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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Super Food of the Week: Health Benefits of Tuna

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Tuna sandwichIn the past, tuna has had a bad rap because of potentially high mercury levels and it seems to be a question I get all the time when I am recommending it as a good source of lean protein to clients. In fact, when consumed in moderation tuna offers numerous nutrients and great health benefits. Tuna is one of the ultimate superfoods making it this week’s super food of the week!

If you are looking for an alternate protein option to your everyday lunches, you should start considering to pack tuna! Tuna is:

  • High in protein (a 2 oz serving of canned tuna in water can contain a ¼ of your daily protein needs for less than 75 calories)
  • Low in calories
  • A great source of vitamin D
  • Boosts brain health
  • Provides essential omega 3’s which help to combat heart disease, certain cancers, and lower LDL (bad cholesterol)

No wonder tuna is considered the wonderfish! It’s interesting that while the American Heart Association recommends eating at least 2 servings of fish per week, however only 10% of women meet this goal! Aim for getting my fish in 2 times a week!

As far as mercury goes, nearly all fish have some mercury in them because they feed on mercury containing organisms. Light tuna has less mercury than white tuna. I would still stick to only about 2-3 times per week. Fish that are highest in methyl mercury are the larger, predatory fish. If you are pregnant, my recommendations are a little bit different. I recommend pregnant women only consume about 12 oz of low mercury fish per week. For more information on recommendations about fish for pregnancy, check out my book Pregnancy Cooking and Nutrition for Dummies.

If you are looking for more ways to incorporate tuna into your diet check out the recipes on the wonderfish website!

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Tags: Healthy Eating

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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