Tuna is probably the fastest source of protein to be grabbed on the go, making it a favorite for many people who are trying to eat healthy, build muscles or lose weight. Instead of having to spend time and effort cooking your proteins, canned tuna takes a few minutes to be prepared or can be eaten straight out of the can. But the real question is, is tuna actually safe to eat?
Even though tuna is a good source of protein, omega-3, iron and B vitamins there is a lot of controversy regarding how healthy it actually is and if it’s safe to be consumed regularly. The controversy revolves around the safety of consuming the tuna itself as well as it’s packaging. There are three main concerns when it comes to consuming canned tuna, the high levels of; mercury, sodium and BPA.
Canned Tuna contains mercury; high consumption of mercury can damage your nervous system as well as brain function. Too much consumption of canned tuna poses a health risk, especially for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, unborn babies and young children.
Besides it’s mercury content, canned tuna usually has added sodium and some brands have excessively high levels of sodium in their cans. Consuming too much sodium can lead to high-blood pressure as well as increase risk for heart disease. It is recommended to go for canned tuna that has the least amount of added sodium.
Bisphenol A (BPA)
BPA is a chemical with estrogen-like properties, when it enters the body, it binds to estrogen receptors and can influence a few bodily processes such as energy levels, reproduction and growth. BPA is present in the can itself and can possibly be leaked into the tuna itself, eventually making its way into your body.
While canned tuna may not be the healthiest form of dietary protein, it still possesses beneficial nutrients so you don’t have to completely cut it out of your diet. The FDA recommends an average of 2 cans of tuna per week, to stay on the safe side and avoid any of the health risks associated with consuming canned tuna. So, having tuna everyday to fulfill your protein needs is probably not the healthiest option for your body. Start by gradually reducing your intake until you reach a maximum of one or two cans per week, this way you will be absorbing the beneficial nutrients in tuna and avoiding the harms mentioned above.