7 Best Canned Tuna To Buy in 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide

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Last Updated on January 16, 2021

Our Top Choice...

Key Features

  • Sustainable sourced
  • 3rd Party Mercury tested
  • Perfect for Keto and Paleo
  • Pole or line caught
  • Has only 2 ingredients
  • 100% Non-GMO and Kosher certified with no added water, oil, or fillers

school-of-fish

Canned tuna is a great way to add a protein source to your diet. It is low in fat and is perfect for adding to other foods like pasta or salads. Canned tuna is portable and tasty and honestly, a really healthy food.

Before we jump into our favorite brands of tuna, allow us to share some of the benefits of eating tuna. Tuna is one of the best sources of protein that you can buy. Three ounces of canned tuna has 20 grams of protein. That is just the start of the goodness of canned tuna.

Tuna fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which support a healthy heart and brain, and tuna is mineral and nutrient rich. Tuna is also relatively low in fat, so if you’re watching your waistline, it’s a good way to get protein, without extra fat. It is an excellent choice for a healthy, balanced diet.

With all of that said, when you’re standing in the grocery store, staring at the variety of options in the canned tuna section, how do you know which is the right one for you? Our research allowed us to try a number of different brands and types of canned tuna. We created our list of seven best canned tuna options based on taste, type, sustainability and cost. We also considered the comments from others who had tried and enjoyed (or not) each canned tuna on our list.

The Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna is our top pick Canned Tuna for a few reasons. Not only was it tasty, but it was one of the brands that seemed to not skimp on filling the container. We liked that this tuna was sustainably sourced and had lower reported levels of mercury than some other brands.

For the complete product list, please continue reading...


Top 7 Canned Tuna Reviews

Pros

Easy to open can
Dolphin safe, sustainably sourced
Great tasting
Non-GMO gluten free, and OU Kosher certified

Cons

Higher priced

Specifications:

  • Type: Skipjack Wild
  • Water or Oil: Neither
  • Capacity: 5 ounces
  • Number of cans: 12

Skipjack is the most available tuna in the oceans today, making them a perfect choice for canned tuna. Wild Planet takes sustainable fishing seriously, and all of the tuna used in their products have been pole or line caught, which reduces unnecessary overfishing.

This was a really delicious tuna, and we found that it was great by itself, but it also made a tasty tuna salad sandwich. The lower levels of Mercury and third party testing, was a nice reassurance that our food was safe, and healthy.

Wrapping up

 If you want to enjoy tuna that is sustainably harvested and delicious, then our pick for the best canned tuna, the Wild Planet Skipjack tuna is a great option. It’s a great source of protein that is low in mercury and delicious.


Pros

Easy to open can
No additives and preservatives and lower Sodium
Great tasting
Dolphin safe and wild caught
Non-GMO and MSC certified

Cons

Higher in fat

Specifications:

  • Type: Albacore
  • Water or Oil: Olive Oil
  • Capacity: 5 ounces
  • Number of cans: 12

Our runner up best canned tuna is the Albacore tuna from Genova. This tuna is wild caught, and dolphin safe. We liked that it was packed in olive oil, which added to the flavor of the fish, and since olive oil has its own health benefits, it adds to the goodness of this canned tuna.

The Genova Albacore tuna is free from additional preservatives and has no added sodium, which we like and thought made the tuna taste better. It is important to point out that Albacore is higher in fat, and can be higher in mercury than other options, but it is still a great way to get protein in your diet.


Pros

Lower in calories
Very good source of protein and Omega 3
Great mild taste
Dolphin safe, wild caught

Cons

Higher in Sodium
Some additives
Requires can opener

Specifications:

  • Type: Light Tuna
  • Water or Oil: Water
  • Capacity: 5 ounces
  • Number of cans: 4

Enjoying the benefits of fish in your diet doesn’t have to be expensive. Chunk light tuna is one of the healthiest fish options on the market. Our pick for the best budget tuna is the Chunk Light tuna from StarKist.

Easy to find online or at your local market, Starkist has been making quality canned tuna for many years. Their tuna is always wild caught, and was one of the first tuna producers to be dolphin safe.

