- Why eat them? Canned (or otherwise packaged) tuna, salmon, and sardines are convenient foods that help meet dietary recommendations for protein as well as providing the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (about 250 mg per day). They can also deliver other nutrients, such as calcium (from edible bones in some salmon and sardines) and small amounts of iron. Eating fish can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (see What It Does).
- What did CL find? Among 20 popular canned fish, amounts of DHA and EPA per serving ranged from just 45 mg in a brand of canned tuna to over 1,800 mg in a brand of sardines. In half the products, amounts of mercury and/or arsenic were discovered to be at levels suggesting they should not be eaten more than once or twice per week; such products included five of six the albacore ("white") tunas, two out of six skipjack or yellowfin tunas (the "light" tunas), and two out of three sardines. Two products contained significantly less DHA and EPA than claimed on their labels -- only 46.7% and 74.2% of what was claimed (see What CL Found).
- Which are best? ConsumerLab selected five products as Top Picks within specific categories of tuna, salmon, and sardines. Each provided a significant amount of DHA and EPA with minimal contamination and at a good price — as little as 60 to 80 cents per 2 oz. serving while some similar products cost twice as much or more. These Top Picks are particularly good choices for people seeking more healthful options to solid white albacore tuna.
- Are they safe for children? See ConsumerTips.
- Cautions: In addition to avoiding excessive mercury and arsenic in some products, be aware that fish can cause allergic reactions. See Concerns and Cautions for more information.
Tuna, Salmon & Sardines Review (Canned and Packaged)
Find the Best Tuna, Salmon & Sardines. Avoid Mercury and Maximize EPA & DHA Omega-3s!
Canned tuna and canned salmon compared in this review
Bumble Bee Sandwich In Seconds Tuna Salad
Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore In Water
Chicken Of The Sea Infusions Cracked Black Pepper Wild Caught Tuna
Chicken Of The Sea Solid White Albacore Tuna In Water
Deming's Red Sockeye Wild Alaska Salmon
Genova Yellowfin Tuna In Extra Virgin Olive Oil With Sea Salt
King Oscar Wild Caught Sardines in Extract Vigin Olive Oil
Kirkland Signature [Costco] Albacore Solid White Tuna in Water
Kirkland Signature [Costco] Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon
Rubinstein's Red Salmon
Safe Catch Elite Solid Wild Tuna Steak
Season Brand Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
StarKist Selects Solid Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Trader Joe's Chunk Light Skipjack In Water With Salt
Trader Joe's Sockeye Salmon
Vital Choice Albacore Solid White Albacore Tuna
Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna
Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna
Wild Planet Wild Pacific Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil Lightly Smoked
- Which canned tuna, salmon and sardine products failed testing and which passed
- CL's Top Picks, for canned tuna, salmon and sardines
- How much EPA and DHA is in each tuna, salmon and sardine product
- How much mercury and arsenic is in each product
- The worst canned fish -- ones you should not eat more than once a week
- How much canned fish you should eat as part of a healthful diet, and how this differs for children
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