The Healthiest Canned Tunas

Don't be stumped by the vast supermarket offerings any longer--we give you the nitty gritty on the best canned fish for your health

May 4, 2012
1/5 Mitch Mandel

It's hard to know which can of tuna is the healthiest option; the diversity in options is enough to make your head swim. There's 'chunk, solid, pouch, can... heck, even subtle details, like light versus white, can be nutritionally significant, says Brian St. Pierre, C.S.C.S., a sports nutrition consultant based in Maine. Albacore, or white tuna, delivers more than three times the omega-3s of skipjack, or light tuna. But because albacore are typically larger, they also have higher mercury levels. So balance risk and reward, and eat only one 6-ounce serving of albacore a week. (You can have 12 ounces of skipjack a week.) To limit your exposure to BPA, a harmful chemical in the linings of cans, check the label for the words "BPA-free" or opt for plastic pouches. (Search: What are the dangers of BPA?) See above for our favorite catches.

Wild Planet Wild Albacore
2/5 Courtesy of Wild Planet
Best in Water and Best in Oil

Wild Planet Wild Albacore
120 calories in water, 190 in oil; $30 for six cons,
This albacore in water delivers 1,340 milligrams of DHA/EPA omega-3s in a 2-ounce serving. (Video: Healthy, Protein-Packed Salads) The oil version has a less intense taste, and the olive oil adds a dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Because Wild Planet catches small albacore, it says its tuna has less than half the mercury of other albacore brands, so you can eat it more often.

Related: 5 Belly-Filling Foods

Ortiz Bonito del Norte tuna in olive oil
3/5 Courtesy of Ortiz Bonito del Norte
Best Gourmet

Ortiz Bonito del Norte tuna in olive oil
160 calories, $17,
Cooked once instead of twice like most brands, this Spanish albacore has a mellow taste. Add it to pasta with a little of its oil.

Related: 13 New Superfoods

Island Trailers Albacore with jalapeno
4/5 Courtesy of Island Trailers
Best Flavor

Island Trailers Albacore with jalapeno
110 calories, $75 for 12 cans,
Caught off the coast of Washington and packed in BPA-free cans, it has a clean taste with a fiery kick.

Related: The Truth about Calories

StarKist Flavor Fresh chunk light in water
5/5 Courtesy of Starkist
Best On-the-Go

StarKist Flavor Fresh chunk light in water
80 calories per 2.6 ounces. $1.50,
A three-time Men's Health 125 Best Foods taste-test winner, this tuna comes in an easy-open, no mess, BPA-free pouch.

Related: The 125 Best Foods for Men