Canned Fish

• Be aware that tuna, salmon, sardines, crabs, clams, mackerel, and other fish are canned in water or oil (typically vegetable or olive oil). Even when the oil is drained, fish in oil have significantly more (mostly unsaturated) fat than water-packed varieties. With oil-packed canned fish, some omega-3 fatty acids transfer to the oil, which may be discarded. For more about omega-3 fatty acids, see "Eat your Omega-3s and-6s" in chapter 3. Besides the fat and calorie difference, fish packed in spring water have a milder flavor, but a drier texture. Also look for fish in shelf-stable pouches.

Compare the calories and fat in 3 ounces of water-packed and oil-packed tuna.

3-Ounce Serving

Water-packed tuna, drained Oil-packed tuna, drained

  • For calcium, buy canned fish (salmon and sardines) with edible bones. Three ounces of salmon eaten with the bones have about 200 milligrams of calcium, almost as much as 6 ounces of milk. (Not all canned salmon has edible bones—check the ingredient list.) Canning softens bones, making them edible. Canned tuna and crabmeat don't have edible bones.
  • Although tuna outsells other canned fish, give yourself a change in flavor with canned salmon or sardines. Besides adding variety to your eating pattern, salmon is higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Use it in salads, stir-fries, soups, and pizza toppings.

Calories Fat Grams

100 1 165 7

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