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Sardines: Water or Olive Oil?

Answered on February 13, 2014
Created January 21, 2014 at 9:27 PM

I don't remember where I read it but is the omega 3 somehow reduced when sardines are canned in oil? I'm guessing it's just that they drained them and the lost olive oil had absorbed some of the omega 3. If you eat the olive oil too is it just as good? Is there good reason to buy them canned in water? On a side note, should I be drinking sardine/salmon/tuna water? Should I really be eating the olive oil from sardine cans? BPA-free FWIW.

FYI:

I prefer Wild Planet brand, and have enjoyed Seasons brand, so I'm pretty sure they're using real olive oil. At the same time I'm just fine with those canned in water. I might even prefer it, but it's harder to find for whatever reason.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 23, 2014
at 09:46 PM

@glib That's basically the same reasoning for me. If I want OO with it, I'd rather use my own, but I'm pretty sure that Wild Planet is using good EVOO and that's all Costco carries. I'm going to keep on believing in it because I don't want to throw out all the Omega 3 leached into the EVOO.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on January 23, 2014
at 08:48 PM

I was shocked by this comment. OO is the most adulterated foodstuff on the planet. Where do you think all the marginal, diluted OO goes? Besides the Olive Garden? I get them in OO, but only because the local Costco has only this version.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 23, 2014
at 06:02 PM

I'm pretty trusting of the Wild Planet brand and I'd wager their olive oil is verified and real. Could be wrong of course.

D8612a7c536e74f9855b70d8e97919b5

(1042)

on January 23, 2014
at 02:24 PM

I usually don't eat the olive oil in my canned sardines because I don't know if it's good quality. Most of the ones I see just say "olive oil" or "pure olive oil" not "extra virgin" and even if it was labeled extra virgin, olive oil fraud is apparently so rampant that I would be suspicious anyway.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 22, 2014
at 09:49 PM

About what I had guessed but nice to have the clarification. Thank you! And thank god it doesn't taste like bong water.

Medium avatar

(238)

on January 22, 2014
at 09:29 PM

Aqueous natural smoke is liquid smoke. They pass the smoke through water and the water captures the flavor. bong water. It's actually pretty good if you get the right brand.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 22, 2014
at 05:56 PM

Always. The ingredients are: Sardines, extra virgin olive oil, water, sea salt, aqueous natural smoke... Not sure what that last one is but it sounds like a pretty benign natural flavor to me.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 22, 2014
at 05:53 PM

I imagine that the olive oil would be somewhat protective of the HUFA's, making for less oxidation of your omega 3's... So maybe taste is telling you something valuable too.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 22, 2014
at 05:51 PM

Yep yep I eat it. As much as I like the whole little fishies in the can, I usually mash them into the oil to make it easier to eat with the fish.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 22, 2014
at 05:50 PM

Try Costco if you have a membership. They frequently stock Wild Planet brand canned sea foods, including Tuna, Salmon, and Sardines. However, the sardines are always packed in olive oil. Sometimes it's Seasons brand instead, but they still only carry the olive oil one.

I've mentioned in other posts that BPA-free is just a bonus to me. I don't actively seek it out because I'm not so sure it matters. I'm not pregnant after all.

BTW Wild Planet canned tuna is probably the healthiest, tastiest, and most eco-friendly, sustainable tuna. Their website is convincing anyway.

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8 Answers

0
Aee8cea79626bff094db632599dc1f15

on February 13, 2014
at 12:18 AM

@Methodician glad you are enjoying our Wild Planet Tuna! We hand-cut and pack delicious sashimi grade tuna steaks. All the Omega 3 oils are retained and no liquid is added. This is 100% pure albacore tuna and sea salt in its own natural juices. Since we only cook our albacore once, all the natural Omega 3 is present in the can. The large national brands of tuna lose most of the Omega 3 in their pre-cooking process before the fish is put in the can with water or vegetable oil. They sell the extracted Omega 3 oil to supplement manufacturers to use in the production of Omega 3 capsules.

We do offer a Wild Albacore Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Spain but it goes through the same process as all of our other Tuna. It is cooked once in the can to preserve all the natural Omega 3. If you have any other questions, feel free to let us know! Thanks and have a great day!

