Best Canned Tuna to Buy, Says Dietitian

Tuna is a lean protein that fulfills many dietary needs and tastes delicious—and we're not alone in our tuna fandom. The canned version of the meat, in particular, is wildly popular.

In the U.S. alone, we eat around one billion pounds of canned and pouched tuna a year, according to the National Fisheries Institute. A can of tuna can last for up to four years in your cabinet,

before eventually making its way into a tuna sandwich, salad, or any one of these inventive recipes.When you do finally crack that lid and dig into the delicacy, your body will thank you.

Not only does a single can of tuna cover most if not all of your recommended daily protein intake, but it also has omega-3 fatty acids that help improve your brain and eye function.

Another major pro, when it comes to canned tuna, is the fact that it contains much less mercury than other types of fish, like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish,

The FDA says it is safe to eat up to 12 ounces of fish a week that is low in mercury—which can be around 2 to 4 cans of tuna, depending on the size.

The main—and, really, one of the only—problems with canned tuna is the simple act of buying it. There are a wide variety of brands on the market, and even when you've chosen a brand

there are decisions to be made about type: water or oil? White or light? We called in our medical expert board member Amy Shapiro MS, RD, and got some guidance on where to begin.

According to the National Fisheries Institute, the most widely-purchased kind of canned tuna is light meat chunk tuna in water.

"Canned in water is ideal," she said, before adding, "If you get it canned in oil, make sure it's olive oil."

Shapiro also specified that consumers should look for "no added salt" on their canned tuna labels. In terms of her favorite, go-to brand? She was torn. Both Tonnino and Wild Planet made her top two.

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