For decades, canned tuna has been an inexpensive staple food that can be stored for a long time (2 to 5 years), a good weight loss option due to its low calories and richness in protein, and a way to increase omega-3 in the diet. The United States alone imports about 300 million pounds of canned tuna annually, and one in 4 Americans eats canned tuna at least once a week, according to the National Institute of Fisheries.
However, this does not end the debate over whether canned tuna is actually healthy and how much to eat it safely. The growing number of fresh produce enthusiasts, and the placing of processed and packaged foods under increased surveillance to avoid its health damage, over the past 30 years, contributed to a decline in canned tuna sales until they fell by 42%, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Content of canned tuna
Also, according to the USDA, fresh and canned tuna is equal in being a good source of many essential vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, iodine, and vitamins B and D, in addition to a proportion of protein, sufficient to satisfy most of your daily needs.
4 possible dangers of canned tuna
Canned tuna has 4 potential harms that include the following:
- The oil that causes obesity. Tuna packed in oil can increase the weight because it contains 339 calories per can. Best for those planning to lose weight, choose canned tuna in water to avoid consuming extra calories, as it contains only 191 calories per can.
- Sodium causes bloating, one of the negative effects of eating canned tuna is an increase in sodium or salt intake, which leads to bloating and high blood pressure. So when buying canned tuna, look for varieties that are low in sodium and packaged in water, to reap the benefits of tuna protein and omega-3 fatty acid content, without consuming excess salt.
- Mercury is toxic. Research has shown that high exposure to mercury can have toxic effects on the heart, blood vessels and central nervous system. Mercury is found in fish due to water pollution, but its percentage in tuna may be higher because they feed on small fish that are likely to be contaminated with mercury as well, which raises the concentration of mercury in tuna.
- The box itself, some cans contain bisphenol A (BPA), an industrial chemical used in lining cans to prevent them from corroding, and some research has warned that regular exposure to them can negatively affect human health and increase the risk of some diseases. . In order to avoid these possible effects, it is preferable to choose the containers with indications that they are free of this substance.