Breaking down the benefits of one of the most famous canned foods

By Nadine Halili | Photo by Youjeen Cho/Unsplash

One of the most popular canned goods in the Philippines is canned tuna. If you check the aisles of a grocery store, you will find a big section dedicated to canned tuna and its multiple varieties. 

Tuna is known as a healthy fish because it is a great source of nutrients like protein, selenium, and vitamin D. But many are also afraid of eating large amounts of tuna due to its high mercury content that can damage the nervous system and cause developmental problems for unborn babies. However, dietitians have confirmed that tuna sold in cans is younger than the fresh tuna you buy (which means it contains less mercury and is thus safer to eat). 

Canned food, in general, poses risks like damaging the vitamin C and D content of the food and exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA), which may lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But, eating canned tuna in moderation can still provide plenty of healthy benefits for your body.

Canned tuna is believed to be one of the healthiest types of canned goods because most are stored in water, oil, or just salt so you don’t have to worry about hidden sugars, additives and other dangerous chemicals

Canned tuna is believed to be one of the healthiest types of canned goods because most are stored in water, oil, or just salt so you don’t have to worry about hidden sugars, additives and other dangerous chemicals. One can of tuna in water contains more than 42 grams of protein and just 191 calories per can. It also provides 1.4 grams of fat, 464 milligrams of omega-3s, 14.8 milligrams of omega-6s, and 190 percent of the recommended dietary allowance of selenium. 

It’s a good source of phosphorus, iron, magnesium, vitamin A and B-complex vitamins, such as niacin and riboflavin. The high content of selenium and omega-3s in tuna promotes cardiovascular health by improving blood flow and heart function. Moreover, the diversity in vitamins supports many body systems including energy metabolism and blood sugar regulation.

One can of tuna in oil on the other hand contains 339 calories, which makes it a great fit for ketogenic and low-carb and high-protein diets. Just like sardines, tuna contains B-complex vitamins with a high content in vitamin B-12 specifically, thus another dietary option to combat vitamin B-12 deficiency. 

Despite all these, some people find canned tuna unappetizing since it looks dull and greasy when you pop open a can. But it has a distinct, delicious flavor that can work well in many dishes, sandwich spreads or dips. If you’re simply looking for a new way to cook canned tuna or a healthy alternative to your usual tuna concoctions, here is a quick and easy toast recipe that you can try.

 

Tuna Yogurt

Serves 5

Ingredients:

½ cup of yogurt

1 cup of tuna in water, drained

2 pieces of light cheese triangles

1 medium onion, bruniose

1 piece small carrots, bruniose

2 teaspoons of hot sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Sauté onion until clear. Add tuna and carrots.

Let the tuna mixture cool.

Add yogurt, cheese slices, salt, pepper, and hot sauce into the tuna. Serve.

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