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Canned tuna and salmon reviewed by ConsumerLab.com

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.

More details our tests are found in the Canned Tuna and Salmon Review, which includes our Top Picks among tested products.

Learn more about fish, omega-3s and mercury contamination:



Is it better to eat farmed salmon or wild salmon? Which one has more omega-3s and less contamination with PCBs, mercury, etc.? >>

See other recent and popular questions >>
COMMENTS

Philip 17199   September 24, 2018
I eat sashimi(raw fish) twice a week, which includes salmon, tuna, and yellowtail,only. No canned fish. Should I be concerned about the amounts of mercury consumed as in canned fish?

ConsumerLab.com   October 3, 2018
Hi Philip - Yes, you should be concerned. Mercury is not a problem of canning, but of the fish itself -- particularly any type of tuna.

Sylvia17198   September 23, 2018
How decent are those mercury test kits you can buy online? Can I test my tuna with them? For example, I saw the Osumex HMT Mercury Kit on Amazon.com. It claims you can test food with it. I just don't know who they are and how much to trust their claims.
If such test kits are poor, is there a way I could get my tuna (and other fish) tested?

ConsumerLab.com   November 1, 2018

Steven17197   September 23, 2018
I like Sprouts brand Tellowfin Tuna. I eat one can a week and also one can a week of Bumblebee Wild Alasakan Red Salmon

Julius17195   September 23, 2018
We were also hooked on canned white albacore tuna. So we tried canned Kirkland Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon from Costco. Terrific. Mild taste and easy to mix. Give it a whirl!

Barbara17196   September 23, 2018
Thank you, Julius17195. Would you say that it would taste terrific even for someone who just DOES NOT LIKE salmon at all? I'm willing to try it, but I really dislike salmon.


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This CL Answer initially posted on 9/22/2018.
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