Canned Tuna Nutrition Facts and Benefits
Besides offering great taste, tuna has long been regarded for its positive nutritional health benefits and research has backed up many of these qualities. Tuna is a source of Vitamin D and Vitamin B12, is high in protein and low in saturated fats and cholesterol, and is known to be a good source for Omega-3 fatty acids. Canned tuna is one of the best ways to easily incorporate these heath benefits into your diet.
Tuna is High in Protein
The protein found in tuna generally contains all of the essential amino acids that the human body needs for the growth and maintenance of muscle tissue. This type of protein can be good for weight loss as it helps to increase the speed of your metabolism so that you burn calories more effectively. It also may help to increase your energy levels, giving you that boost you sometimes need during the mid-part of your day.
Canned Tuna is Low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol
One of the biggest health problems facing our generation today is high cholesterol; some have even gone as far as calling it an epidemic. Canned tuna, by nature has properties that are beneficial to combating high cholesterol. These properties include being low in saturated fat and high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Saturated fats are typically found in animal fats such as cream, cheese, butter and meats. They are commonly considered to elevate the risk of high cholesterol levels and as such may lead to an increased risk of certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart disease and even some forms of cancer. Both, the US Department of Health and Health Canada recommend that you try to reduce or limit your intake of saturated fats.
Tuna fish typically has low levels of both saturated fat and cholesterol making it an ideal addition to your diet. However, the actual amount of saturated fat and cholesterol found in a can of tuna can vary by as much as 2 grams per ounce depending on the season and the conditions in which the tuna was caught.
Unsaturated Fats and Omega-3 in Canned Tuna
Unsaturated fats are found in plants, vegetables and fish, such as tuna and salmon. One of the healthiest types of unsaturated fats is omega-3, the heart-friendly fatty acid. Unsaturated fats contain fewer calories and help to reduce the level of total cholesterol in the blood.
Omega-3 is a member of the unsaturated fats, and its health benefits have been known since the 1930’s. In recent years, food producers and marketers have started to actively promote the health benefits of Omega-3 in foods such as canned tuna, canned salmon or salmon oil.
Omega-3 is thought to help reduce or improve the following heath conditions:
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease
- Reduce blood pressure
- Increase blood circulation
- Limit the risk of heart attack
- Reduce the affects of depression and rheumatoid arthritis
It is no doubt that compared to other foods which are produced and packaged, canned tuna is generally a much healthier option. However, not all brands are created equal and there are factors affecting the overall nutritional benefits per can of tuna.