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Fat free canned tuna?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 08, 2010 at 3:22 PM

I've been supplementing my canned sardine intake with some canned tuna - primarily for variety, but also on a lark to see if it also doesn't taste as bad as I had feared. Good news on that front, it's actually quite palatable!

However I'm confused - I've run across a number of cans that report having no fat per serving (all wild-caught, dolphin safe, BPA-free cans). 0 total fat, 0 saturated fat, 0 trans fat. How is this possible? Part of the reason I'm eating fish to begin with is to get a "more natural" source of fish oil (yes, not totally natural, but as convenient and portable as possible) - but if there's no fish oil in these cans, I almost feel like I'm wasting my time.

So are they doing something to this fish to somehow remove all the fat before/during the canning process?

Or does this fall under the "Well it's less than 1-2g so we can report it as 0g" kind of marketing malarkey?

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 08, 2010
at 07:04 PM

Yes, apparently the "fatty tuna" is from a different part of the bluefin tuna http://www.sushiencyclopedia.com/blog/2007/10/14/the-secret-fatty-tuna-toro-sushi/

8e75344356f4a455185ee52da0b90bf2

on December 08, 2010
at 06:34 PM

Ditto this! NOM!

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on December 08, 2010
at 05:31 PM

I should've specified that on another can (which I could swear was the same manufacturer, maybe not) that they reporting .5g saturated fat per serving of that particular tuna. But yes, I hate that rounding part!

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on December 08, 2010
at 05:30 PM

It very much depends on the kind of tuna. I've got albacore sitting in front of me that reports the lack of fat in a 56g serving (2.5 servings in the can). I don't recall which other tuna had an appreciable amount of fat in it, though - I'll have to check on that.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on December 08, 2010
at 05:29 PM

Maybe I just have the phrase "fatty tuna" stuck in my head from various times I've seen it on menus. I guess they need to specify that to differentiate from the leaner tuna :)

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4 Answers

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1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 08, 2010
at 03:32 PM

Tuna isn't an oily fish*, it's pretty much by definition low fat, so on the one hand, these figures aren't worrying, but tuna certainly isn't a reasonable source for fish oil. A raw, fresh fillet of skipjack tuna (200g) is only going to contain about 2g of fat anyway. Bluefin is apparently a little better (1.3g o-3/100g), but that's still out of a total of only 5g fat.

Tuna is potentially a good source of cheap protein for limited calories and a few nutrients (but more akin to white meat than red meat- less nutrition) but not for fish oil. I never go out of my way to eat it, but there's nothing objectionable about it.


*Edit: apparently tuna is classified an oily fish, but regardless, it is still woefully lacking compared to the 5g of o-3 I'd get from an equivalent can of salmon.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on December 08, 2010
at 05:29 PM

Maybe I just have the phrase "fatty tuna" stuck in my head from various times I've seen it on menus. I guess they need to specify that to differentiate from the leaner tuna :)

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 08, 2010
at 07:04 PM

Yes, apparently the "fatty tuna" is from a different part of the bluefin tuna http://www.sushiencyclopedia.com/blog/2007/10/14/the-secret-fatty-tuna-toro-sushi/

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 08, 2010
at 05:24 PM

If there is only a bit of fat in a serving, the law allows manufacturers to 'round off' the numbers and thus report there is 0 fat when in fact there is still a little bit of fat in each serving. The manufacturers may have chosen to do this as a marketing tool since 'everyone knows' that 'fat is bad.' If the tuna was rinsed and canned in water, could be there is very little fat in it. Then split up the servings to small portions to keep the fat count ever lower per serving and next there you know, there is 'zero' grams of fat per serving.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on December 08, 2010
at 05:31 PM

I should've specified that on another can (which I could swear was the same manufacturer, maybe not) that they reporting .5g saturated fat per serving of that particular tuna. But yes, I hate that rounding part!

1
16846467115e18d283565a19c374ee07

(323)

on December 08, 2010
at 04:59 PM

When I get tuna it's canned in virgin olive oil. De-li-cious

8e75344356f4a455185ee52da0b90bf2

on December 08, 2010
at 06:34 PM

Ditto this! NOM!

1
531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

on December 08, 2010
at 03:33 PM

I'd be curious to know what the serving size is. For a 28 g portion, Nutrition Facts data says there is 1 g of fat in canned tuna ("Fish, tuna, white, canned in water, drained solids," see http://nutritiondata.self.com/).

I cannot imagine that there is some "oil removal process." Most likely, there is LOTS of good oil in that tuna.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on December 08, 2010
at 05:30 PM

It very much depends on the kind of tuna. I've got albacore sitting in front of me that reports the lack of fat in a 56g serving (2.5 servings in the can). I don't recall which other tuna had an appreciable amount of fat in it, though - I'll have to check on that.

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