Chunk light tuna is a great source of protein, is low in fat, and thanks to a variety of tuna species, this product is also lower in mercury than some other brands.


4. Best Lowest Mercury - Safe Catch Elite Solid Wild Tuna Steak

Pros

Easily presses multiple cloves of garlic
Very powerful
It presses unpeeled garlic, scrapes itself clean, and ejects the peel
BPA-Free and Top rack dishwasher safe

Cons

Pricey
Not all stainless steel

Specifications:

  • Type: Solid Wild Tuna Steak
  • Water or Oil: Neither
  • Capacity: 5 ounces
  • Number of cans: 6 & 12

If you are looking for a great tuna, but you’re also really concerned about mercury in your diet, then our pick for the best low mercury tuna is your option. Safe Catch Elite tuna is 100% solid white skipjack tuna.

Thanks to sustainable harvesting techniques, the Safe Catch tuna is both low in mercury and better for our oceans. This tuna is also dolphin safe. The Safe Catch tuna is one of the few options that sets mercury standards lower than what is recommended by the FDA. This extra low mercury limit also makes this tuna safe for kids and pregnant women.

We like the taste of this tuna, and thought that not being packed in water or oil, allowed us to fully enjoy the taste of this tuna. Our one complaint about this tuna is that it does have added salt, but all in all, its a safe to eat meal that you can even bring camping


Pros

Nice touch of sea-salt
Very delicious, mild, clean flavor
Line caught and Dolphin safe
MSC Certified Sustainable & Non-GMO Project Verified seal

Cons

Higher in sodium

Specifications:

  • Type: Wild Albacore Solid White
  • Water or Oil: Water
  • Capacity: 4.6 ounce
  • Number of cans: 12

Our pick for the best albacore tuna comes from the Blue Harbor Fish Company. This tuna is packed in water and has a mild flavor. We like albacore because it generally is meatier than chunk light tuna. With this albacore tuna it was clear that you were getting a section of filet, instead of a mix of different tuna types.

This tuna is dolphin safe and wild caught, so it is sustainable and good for our oceans. This tuna also has a bit of added salt, but not as much as some others, so it didn’t have a salty taste.


Pros

No fillers or chemicals, GMO Free
Very nice non-fishy taste
Great source of Omega 3’s
Sustainably caught, Dolphin Safe. Kosher certified

Cons

Requires can opener
Not from USA

Specifications:

  • Type: Solid White Albacore
  • Water or Oil: Water
  • Capacity: 5 ounces
  • Number of cans: 12 & 24

The MW Polar solid albacore tuna is our pick for the best value. This tuna comes in a nice 5 ounce package, which is a bit more than many other options on the market.

This tuna is packed in water, and has a mild but enjoyable flavor. It was great as a topping for a green salad or to eat alone.

MW Polar uses sustainable fishing techniques, so you don’t have to worry about over harvesting. It is also dolphin safe.

This tuna comes in packs of 12 and 24 cans. The average per can price is around $2.30, which is a great price for solid albacore tuna. Our only complaints are that this tuna is harvested in Thailand and that it does add salt to the packaging.


Pros

28g of protein per serving
Very tasty, marinated in roasted garlic
It’s wild caught, dolphin safe, soy free
Good value for the price of 12 cans

Cons

Can be to strong tasting for some

Specifications:

  • Type: Solid Yellowfin
  • Water or Oil: Olive Oil
  • Capacity: 4.5 ounce
  • Number of cans: 12

Some people just don’t like the taste of fish, but realize that it is a great, low fat way to add protein into their diet. If you are one of those people, you may want to try the flavored tuna from StarKist.

Our favorite flavored tuna is the roasted garlic, packed in extra virgin olive oil. Not only is this tuna a great option for a healthy diet, but the olive oil gives you some added heart health benefits. Each can of the StarKist flavored tuna is about $1.60, so it’s also a value friendly option, if you’re trying to eat healthier.


Final Verdict

Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna

Our pick for the best canned tuna, Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna, is a mild flavored fish that was perfect for sandwiches and in salad. It is reasonably priced, and comes from sustainable sources, which we appreciate.

