How to Buy Canned Fish
By Sara Butler
Canned fish has been around for a long time, but for a lot of people it's not their go-to protein source -- but it should be! You can buy high-quality and healthy fish in a can to keep in your pantry that makes some pretty tasty and protein-packed dishes. Here is what you need to look for in order to buy the best canned fish you can.
Look at the Can
The can the fish comes in will tell you a lot about how good it is for you. Not because of some fancy label, but because the can is BPA-free. BPA is a chemical that some companies use to line cans and there's evidence that it can mess with your body's natural hormone levels. It's best to avoid products, including plastics, that contain BPA. When it comes to canned fish, then all you need to do is look for the label that guarantees the can is free from BPA. You should also look for containers, such as those that you store food in the fridge, that are BPA-free.
Look at What It's Packed In
It's best to avoid fish that's been packed in oil or, if you're looking for oil, to ensure that it's a healthy oil such as olive oil. Fish packed in water is going to be a healthier choice, but some oil-packed fish can be a good option if there aren't any others. If you have a soy allergy, then make sure to look closely to ensure the canned fish isn't packed in soybean oil.
Look for Bones
Some fish are packed in the cans with bones. For some people, this is a good thing since it adds calcium and there are many fish in which it's OK to eat the bones, such as anchovies and salmon (make sure it's canned salmon). Yet for some people the bones are non-negotiable to include the bones, so make sure you look on the can to ensure you're not getting more than you bargained for.
Look at the Ingredients
Ideally, you want to choose fish that has the least amount of ingredients as possible. You may want to buy fish that is seasoned or flavored, in which case the ingredients list will be longer. But if you're only looking to buy fish, then look for something that simply includes canned fish and water (or oil).
Look Out for Sodium
If you're trying to watch your salt intake, then be careful when buying canned fish. Always check the nutrition label for added salt and choose the fish with the least amount of sodium.
Canned fish can be a great thing to have on hand -- if you know what to look for!
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