A great meal can start with something as simple as a can opener and a can of light tuna. Light tuna comes primarily from skipjack, a much smaller predatory fish than its cousin albacore or "white" tuna, which is also commonly found in cans. Light tuna provides a healthy dose of vitamin D along with heart-healthy omega-3s. Though it has fewer omega-3s than white tuna does, we go for light tuna because it also has less mercury. Any way you serve it, light tuna is a great catch.
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.
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, including Wild Planet have switched to BPA-free cans (check labels). 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.
Canned tuna, like all fish and shellfish, contains some mercury. Mercury comes from industrial pollution, which runs off into water, and builds up in fish. 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. Check the label to 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”).