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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
tuna patties 1

Eat Tuna to Meet Your Seafood Recommendation

According to the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, currently only 1 in 10 Americans follow the 2015 Dietary Guidelines to eat seafood twice per week. Tuna can be a low-cost option to help you meet these recommendations. In 2014, canned tuna was the third most widely consumed seafood in America, behind shrimp and salmon. However, overall seafood consumption has slowly been decreasing each year.

Tuna is a saltwater fish with about 15 species recognized worldwide. Skipjack, also known as "light tuna," make up about 70% of canned tuna in America. Yellowfin may also be labeled "light tuna," but it is a little less common and has more mercury than Skipjack. Both skipjack and yellowfin are darker in color and robust in flavor. Albacore tuna, also known as "white meat tuna" make up about 20% of the canned tuna market. Albacore tuna is light pink in color and generally milder in flavor. All tuna fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help protect against heart disease, but albacore has a little more fat, including the good omega-3's, than light tuna. However, albacore tuna also has more mercury, which can harm the nervous system, brain, heart, kidneys and lungs. According to the Food and Drug Administration, pregnant women and young children should limit their consumption of "light" tuna to 12 ounces per week, and yellowfin tuna and albacore or "white" tuna to no more than 6 ounces per week.

Some tuna species are heavily overfished and vulnerable. If you're shopping for sustainable tuna, check the label to find troll or pole-caught fish, which is the most environmentally stable option. Check the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch website to confirm best choices and ensure future generations of nutritious tuna!

Tuna Patties (Printable PDF)

2 (6 oz.) cans tuna, packed in water, drained

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

½ cup whole grain bread, torn into small pieces

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 egg

In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients. Form into 6 balls and flatten into patties. Generously spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Gently place the patties on skillet and cook until slightly brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side. May serve with wedges of lemon and tarter sauce.

Yield: 6 patties

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 110 calories, 3 grams fat, 300 milligrams sodium, 4 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 15 grams protein

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