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Is Canned Fish Healthy for You?

is canned salmon healthy

Most Americans don’t eat enough seafood—or not enough of the right kind of seafood. (Sorry, kids, fried shrimp does not count!) The reason is obvious: it’s not always easy to find good, fresh fish locally. Some of us have great local seafood markets; others are miles away from any fresh fish aside from a visit to the pet store.

The solution? Canned wild Alaskan salmon or canned Albacore tuna or frozen fish. Is canned tuna and canned salmon healthy? Yes, they are!

Canned wild Alaskan salmon can sit in your pantry for months. Canned sockeye salmon has 203 milligrams of calcium (17 percent of your daily requirement) if it’s canned with the bones. If it does indeed have bones, don’t worry: The fish has been cooked, and the bones are so soft as to be unnoticeable. You can add the salmon to a green salad for a delicious light meal. You also can make salmon-burgers to salmon tacos, which are irresistible.

Canned tuna is another good choice (but without the calcium boost of salmon). Just be sure to buy albacore tuna packed in spring water. Canned sardines are another excellent source of beneficial marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, plus the beneficial calcium from soft bones. Select sardines packed in tomato sauce for the added benefit of lycopene, or choose between soybean oil and olive oil.

Frozen fish can be an excellent alternative to fresh–and much more affordable. Many stores, including Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, make a point of offering environmentally safe, high-EFA frozen fish — but almost any discount store offers really good frozen fish as well. Just be sure to defrost it slowly in the refrigerator, to preserve texture and flavor.

Of course, fresh wild salmon, trout, or sea bass is also terrific. Get to know your fishmonger and don’t be shy about asking which is the freshest fish he has available.

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