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Is Albacore Tuna Good for You?

Albacore tuna is a nutritious choice. Albacore tuna contains a wide range of essential nutrients, including protein, vitamins D and B-12, selenium, and iron. It also features omega-3 fatty acids, to support your heart health.

When it comes to nutrition, there’s lots to love about albacore tuna. One can of albacore tuna in water contains 29 grams of complete protein, vitamins D and B-12, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals like iron, potassium, and selenium. And for all these benefits, there is just 1 gram of fat and 130 calories in a can of tuna.

Protein: Build healthy muscles, skin, and bones

Albacore tuna is an excellent source of protein: A four-ounce serving contains 29 grams. Plus, all that protein is complete protein, which means it contains all nine amino acids that your body can’t produce itself. This is why it’s included in Mediterranean, Weight Watchers, Keto, and Paleo diet plans and recipes such as keto tuna salad.

Protein is required for a wide range of essential bodily functions. The amino acids that make up proteins are required to build bones, cartilage, skin, and muscles. Eating enough protein is therefore a crucial part of a healthy diet. On top of helping build healthy muscles, skin, and bones, lean proteins like albacore tuna keep you feeling full longer than carbs and fat.

Omega-3s: Support a healthy heart

Albacore tuna has less fat than other animal proteins like chicken and beef, but it’s a good source of a particular type of fat: Omega-3 fatty acids. A diet rich in omega-3s is associated with lower inflammation levels, lower blood triglycerides, and an overall lower risk of heart disease. 

Eating fish is an easy, delicious way to enjoy the health benefits of omega-3s (which is a key advantage of the pescatarian diet over a vegetarian diet). Canned albacore tuna contains around 0.2 grams of omega-3s per serving, about 15-20% of the adequate intake for adults according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Vitamin D: Keep your bones and immune system strong

Like protein, Vitamin D is an incredibly important nutrient for bone health. This is because we can’t absorb calcium without Vitamin D—and we can’t build or repair bones without calcium.Vitamin D also plays an important role in supporting a healthy immune system. 

Sun exposure is an easy way to make your own Vitamin D, but you can also get it from certain foods. Albacore tuna is one of the few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D. A 5-ounce can of tuna can contain up to 10% of the Daily Value for Vitamin D.

Vitamin B-12: Fuel healthy energy metabolism and red blood cells

Another important vitamin in albacore tuna is Vitamin B-12, which your body needs to produce red blood cells and DNA, among other core functions. A can of albacore tuna contains just over 2 micrograms of Vitamin B-12, which happens to be the recommended daily amount for adults.

Essential minerals: Prevent deficiencies for better overall health

Albacore tuna features essential minerals like selenium, potassium, and iron, which are necessary for many important physiological processes. As for iron, it’s an especially important nutrient during pregnancy, when red blood cell production increases to support the growing fetus. If you’re pregnant, increasing your iron intake from dietary sources or supplements can support your overall wellbeing. 

What about sodium?

Albacore naturally contains a low level of sodium (salt). However, sodium is usually added during processing of canned tuna and a 3-ounce serving can have as much as 22% of the recommended daily intake. So, if you’re wondering, is canned tuna healthy? or are watching your salt intake, be sure to check the label. You can also purchase low-sodium or sodium-free variations of canned albacore tuna.

The bottom line

Albacore tuna is incredibly nutritious. High in protein, low in fat, and features many essential vitamins and minerals, it’s an excellent addition to any healthy diet.

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