Versatile canned tuna works for a range of dishes, especially for quick, easy, and convenient meals. If you love tuna and you’ve decided to go low-carb, you might ask yourself if tuna is keto-friendly. What about the oh-so-convenient canned tuna? Let’s look at the nutrient profile of canned tuna and if it’s suitable for a ketogenic, low-carb, high-fat diet.
Nutrient Profile and Benefits of Canned Tuna
Fish is known for its healthy brain-boosting fats like omega-3s. Fish provides all three important types of fatty acids: EPA, DHA, and ALA. Your body can’t produce these essential fatty acids, so you must obtain them from your diet. These protective fatty acids are important for your immune, endocrine, pulmonary, and cardiovascular systems. Studies conclude DHA and EPA can lower inflammation in the body. Inflammation is heavily involved with a wide array of chronic diseases. 
Tuna is a nutrient-dense food. To give you an idea, one can of light tuna fish in water provides an impressive 250 mg of potassium and 195 mg of phosphorus. Tuna also provides a nice amount of magnesium and selenium. The protein and nutrients like selenium and zinc found in tuna help improve the functioning of your immune system. 
Vitamin D is known for building stronger bones, protecting your immune system, and helping you absorb phosphorus and calcium obtained from your food. One can of light tuna fish in water provides 66.7 IU of vitamin D. Including tuna in your diet and maintaining sufficient levels of vitamin D can reduce your risk of osteoporosis and bone disorders like rickets. 
On the other hand, some people are concerned with the level of mercury now found in fish like tuna. Most health experts and advocates recommend including some tuna in your diet because the level of mercury is too low to be a concern for most people, and tuna is packed with nutrients.
Is Canned Tuna Keto?
The quick answer to the question of whether canned tuna is keto is yes, canned tuna is generally a low-carb keto-friendly food and a great way to include more omega-3s–and all those other nutrients we just talked about–in your keto diet.
Like other fish and meats like steak and chicken, canned tuna is largely protein with some fat and nutrients. One can of light tuna fish in water has almost zero carbohydrates. One can of white tuna fish in oil also contains zero carbohydrates.  Watch out for some brands that might add a little sugar; however, even for these, the sugar content is still typically so low that it isn’t a problem for most keto dieters. Most canned tuna and tuna sold in packets contain almost zero carbohydrates per serving.
Certain flavored variations of tuna (typically sold in packets) might contain seasonings, sauces, and added ingredients that raise the carb count. However, these flavored packets are usually still suitable for keto dieters because they’re very low in carbs. For example, the Starkist Tuna Creations Ranch packet contains around 1 gram of net carbs and 15 grams of protein.  On the higher end, the Starkist Tuna Creations Ginger Sesame packet contains 8 grams of net carbs, so while higher in carbs than plain tuna, it may still be suitable for some keto dieters.  Other Starkist-flavored varieties tend to fall somewhere in between these net carb counts.
Tasty Keto-Friendly Tuna Recipes from Ketogenic.com
Now that you’re confident that canned tuna is keto-friendly, it’s time to get creative in your keto kitchen. Check out these tasty keto recipes from our recipe creators here at Ketogenic.com featuring canned tuna:
Steph Green is a content writer specializing in and passionate about healthcare, wellness, and nutrition. Steph has worked with marketing agencies, written medical books for doctors like ‘Untangling the Web of Dysfunction,’ and her poetry book ‘Words that Might Mean Something.’ In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.
National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Health Professional Fact Sheet (nih.gov)
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