We’ve all gotten the memo—we should be eating more seafood. Seafood is a good source of healthy omega-3 fats and the USDA and
the American Heart Association both recommend eating at least 8 ounces a week (2-3 servings).
But eating more seafood doesn’t always require a trip to the fish counter—I can whip up a delicious dinner using canned tuna
or salmon from my pantry, and even work it into my lunches. Take one of my favorite recipes, Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad
, as an
example. It only takes 25 minutes to pull together, is low in saturated fat (only 2 grams) thanks to olive oil that replaces
the mayo usually found in tuna salad, and is bulked up with plenty of vegetables to keep calories in check.
Working as a recipe developer and tester in the EatingWell Test Kitchen has taught me that even the best recipes can be not
so great if you start out with the wrong can of fish. I’ve learned through experience that not all canned seafood is created
equal and that there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re buying it at the grocery store to make the most out of your
Tip 1: Make Green Choices
Both tuna and salmon have the potential to be good for the body, but not so great for the environment. Check the label to
find light tuna caught by troll or pole-and-line. It’s the most environmentally sustainable option, according to Monterey Bay
Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program. Or look for the blue Certified Sustainable Seafood label from the Marine Stewardship
Council. For salmon, wild-caught from Alaska is the best choice for the environment, according to Seafood Watch. Farmed
salmon, including Atlantic, should be avoided, as it endangers the wild salmon population.
Tip 2: Pay Attention to Packaging
Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used in the linings of some food and drink cans, has been linked to the development of
precancerous lesions and abnormal development of reproductive systems in animals. Some brands have switched to BPA-free cans
(check labels). Wild Alaskan salmon can be purchased in pouches that are BPA-free. Light tuna also comes in BPA-free pouches,
but we have yet to find light tuna in a pouch that is labeled as certified sustainable or caught by sustainable methods.
Tip 3: Keep An Eye Out For Mercury
Canned tuna comes in “light and “white” and, like all fish and shellfish, contains some mercury. Mercury comes from
industrial pollution, which runs off into water, and builds up in fish. Light tuna tends to have less mercury than white, but
you should check the label. Make sure your “light” tuna comes from skipjack, which is lower in mercury. Yellowfin is less
commonly found in cans but is also considered “light” and has a higher mercury level, similar to that of albacore (which is
labeled “white”). According to the EPA and FDA, women who may become pregnant, pregnant women and young children should limit
their consumption to 12 ounces a week of fish with lower mercury, including canned “light” tuna, and no more than 6 ounces of
albacore or “white” tuna.
Now that you’ve picked the best tuna, try it in this delicious healthy tuna salad recipe
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