You needn't always choose tuna: try these easy fishy options too for health benefits, plus great recipe ideas to spice up your meals
The UK is the world’s second largest consumer of tinned tuna. While it’s a good source of protein and the antioxidant mineral selenium (with more than the RDA in a 100g serving), unlike the fresh variety, it’s a negligible source of omega-3s as its essential fats are mostly lost in the canning process. Princes Tuna in Spring Water: *Calories 105 Protein 25g Fat 0.5g (sat fat trace) Salt 0.75g.
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A 100g drained serving of mackerel has 2g of omega-3 (over two-thirds of your week’s requirement) and more than your RDA of bone-building vitamin D (tuna has less than half of this). It contains a moderate amount of saturates but, eaten twice weekly, the benefits outweigh the risks. Princes Mackerel Fillets in Olive Oil: Calories 271 Protein 19.7g Fat 21.3g (sat fat 4.1g) Salt 0.75g.
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3. Red Salmon
Salmon is nearly as high in appetite-curbing protein as tuna and if you pop it in a sarnie twice a week, you’ll get up to two-thirds of your weekly omega-3 requirement. The bones are soft enough to eat and provide your total RDA of vitamin D, and half your RDA of calcium. Essential Waitrose Wild Red Salmon: Calories 153 Protein 23.5g Fat 6.6g (sat fat 1.3g) Salt 1g.
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Gram for gram, these nutrition-packed little fish have four times more calcium than milk and as much iron as minced beef (tuna has around half this quantity). A 100g serving also delivers your RDA of vitamin D and around two thirds of your weekly omega-3s. John West Grilled Sardines: Calories 198 Protein 23.5g Fat 11.9g (sat fat 3.5g) Salt 1g.
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Like tuna, this is a low-fat choice. It’ll boost your intake of immune-boosting zinc and anaemia-preventing iron, as it has more of both than a lamb chop. On the downside are its salt content and the fact that, unlike any other canned fish, it contains preservatives and flavour enhancers. Tesco White Crabmeat in Brine: Calories 77 Protein 18.1g Fat 0.5g (sat fat trace) Salt 1.5g.
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These are simply more mature sardines and so have a similar nutritional content, but their vitamin D content is much higher – with just one serving supplying three days’ worth of your recommended intake. Beware, though: they tend to be one of the saltiest tinned fish. Glenryck Pacific Pilchards in Sunflower Oil: Calories 180 Protein 26g Fat 7.1g (sat fat 1g) Salt 1.25g.
Learn to cook healthy at the Zest cookery Masterclass
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