Out of all the seafood in the world, tuna is probably the most well-known. It is cheap, accessible, and can be used in a variety of ways. However, is it okay to eat tuna every day?
It is recommended that you do not eat tuna every day. Eating tuna every day can cause mercury poisoning and you can receive all the nutritional benefits of tuna only consuming the fish 3-4 times per week.
The rest of this article will cover the science behind why tuna causes mercury poisoning and what it can do to your body. It will also cover the advantages and disadvantages of eating tuna fish.
The short answer to, “is it okay to eat tuna every day” is complicated because the answer is maybe and will depend on several factors.
Tuna, like virtually all seafood, contains mercury. Mercury is a toxic metal that can cause major health problems when consumed in high amounts. If you consume too much mercury you could end up in the hospital or worse.
The amount of mercury that every human can handle varies, as is the amount of mercury in each individual tuna fish. This makes it very difficult to give a definitive amount of tuna fish that is safe or unsafe to eat.
For some individuals that are not sensitive to mercury, it may be perfectly fine to eat tuna fish every day. For other smaller or more sensitive individuals, eating tuna every day could land them in the hospital.
To decide whether or not it is okay for you to eat tuna every day you should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of eating it every day. Then you will be able to decide whether eating tuna every day is worth the risk.
What Happens If You Eat Tuna Every Day?
There are several advantages and disadvantages to eating tuna every day, and everyone will have a different reaction to it. It is important to consider all of the advantages and disadvantages before deciding whether or not you will eat tuna every day.
Here are some of the advantages of eating tuna every day.
Tuna, along with other fish, is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids cannot be naturally produced by the body and must be consumed from other foods.
To meet your weekly omega-3 fatty acid needs, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you consume at least eight ounces of seafood per week. Consuming tuna is a great way to meet these guidelines in a quick and easy way.
Another benefit of consuming tuna fish every day is that it gives you an additional boost of protein. One portion of canned tuna contains 22 grams of protein. All of this protein will come in at only 100 calories. This means that you are able to get lots of protein without eating several hundred calories worth of food.
This makes tuna a great option for weight loss as the protein in the tuna keeps you fuller for longer while also keeping your meals low calorie. Of course, the caloric density will depend on the ingredients that you add to the tuna fish as well. Adding mayonnaise or other common ingredients will increase the calories and make it a less healthy option.
Some people also eat tuna raw in dishes like sushi and poke bowls.
One last benefit that you will experience if you begin to eat tuna every day relates to your wallet. Tuna, compared to most other meats, is very cheap, especially if you are buying canned tuna. You will be able to purchase a high-quality protein that can be used in lots of different dishes without breaking the bank. Few other foods can boast the same.
Here are some of the most common disadvantages associated with eating tuna every day.
The biggest disadvantage of eating tuna every day is the possibility of mercury poisoning. Tuna, like all seafood, contains mercury. This is a dangerous substance for humans when consumed in excess and can cause symptoms of mercury poisoning such as tremors and memory loss.
The second disadvantage that comes with eating tuna every day is the sodium content. Canned tuna can contain up to more than 200 milligrams of sodium per serving. This makes it a high-sodium food. Over time, a diet high in sodium can cause health issues like high blood pressure and excess water retention.
How Much Tuna is Safe to Eat Per Week?
Generally speaking, it is recommended to eat no more than three to four servings of 3-5 ounces every week. This will prevent your mercury levels from spiking significantly which will slowly cause symptoms of mercury poisoning.
If you are pregnant, it is recommended to eat no more than 3 times a week depending on which type of tuna it is. Light tuna can be consumed up to 3 times per week without causing health issues for the mother and baby. However, other types of tuna like yellowfin and albacore tuna should only be consumed a maximum of 1 time per week.
There is one type of tuna fish that should never be consumed by pregnant mothers because of how high its mercury content is. This type of tuna is bigeye tuna and contains the highest mercury levels out of all tuna fish.
What Happens If You Eat Too Much Tuna?
If you eat too much tuna, you could begin to suffer from mercury poisoning. The symptoms of mercury poisoning are mild at first, with a metallic taste in the mouth and numbness in the extremities. However, if not treated the symptoms can rapidly worsen.
As the symptoms worsen you can begin to experience mood swings, memory loss, and difficulty controlling your muscles. Eventually, mercury poisoning can even lead to death.
The treatment for mild mercury poisoning is to completely cut foods with mercury out of your diet. This will help your mercury levels to decrease over time.
If your mercury poisoning is already severe a doctor will need to treat you with chelation therapy. This involves injecting certain compounds into your bloodstream that will bind the mercury and render it inactive.
Tuna fish is one of the most popular forms of seafood around the world. It is used in everything from gourmet sushi to sandwiches made from the canned version of the fish. However, tuna fish contains high levels of mercury which can make it dangerous if consumed in excess.
To avoid the negative effects of eating tuna you should try and eat tuna no more than four times per week. This will allow you to receive the nutritional benefits associated with tuna fish without consuming too much mercury.