Tuna Salad - Take it to Go!

A non-perishable food item, canned tuna is easy to take with you when you’re on the run. It also comes in handy when you need to whip up dinner for a hungry family at the end of the day. 

Tuna is a great source of protein, contains no carbohydrates, and is also a source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It is always pre-cooked, but you can opt to buy it packed in oil or in water. We recommend opting for water-packed tuna since it is lower in fat and calories. Either way, be sure to drain the liquid from the container before using it.

You will also find that tuna is labeled as either “chunk light” or “white albacore” tuna. The difference between these is the type of tuna fish that has been canned. Chunk light is primarily made from skipjack tuna and accounts for much of the tuna eaten in the United States. Albacore is another type of tuna fish that is used to make the remaining canned tuna and is usually more expensive. 

Now companies are packaging tuna in ways that make it easier than ever to grab-and-go. For example, Starkist has their Lunch-to-Go pack which is ready to go with crackers and the fixings needed to make tuna salad. You can also buy tuna in single-serving pouches, so it is ready to eat as soon as you open it.

Believe it or not, you can do a lot with a just a can of tuna. Here are some ways you can spice up tuna salad for lunch or dinner today!

Add crunch with:

  • sliced or slivered almonds
  • diced celery
  • diced green or red bell pepper
  • diced red onion
  • sliced green onions
  • diced cucumber

Add creaminess with:

  • fat-free ranch dressing
  • non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • light or canola mayo
  • a mixture of light mayo and Greek yogurt

Add extra flavor with:

  • lemon juice
  • garlic powder
  • freshly ground pepper
  • salt-free lemon pepper
  • dill
  • other fresh herbs and spices

Other foods you can mix in include:

  • dried cranberries
  • white beans or garbanzo beans
  • avocado
  • pico de gallo
  • quartered cherry tomatoes
  • a small amount of dill relish

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. It’s easy to get creative and experiment with tuna salad. There are a lot of ways you can eat tuna: 

  • On crackers
  • On pita wedges
  • On a sandwich
  • On its own!
  • Over a bed of greens for a delicious salad
  • For lunch, dinner or as a snack
  • In a lettuce wrap
  • As an open-faced melt on whole wheat bread

Note: According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces per week and should not eat the following four types of fish: tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel.

However, this group should still aim to have 8-12 ounces of fish lower in mercury per week. Some popular types of fish in the U.S. that are low in mercury include: light canned tuna, salmon, anchovies, herring, sardines, Pacific oysters, trout, and Atlantic, and Pacific mackerel.

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