Want to know if eating canned sardines is actually good for you?
Most of the people in the U.S. think they’re a little gross, but after reading this you may want to give them a try.
If you think eating canned sardines is disgusting then you’ve probably haven’t even eaten them before. If you’re willing to give eating sardines a try you’ll be surprised at just how good they are.
You can eat sardines fresh but they’re most commonly found canned. This is because they are so perishable. Canned sardines are the cheapest “natural multivitamin” you’ll be able to find.
Canned sardines can look weird with the guts, bones, uncooked appearance and oily skin. Yet, canned sardines are smoked or cooked, taste delicious and will help you lose weight.
Napoleon Bonaparte first popularized the canning of sardines. He needed to feed his hungry troops and the local citizens of the island he presided.
Sardines were the first fish to ever be canned. They were also named after the small Italian island of Sardinia where they’re abundant.
Sardines are beginning to make a comeback in popularity. They’re an inexpensive and on-the-go way to get a ton of nutrients in one small can.
So Are Sardines Actually Good For You?
Sardines are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, B vitamins and vitamin D.
The omega-3 fatty acids in sardines can do wonders for your body, and it’s no wonder they’re known as the “Queen of Fats.”
Omega-3s help to lower levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in your blood. They’ll prevent irregular heart rhythms and slow down the growth of plaque in your arteries.
Omega-3’s are also a powerful way for your body to fight off inflammation. Inflammation causes pre-mature aging in your body and more chronic health problems.
1 oz. of sardines contains 0.27 g of omega-3s. Eating one can of sardines will be well over 1 g of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s are a fantastic nutrient to improve mood and fight depression. Inflammation in your brain causes mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Along with eating sardines try supplementing with krill oil to maximize your omega-3s.
Canned sardines have well over 20 grams of protein. They also have these vital essential nutrients…
- vitamin D
With only a couple hundred calories in a can of sardines, it’ll help you lose more weight too. Sardines only have around 400 mg of sodium in them, which is great for a canned food.
When Sardines Are Bad For You
Since sardines are at the bottom of the food chain they’re much more sustainable fish than most others. They feed solely on plankton and are abundant in numbers.
Sardines tend to have a shorter lifespan than other fish. 90% of the wild sardines swimming around are less than 6 years old.
These two reasons are why sardines don’t concentrate very many heavy metals such as mercury. Be sure to limit other fish such as tuna because of higher mercury levels.
Canned sardines are 100% safe for you to be eating since not much mercury accumulates in their body.
The FDA recommends for pregnant women to limit the eating of sardines and other low-mercury fish to 12 oz. per week.
If you have kidney or gout problems then you should also limit your consumption of sardines.
They naturally contain higher levels of purine. This can metabolize into uric acid in your body. Uric acid can lead to kidney stones or gout if you’re already predisposed.
If you don’t have a history of gout or kidney problems then you should be fine.
Some canned sardines use BPA so it’ll be a good idea to find one that doesn’t use this compound. Scientists say BPA can affect your body’s hormones.
It’s best to limit your exposure to BPA to be on the safe side even though the FDA claims low doses will not harm you.
Sardines Will Help You Lose Weight
There are a few reasons why eating more canned sardines will help you lose weight.
First of all, sardines contain zero sugar or refined carbohydrates. These are the two of the biggest causes of weight gain and belly fat build up.
Second, sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These good fats help your body burn body fat.
This meta-analysis found omega-3 fatty acids helped the participants losing abdominal fat.
They’re also very powerful for reducing inflammation in your body. Inflammation can cause your body age quicker. It’ll also cause your body to puff out and appear bigger than it is.
Third, sardines are rich in protein and calcium.
Both of these powerful nutrients have been found to help you lose weight. Your body needs protein to build lean muscle.
This study found calcium and vitamin D significantly helped users to lose more body fat.
Protein helps increase the feelings of being full. This keeps your hunger at bay so you don’t eat more than you should.
And finally, a can of sardines is very low in calories. Even though not all calories react the same in your body.
It’s important to keep your daily caloric intake regulated to make sure your body weight doesn’t go up.
Eat more belly fat burning foods like sardines to keep your waistline slim.