Tuna is a great way for you to add a low-fat protein source to your diet. Finding a flavorful, yet not overpowering tuna that is sustainably sourced can allow you to enjoy the health benefits of adding fish to your diet, without having to spend a ton of money.


How to Choose the Best Canned Tuna

 Picking the right canned tuna can be complicated. You wouldn’t think that canned tuna would be a tough choice, but it is. With so many different options, you can make yourself boggled trying to decide between oil or water, chunk light or Albacore, farmed or wild caught. This buying guide will help you narrow your choices, by breaking down those factors that are the most important when shopping for canned tuna.

 Type

There are two basic types of canned tuna. Chuck light or Albacore. Each option has it’s pros and cons, but what exactly are they, and why are they different?

  • Chunk Light Tuna – This is the most popular type of tuna on the market. Generally this tuna is a blend of a variety of different types of tuna, including Skipjack tuna, yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna. Chunk light tuna tends to be lower in calories and higher in sodium. It may also be a bit less mineral dense than Albacore.
  • Albacore Tuna – Albacore is a larger species of tuna that is generally found deeper in the ocean. These fish are not caught using nets, but rather caught on a fishing line. Albacore tuna will come in solid white or chunk versions, but in the can is only one kind of tuna. Albacore has more calories than chunk light, and tends to be more mineral dense and lower in sodium.

You may also find that other varieties of tuna can be found online or at your local market. Skipjack only or yellowfin only were two of the types that we found consistently in our research, however, they aren’t as common as Albacore or chunk light.

Water or Oil

Choosing between water and oil is really a personal preference. Canned tuna packed in water tends to be a bit milder in flavor and is lower in calories. It is a good option for the individual that is reducing fats and calories from their diet.

Canned tuna packed in oil tends to be more flavorful, but also has added calories. For a healthier tuna option, do look for canned tuna that is packed in olive oil instead or vegetable or soybean oil. These options add fats that aren’t great for you, and can negate the benefits of the healthy fats in tuna fish.

Mercury Levels

If you are selecting fish that has been ocean caught, you should be aware that it likely has some amount of mercury present in the meat. Chunk light tuna tends to have lower levels of mercury than Albacore tuna due to the age of the fish at harvesting. The longer a tuna spends in the ocean, more mercury can build up in its muscles and bone.

For healthy adults, the levels of mercury that you will get from fish of any type, should not be a huge concern. You should limit your consumption of fish to three or fewer days per week, to limit your exposure to mercury.

Young children and pregnant women should avoid eating tuna fish, or fish in general, to limit exposure to mercury all together.

Sustainably Sourced

This seems like a catchphrase or one of those fads that people cling to when they want to feel like they are doing something good, without working too hard. However, selecting a canned tuna that is sustainably sourced is an important contribution to ensuring healthy populations of fish remain in the ocean for years to come.

Of the two major types of tuna, Albacore and chunk light tuna, chunk light tuna tends to be more sustainable. Because it isn’t selective about the type of tuna, and the three species that are most common in chunk light tuna tend to reach maturity in one to two years, this is the more sustainable option. Albacore tuna doesn’t reach maturity for at least 5 years, so there are fewer fish to choose from and overfishing is a real possibility for Albacore tuna.

You may also see labels on your tuna that say, “dolphin safe”, this was a concern in years past when nets used for tuna fishing were unsafe for dolphins. Alterations in fishing practices have reduced the impacts to dolphins, but it’s not a bad thing to pick a canned tuna that is dolphin safe.

Taste

You’ll find that most tuna really tastes the same. The impacts to the flavor really come from what the fish is packed in. With that said, in our tests, we did find that chunk light tuna had a stronger flavor than Albacore tuna. This stronger flavor was enhanced when the tuna was packed in oil. If you want to add fish to your diet for health reasons, but don’t really like the taste of fish, do consider Albacore tuna packed in water for a milder flavor.

Regarding with olive oil, read our review and complete guide of the best olive oil. And to also we have great list of a can opener to helps you open it.