No matter whether you're pregnant or not, one message about seafood and tuna consumption rings true for the vast majority of Americans: eat more. In fact, Americans eat only one third the amount of fish health experts suggest we eat for optimum health.
The vitamins, minerals and other nutrients found in seafood, like canned and pouched tuna, provide your body with the raw ingredients it needs to feel and function its best.
Below, you can see what the government and public health organizations recommend for sefood consumption.
"Although no single food alone can make a person healthy, eating more seafood is one way that most of us can help improve our diets – and our health. Many of the studies about beneficial omega-3 fatty acids focus on fish as the primary source. Salmon, sardines, tuna and even shellfish are rich in omega-3 fatty acid content, but increasing your consumption of all types of fish and seafood is recommended."
— International Food Information Council
Dietary Guidelines for Americans/United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and USDA MyPyramid recommend choosing a variety of nutrient-packed foods from all the food groups for an overall healthy eating plan. Choose more fish, nuts and seeds from the meat and beans group because they contain healthy oils (and have less saturated fat and cholesterol) than meat or poultry. Some good sources to try include canned or pouched tuna, almonds or sunflower seeds.
United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The HHS/FDA believes fish and shellfish are an important part of a healthy diet because seafood is high in protein but low in saturated fat, and contains essential nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids. For most people, no dietary advice about fish is needed because the trace amounts of naturally occurring mercury in fish and shellfish is not significant. Advice exists only for pregnant women, women who might become pregnant, or breastfeeding women should eat a variety of fish and avoid just four specific and rarely consumed types: shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish.
The Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association advocates adopting a “brain healthy diet,” which is low in fat and cholesterol and contains protective foods like “cold water fish [that] contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids: halibut, mackerel, salmon, trout and tuna.”
The American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association recommends a healthy eating plan, including two to three servings of fish per week, in order to obtain adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
The American Dietetic Association (ADA)
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) and Dietitians of Canada (DC) recommend a food-based approach for achieving omega-3 fatty acid recommendations. This includes a diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, lean protein, and fish (especially fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids).
The Arthritis Foundation
The Arthritis Foundation suggests adding about two 3-ounce servings of seafood to your menu each week in order to increase your body’s levels of omega-3s and help decrease its inflammatory response. They report that omega-3s can significantly reduce joint pain; shorten the duration of morning stiffness; and have enabled people taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce the amount they take or stop use altogether.
The American Heart Association
The American Heart Association reports that omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish (like canned and pouched tuna) benefit the heart of healthy people and those at risk of – or who have – heart disease.
|Types of Individuals
|Patients without heart disease||Eat a variety of (preferably fatty) fish at least twice a week|
|Patients with heart disease||Consume about 1 g of omega-3s EPA+DHA per day, preferably from fatty fish|
|Patients who need to lower triglyceride||Consume 2 to 4 grams of omega-3s EPA+DHA per day provided as capsules under a physician’s care|
The American Optometric Association
The American Optometric Association recommends consuming 500 mg or about two fish meals of the essential omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA from sources including fleshy fish like tuna or salmon. Daily intake is “linked to healthy eyes and may reduce risk of some chronic eye conditions."