Tuna Vs. Sardines
Limit your tuna consumption because of high mercury levels. Most tuna live for 10 years making them more likely to accumulate toxins.
It makes sense the less time the fish is living in the water the less likely they are to build up heavy metals.
If you want to get rid of heavy metals and toxins built up in your body then do this. Discover the best way on how to detox your body naturally.
It’s much more sustainable on the ocean’s ecosystem to eat lower on the food chain. Sardines are at the bottom and are a much more abundant than tuna.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch has rated sardines as a “Best Choice” for sustainability. Most tuna have an “avoidance” rating.
Both tuna and sardines are very affordable with near equal prices per canned ounce. Just because a food is cheaper doesn’t mean it’s worst than more expensive choices.
In fact, sardines have more nutrients per ounce than just about any other food out there.
Most agree smoked sardines smell and taste better than tuna. Try eating them with some tomato sauce or mustard sauce to liven them up even more.
Do Sardines Taste Fishy?
Don’t let the thought of eating a canned fish scare you off. You can eat sardines straight out the can. I do it multiple times per week.
The bones in canned sardines are 100% edible as they’re soft and are not a danger to swallow.
The calcium in the bones plus the vitamin D in sardines will help to build strong bones. They’ll also help you lose weight.
Much of the fishy smell is taken away with added ingredients. Olive oil, tomato sauce, mustard sauce and the smoking process all add tasty flavor.
They’re delicious eating right out of the can but you can also at a little salt and pepper.
Is it bad to eat sardines every day?
Canned sardines are loaded with nutrients and great for your body. But it’s probably not the best idea to eat too much of any one food for an extended period of time.
One can a day should be fine and even good for you. Try to find a brand without any additives to keep any negatives away.
If you’re looking to save some money then eating more canned sardines will be the way to go.
Keep a couple cans in your car too. You can quickly eat a can whenever you’re feeling hungry. It’ll be much better for you than going to McDonald’s.
Picking The Best Sardines
If you’re buying fresh sardines there are a couple things you should look out for.
Try to find sardines that are…
- fresh smell
- shiny skin
- bright eyes
- firm body
- no bruising
Also, make sure you’re not buying any old fish with “belly burn.” This is when the guts start coming out of the fish.
When picking out canned sardines try to find one in olive oil than soybean oil. Olive oil has more omega-3s and doesn’t have any of the negatives associated with soy.
My favorites are Wild Planet Wild Sardines. They contain no BPA in the can lining, taste delicious, use extra virgin olive oil and are sustainably caught.
Try packing a can of sardines when you’re out on the go. It’s a fantastic ready-to-go snack you can eat anywhere.
They’re surprisingly filling too. The high amount of vitamin B12 can give you a quick bolt of energy in the afternoon.
- WILD SARDINES IN EVOO, LIGHTLY SMOKED - Wild caught sardines in organic olive oil and lightly smoked for a delicious, full flavor.
- RICH IN NUTRITION & FLAVOR – A nutritional powerhouse, Wild Planet sardines are an essential source of omega 3, protein, calcium, and iron.
- FROM THE NORTH PACIFIC – Feel confident that the sardines you’re enjoying are harvested in the Pacific with sustainable methods, making them healthy for the Earth and your body.
- SUSTAINABLE & NON-GMO – Wild Planet Sardines are 100% sustainably caught via free school purse seine methods, and are Gluten free, non-GMO, OU Kosher Pareve.
- WILDLY GOOD – Wild Planet Foods is dedicated to maintaining the ocean’s natural ecosystem while providing delicious, healthy and sustainable wild seafood.
Eating canned sardines isn’t just good for you… they’re great for you.
The high amount of nutrients make eating sardines a no-brainer. You’ll get a ton of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, calcium, vitamin D, minerals and B vitamins.
Sardines are also good for your waistline. They contain zero sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods.
When you eat more sardines your body will love you for it.
Your body will fight off inflammation, lose weight, strengthen bones and improve your mood.
It’s easy to get scared off from eating them if you never had them before. But give them a try and you’ll be surprised at how good they taste.
You’ll also feel way better after eating a can of sardines than you would cookies or potato chips.
Take a can of sardines with you to make sure you have an on-the-go snack that’s good for you.