Friday, May 30, 2008

Tuna that you can eat

Posted by Neill Abayon

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that we can safely eat about 12 ounces of fish--about two average portions--per week, to help us fill up on the good things fish can offer, like Omega-3 fatty acids and high-quality protein, while skipping out on dietary baddies like saturated fats. Sounds easy enough--12 ounces per week--but that measurement isn't universally applicable to all fish.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has created a handy tuna calculator to help determine how much tuna you can safely eat in a week, even calculating how much albacore tuna (which has more mercury) you can eat versus how much "chunk light tuna" is safe. For a 170 pound male, EWG's calculator says 5.3 ounces (almost a full can) of albacore and 15.5 ounces (about two and a half cans) of light tuna. For a 130 pound female, it's a different story: 4.1 ounces of albacore tuna per week and 11.9 ounces of light tuna (about two cans) is the recommended amount per week.

When it comes to women of childbearing age and children under 5, there's yet another wrinkle: because albacore tuna has more mercury per weight, it should be avoided altogether. To learn more about kid-safe fish, read our post on finding safer seafood for your family.

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