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Tuna Basics

Tuna is an excellent source of protein and contains heart-healthy omega-3 fats.

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  • Try store brands of canned tuna. They may be cheaper.
  • Avoid cans that have dents, bulges, or signs of leaking.
  • Weight of tuna cans may vary. Use the shelf sticker to compare cost per ounce rather than cost per can for the best value.
  • Vacuum-sealed pouches cost a little more but have little liquid to drain. They also come in single-serving sizes.
  • Choose tuna canned in water for fewer calories and more omega-3 fats.
  • Look for less sodium. Use the nutrition labels to compare sodium amounts between brands. Rinsing tuna with water will reduce sodium.

5 ounce can = about 1/2 cup tuna drained

2.6 ounce pouch = about 1/3 cup tuna

Canned Tuna

Here's what the label can tell you:

  • Light tuna - tan to tan-pink flesh. Has a firm texture and a mild flavor.
  • Solid - large, whole pieces of fish.
  • Chunk - smaller pieces of fish. Might look shredded. Usually costs the least.
  • Water pack - water or broth added to the can for processing. Fewer calories even when drained. Pouches contain less added liquid than cans.
  • Oil pack - vegetable oil or canola oil added to the can for processing. More calories even when drained. Some omega-3 fats may be lost when drained. Pouches contain less added liquid than cans.
  • Some tuna contains mercury. Pregnant women and young children can safely eat up to 12 ounces per week of canned light tuna or 6 ounces per week of canned white (albacore) tuna.

Store Well Waste Less

  • Store unopened cans of tuna in a cool, dry place. Discard cans that show leakage, bulges, or rust.
  • Check the 'Best By' date on the cans or pouches and use before the date for best quality.
  • Refrigerate leftover tuna in a tightly covered glass or plastic container. Use within 2 days for best quality.


Tuna Veggie Melt

Stovetop Tuna Casserole

Cilantro Lime Tuna Wrap

Kids Can!

When kids help make healthy food, they are more likely to try it. Show kids how to:

  • wipe off can lids before opening.
  • use a can opener and safely handle sharp edges.
  • mix ingredients together.
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