Travel and Activities

Canned Tuna Is Great For Travel- But Which Do I Buy?

Miriam Alter, RDN January 14, 2023

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If Yeshiva Week is on your mind, then tuna fish may be as well. Why? Because that ubiquitous can of kosher tuna is probably a top ten contender for most-traveled kosher food.


And for good reason, says this dietitian.


In this article, we will discuss why tuna fish is, indeed, a food to know if you are away from home, and which one is the best choice for you and your family.


However, before starting to extoll canned tuna’s many virtues, let’s venture to define it.



What Are The Different Types Of Packed Tuna?


Solid White and Chunk White refers to the albacore variety of tuna. This type of fish is large, light in color, firm and mild in flavor. Tuna can be canned in water or oil.

Light Tuna is usually a mix of smaller tuna varieties like skipjack and yellowfin. It has a dark color, stronger flavor, and has smaller more moist flakes.  In addition, light tuna is lower in mercury than white tuna. Tuna can be canned in water or oil.


What Are The Health Benefits Of Packed Tuna?


In terms of health, tuna is a high-protein fish that also contains vitamins and minerals. We can’t talk about tuna without mentioning that it provides EPA and DHA (the heart-healthy essential fatty acids known as “Omega 3s”),  a super important health benefit that is virtually unique to select fishes. Albacore tuna provides more Omega 3 per gram than light tuna does. 


What Should I Watch Out For?


Canned tuna usually contains a whole bunch of sodium, so if you are watching your sodium intake, limit the quantity of tuna you plan to eat. In addition, light tuna is lower in mercury than white tuna. If you are a major tuna eater, or if you are in a high-risk category, you may want to opt for Safe Catch Tuna, which is a low-mercury kosher tuna. It is easy to order it online.


How To Enjoy Tuna On The Go


Firstly, pack tuna packets instead of tuna in cans. The tuna is the same, but the experience definitely is not! With packets, you get tuna minus the weight and clunk of cans, plus they are easy to open and there is no need to drain them. Try them for vacation and you many be sold year-round!


Another option is to buy tuna in oil rather than in water. Drained tuna in oil will be less dry and more flavorful than tuna in water, so you may be happy to eat it straight, without mixing it up with mayo and spices. If you go with this option, do be aware that tuna in oil provides more calories than tuna in water.  Some brands, such as Tuscanini, pack tuna in olive oil, which is a nice touch. 


Tuna can be tossed into a salad straight from the can or packet, for a lunch packed to go.  You can stick some tuna from a packet in a wrap and drizzle with dressing as a lunch that is easy to make on the spot with non-perishables, or is easy to wrap and bring with. Add some veggies to the wrap and you have a full, well-balanced meal to enjoy.


Enjoy your tuna… and enjoy your travels!