0
D8612a7c536e74f9855b70d8e97919b5

(1042)

on January 23, 2014
at 02:28 PM

I read a post within the past few months on MDA that said that olive oil more effectively protected the fats in sardines than water, so I've been getting olive oil packed sardines lately. I can't find the post at the moment.

0
59f60b03b06ceb50aff50dccb4b21f0d

on January 23, 2014
at 06:46 AM

Olive oil is one of the nutritious food.

0
7e36094a0f7a2fbad24290225405220b

(2064)

on January 22, 2014
at 09:06 AM

Make sure you read the labels. Some fish packed in 'olive oil' has very little olive oil and a lot of sunflower oil.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 22, 2014
at 05:56 PM

Always. The ingredients are: Sardines, extra virgin olive oil, water, sea salt, aqueous natural smoke... Not sure what that last one is but it sounds like a pretty benign natural flavor to me.

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on January 22, 2014
at 06:39 AM

I've been eating the olive oil or the mustard Crown Prince Brislings. I'm not a big fan of the olive oil so I drain it all away and will look for water packed next time. I'm not going to sweat the loss of Omega 3 on this issue. It doesn't taste like high quality oil to me so no loss.

0
508a4ebd259022f415326f7a6baec00c

(482)

on January 21, 2014
at 11:24 PM

Depends on what you're cooking, or how you're eating them.

Water for most dishes that won't be heated, such as on salads or placed atop cold or room temp appetizers. Exception: use olive oil sardines when being mixed into a dressing.

Olive oil for most things that will be cooked, such as adding to a pasta (substitute, we are Paleo here...), sauce, egg dishes, fish meatballs, etc.

Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with health or nutrition. Taste is king.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 22, 2014
at 05:53 PM

I imagine that the olive oil would be somewhat protective of the HUFA's, making for less oxidation of your omega 3's... So maybe taste is telling you something valuable too.

0
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on January 21, 2014
at 09:52 PM

Why would you throw away perfectly good olive oil?? You should definitely eat that, it's delicious and nutritious olive oil. The can is BPA free, what are you afraid of?

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on January 23, 2014
at 08:48 PM

I was shocked by this comment. OO is the most adulterated foodstuff on the planet. Where do you think all the marginal, diluted OO goes? Besides the Olive Garden? I get them in OO, but only because the local Costco has only this version.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 23, 2014
at 06:02 PM

I'm pretty trusting of the Wild Planet brand and I'd wager their olive oil is verified and real. Could be wrong of course.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 22, 2014
at 05:51 PM

Yep yep I eat it. As much as I like the whole little fishies in the can, I usually mash them into the oil to make it easier to eat with the fish.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 23, 2014
at 09:46 PM

@glib That's basically the same reasoning for me. If I want OO with it, I'd rather use my own, but I'm pretty sure that Wild Planet is using good EVOO and that's all Costco carries. I'm going to keep on believing in it because I don't want to throw out all the Omega 3 leached into the EVOO.

D8612a7c536e74f9855b70d8e97919b5

(1042)

on January 23, 2014
at 02:24 PM

I usually don't eat the olive oil in my canned sardines because I don't know if it's good quality. Most of the ones I see just say "olive oil" or "pure olive oil" not "extra virgin" and even if it was labeled extra virgin, olive oil fraud is apparently so rampant that I would be suspicious anyway.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 21, 2014
at 09:32 PM

Fat dissolves fat. So if you stick fatty fish in oil, I would expect that there might be some exchange of fats, and you might lose some desirable fat into the olive oil you toss.

I stick to water-packed sardines, only because the oil packed ones I've seen available are in soy oil, though I don't get fancy BPA-free blah blah blah either.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 22, 2014
at 05:50 PM

Try Costco if you have a membership. They frequently stock Wild Planet brand canned sea foods, including Tuna, Salmon, and Sardines. However, the sardines are always packed in olive oil. Sometimes it's Seasons brand instead, but they still only carry the olive oil one.

I've mentioned in other posts that BPA-free is just a bonus to me. I don't actively seek it out because I'm not so sure it matters. I'm not pregnant after all.

BTW Wild Planet canned tuna is probably the healthiest, tastiest, and most eco-friendly, sustainable tuna. Their website is convincing anyway.

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