want to put on those added layers of fat, you will definitely love this recipe. Not only is it packed with essential nutrients, it is low in carbs, too.


  • 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce
  • A small whole wheat soft tortilla
  • A can of tuna
  • Grated mozzarella cheese, low-fat
  • Onions, mushrooms, red peppers – all sliced
  • Spices – black pepper, salt, basil, oregano, garlic powder, or fresh garlic


Start by smearing the sauce over the soft tortilla. Now spread the tuna evenly and add the sliced veggies over the pizza. Add whatever spices you like and finish by sprinkling the cheese on top. Place it in your oven and set temperature settings at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake your pizza for about 6-8 minutes. Enjoy! 

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