Albacore is a tuna type with pinkish white flesh frequently sold canned. Best known for its high fat content relative to skipjack and other tuna types, albacore is also the most expensive tuna variety. Its flesh is firm and flaky, and it contains many nutrients that provide health benefits.
The total fat content in one regular can of albacore tuna is 5.1 g fat, or 8 percent of the daily 65 g American Dietetic recommendation. Most of the fat is mono- and polyunsaturated, which lowers blood cholesterol levels and helps maintain your brain and joints. The remaining 1.4 g saturated fat is 7 percent of the 20 g ADA daily value. Monitoring saturated fat and maintaining a dietary intake below the daily limit is important for preventing cardiovascular disease.
The protein content in albacore tuna is high. One can provides 40.6 g, or 81 percent of the 65 g ADA daily value. Protein is a nutrient that improves energy metabolism. It slows the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream and prevents sudden increases in blood glucose that cause energy peaks and valleys. Protein also provides the amino acids your body needs to build enzymes that catalyze most chemical reactions in the body.
The body requires minerals for its structure and for chemical processes. Phosphorus builds bones and teeth with calcium and vitamin D. One can of albacore provides 373 mg of phosphorus, or 37 percent of the 1,000 mg ADA recommendation. The 408 mg of potassium in a can of albacore tuna is 12 percent of the 3,500 mg ADA daily value. Potassium balances the fluid level in your body, which affects blood pressure. The sodium content is the equivalent of approximately one-fourth of the total daily upper intake of 2,400 mg.
Albacore tuna provides two vitamins in significant amounts: selenium and vitamin D. The 113 mcg of selenium in a can is 160 percent of the 70 mcg ADA daily requirement. The 138 IU of vitamin D is 35 percent of the 400 IU daily value. Selenium is an antioxidant that protects healthy cells from damage that leads to disease development. Vitamin D is a nutrient that regulates mood and works with the minerals phosphorus and calcium to build bone, which is particularly important for preventing decreased bone density as you age.
- USDA: Nutrient Data Laboratory: Fish, Tuna, White, Canned in Water, Drained Solids
- "The New Food Lover's Companion"; Sharon Tyler Herbst; 2007