Tuna and mercury: Is it possible to eat too much?

November 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Nutrition Tips

We are very lucky in Canada that mercury levels in canned fish are tightly controlled. However, there still are some guidelines to help keep you safe. In general, the larger the fish the more mercury can accumulate within its flesh.  Albacore tuna is one of the bigger fish that is often found as a canned product. As such, health Canada recommends no more than four “servings” per week. What is a serving? Basically it’s half a can or 75 g.

What if you’re one of those folks who eat canned tuna every day… no worries! Other fish used in canned tuna such as skipjack generally tend to be much smaller than albacore tuna and therefore has not been given an upper limit on how much of this tuna you can consume in a week.  The size of this type of fish prevents it from accumulating more mercury than is considered safe for consumption, even at high intake levels.  Sometimes the type of fish is not specified on the label; the less expensive tuna labelled chunk, flaked, or light also falls under this category and can be safely consumed in larger quantities than four servings per week.

So, my recommendation is to go with a cheap stuff and enjoy this healthy food couple of times a week!