The Paleo List Answers: Is Canned Tuna Paleo?

If you’re new to the Paleo lifestyle, you’re probably eating a lot of eggs and plain chicken, and eyeing that can of tuna sitting in your pantry. You know fresh fish is Paleo, but you’re wary of anything that spends time in a can or jar before hitting your dinner plate. Let’s take a look!
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What is Canned Tuna?

When it comes to small fisheries, canned tuna is straight tuna that’s caught, immediately prepared, packed raw either alone or with salt and water, and cooked once in the can before it hits your dinner plate. With larger industrial fisheries, the tuna may be sitting on the long line for up to 24 hours before it is pulled in, and then it is cooked (possibly twice) and packed in a variety of additives. Most ingredients’ labels should read: chunk light tuna, water, sea salt. But, some are packed in oil, some in soy, and others contain things like sodium acid pyrophosphate.
Canned Tuna Paleo

Is Canned Tuna Paleo?

Well, yes, canned tuna is Paleo, but that doesn’t mean you should stock up on just any brand. Tuna can be an excellent source of cheap and easy protein, but not all brands are the same. Cans of tuna don’t normally tell you where the tuna came from, whether it is farmed, fed GMO feed, or if it is sustainably caught in healthy, radioactive-free water. As with anything canned, there’s also the risk of BPA contamination, so it’s very important to pay attention to what you’re buying. Follow these tips for choosing canned tuna.

Choosing Canned Tuna

With all of the potential hazards to wade through, many of which aren’t even on the label, how do you know what canned tuna to purchase? Well, we like this canned tuna checklist, with a handful of useful tips for getting the most out of your canned tuna. Remember that some people prefer more omega-3 oils, which you can find in Albacore, but Albacore is also known to have higher risk of mercury, then, say SkipJack, which many people would prefer to avoid. Some things just come down to personal preference. Here are a few tips:

  • Look for: BPA-free, Dolphin Safe, low mercury, sustainably caught.
  • Research the available brands. You’ll find that Starkist and Chicken of the Sea brands contain soy and other additives – NOT Paleo. We’ve seen great things about Dave’s Gourmet Albacore, andWild Planet – small fisheries, cooked once, low mercury, high Omega 3’s, no BPA in the can.
  • As always, check the ingredients. You want: tuna, water, sea salt (optional) and nothing more. Avoid brands packed in oil if you plan to drain it – you lose a lot of omega-3 oils that way.

Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo?  Do you need help planning some Paleo meals?  Check out this great Paleo cookbook:
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