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Is Albacore "White" Tuna Safe?
Question: To avoid mercury, I tried skipjack tuna instead of albacore, but I didn't like the taste. Is it safe to continue to eat albacore if just once a week?
Answer: ConsumerLab's tests of popular brands of canned tuna and salmon found that all five brands of albacore ("white" tuna) were contaminated with mercury to such an extent that you should limit intake to no more than one serving per week. Brands of skipjack tuna contained less mercury, although, one had a mercury level suggesting consumption not more than twice a week.
Yellowfin tunas contained the least mercury among the tunas; however, one had a fairly high amount of arsenic (as did most albacore tunas), suggesting that its use also be limited.
So, while it is safe for you to continue to eat albacore tuna once a week, there are some better tuna alternatives.
Before you settle back to eating albacore tuna, or any tuna, consider canned salmon -- particularly pink salmon, which is mild-flavored and light-colored, like albacore tuna. It is also more "heart healthy" than most tunas because pink salmon tends to provide greater amounts of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA than albacore tuna. Furthermore, the pink salmon brand we tested had the lowest amount of mercury and second lowest amount of arsenic of any of the tested canned tunas and salmons.
Although it may not appeal to your tastes, if you really want to boost your omega-3 intake, try sockeye ("red") salmon. The three sockeye salmons that we tested all provided very high amounts of omega-3's and low amounts of mercury and arsenic.