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How Much Albacore Tuna Intake Is Safe?

author image Tara Kimball
Tara Kimball is a former accounting professional with more than 10 years of experience in corporate finance and small business accounting. She has also worked in desktop support and network management. Her articles have appeared in various online publications.
How Much Albacore Tuna Intake Is Safe?
albacore tuna inside japanese dish on wood table at restaurant Photo Credit powerbeephoto/iStock/Getty Images

Albacore tuna contains omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA, which benefit your brain and cardiovascular health. The FDA recommends creating meals with fish rich in omega-3's twice each week for optimal benefit. You can include albacore tuna in your meal plan as a fish option, provided that you understand the proper serving sizes and hazards of mercury content.

Recommended Serving Size

You can incorporate albacore tuna into your weekly meals by serving it in 6 oz. portions. Young children should not eat albacore tuna because the mercury content is higher than that of chunk light tuna. Adults can eat up to two servings per week. Women who are pregnant, or are planning to be pregnant, should limit themselves to one serving per week, with no other seafood consumed during weeks when they consume albacore tuna.

Mercury Risks

Albacore tuna is higher in mercury than other tuna products. Mercury attacks your body's nervous system if you eat it in larger quantities than recommended. Mercury levels in the body can take up to six months or more to fall if you stop eating fish, so it is important for women who want to have children to limit mercury-containing fish for up to one year before trying to conceive.

Health Benefits

Omega-3 fatty acids help improve heart health, as well as brain health and development. Albacore tuna is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. The mercury content in the fish is countered by the health benefits of the omega-3's such as DHA, provided that you adhere to the recommended intake guidelines provided by the FDA. Make the most of the benefits from the fish in your diet by incorporating other forms with the albacore tuna.

Preparation Recommendations

You can purchase albacore tuna in several forms, including canned, flaked tuna packed in oil or water. Drain the contents thoroughly before using this form, which is well-suited to pasta salads, casseroles and similar items. Albacore steaks are heartier versions of the fish, typically sold fresh from fish markets. Grill or broil them whole, or cut them into cubes for skewers, producing colorful and light kebabs by alternating them with various hearty vegetables.

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