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Beyond Tuna: Why Sardines and Mackerel Belong In Your Pantry

There’s more to Chicken of the Sea than tuna - and if you’ve never tried a can of sardines or mackerel, you’re missing out.

They taste fantastic

Sardines and mackerel don’t have the best PR. Unfortunately, most people associate them with strong fishy smells and eating directly out of the can.

These stereotypes are pretty unfair—sardines and mackerel are way more delicious than they get credit for. Yes, the flavors are distinct. But that’s definitely not a bad thing. If you look at it another way, Highly flavorful ingredients don’t need much help. In fact, because they pack a little punch, they’re best prepared as simply as possible: You can make a healthy, satisfying dinner from a can of sardines, some pasta or bread, and a salad.

Think of sardines and mackerel like capers or olives, but with more substance. They’re flavor bombs that liven up pretty much any dish. But these fish aren’t just delicious—they’re also super healthy.

They’re really good for you

By now, most medical authorities agree that fish is pretty darn good for you. According to the Mayo Clinic, omega-3 fatty acids are associated with lower triglycerides and blood pressure, and eating fish is a great way to get more omega-3s into your diet.

Sardines and mackerel are seriously rich in omega-3s. A four-ounce can of sardines packs about 900 milligrams of them, while a 15-ounce can of mackerel has a whopping 4,815 milligrams. To put that in perspective, the FDA recommends that everyone over age 14 eat 1.1 grams (for women) or 1.6 grams (for men) of omega-3s per day.

The nutritional benefits of fish go way beyond omega-3s. Both sardines and mackerel contain significant amounts of Vitamin B-12: A single 100-gram serving of canned sardines has about 6 micrograms, and the same amount of mackerel clocks in at 8 micrograms. In other words, you can get between 3 and 4 days’ worth of B-12 from one serving of either fish. They’re also one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D (about 200 IU per 100-gram serving for both).

They won’t break the bank

As great as fish is, it has one major drawback. Fresh fish isn’t cheap, and even frozen fish is less affordable than it once was; if you’re on a budget, you may not be able to eat it as much as you’d like.

This is where Chicken of the Sea sardines and mackerel comes in. They’re affordable, which means you can stock up on fish without blowing your whole grocery budget. And since canned fish is shelf-stable, it’s always there for you when you need it.

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