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A Closer Look At Tuna: How Much Protein in Tuna Fish

You will be surprised to know that 100 grams of Tuna have approximately 28 grams of protein.

Ever heard the saying, “chicken of the sea”? It is often a reference to tuna

Now, who doesn’t love a tuna sandwich with the right amount of mayonnaise and some lovely sliced tomatoes? If you don’t, maybe you’ve never tried it before with the bread toasted. 

Anyway, enough of me fantasizing about how tasty tuna is. Outside of being amazing for your taste buds, tuna packs a serious nutritional punch. 

In this article, we will take a look at what tuna is, the amount of protein that is found in tuna as well as some of the other nutrients that are found in a serving of your favorite tuna meal.

We hope you aren’t too hungry right now because reflecting on this lovely food type will probably cause your mouth to water. If you are ready to go, let’s dive right into today’s exciting topic.

What is Tuna?

“It’s a fish…duh”, well yes, but there’s a little more that we can say about the ‘chicken of the sea’. 

According to the New World Encyclopedia, Tuna refers to an of the fourteen types of fish living in the ocean that makes up the tribe Thunnini in the mackerel family, Scombridae. 

The fourteen species of tuna are grouped into five categories. The categories are Thunnus, Katsuwonus, Auxis, Allothunnus and Euthynnus. 

The food that you typically consume from a can labelled tuna refers to fish within these categories.

Tunas are very quick in the ocean. They are spread out all over the world’s oceans. Tuna often journey and feed as schools of a number of different species with similar body size. 

There are some types of tuna that travel great distances. Some have the ability to raise their body temperature way above the temperature of the water they are swimming in. 

You didn’t know that your tuna lunch from yesterday was so interesting, did you?

The various species of Tuna are critical in food chains. They gobble up fish, plankton and mollusks. 

They also serve as yummy lunch for sharks, rays, toothed whales, billfishes and sadly, larger tunas. 

We don’t have to debate too long about how important they are to human beings. They fill lunch boxes and breakfast tables on a daily basis. 

As a matter of fact, statistics show that approximately 1 billion pounds of pouched and canned Tuna is consumed by people living in the United States of America on a yearly basis. 

Tuna is also critical to the world of sport fishing.

Well, now you can strike up conversations about the origin of your tuna meal at your next lunch break. 

Tuna is truly incredible. We will soon discuss how much protein  in Tuna Fish.

What is Protein?

No doubt, Tuna is packed with a lot of protein, but before we discuss how much protein is in Tuna, we will first give a brief explanation of what protein is and its benefits to the body.

You will find that many athletes, bodybuilders and normal people who are passionate about health are often consuming protein shakes. 

There must be a reason for this, don’t you think? Protein is a very critical part of every cell that’s in your body. It’s the stuff that your hair and nails are mostly made of. 

Protein is important in the process of repairing and creating tissues within your body. Protein is also used to create hormones, enzymes, and many other body chemicals. 

Protein is also really important to the building and maintenance of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.

Protein is considered to be a macronutrient. This means that your body needs a large amount of this nutrient to function properly. 

Micronutrients refer to nutrients that you only need in small quantities. These include vitamins and minerals

Fat and carbohydrates are also classified as macronutrients. The body relates to protein a little differently than it responds to protein. 

The body is not able to store protein. This means that your body has no stored-up protein from which to draw from when it is needed. 

Therefore, you need to ensure that you are always receiving an appropriate supply on a daily basis.

The Amount of Protein in Tuna

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of Tuna contains about 28 grams of protein. 

The average can of tuna is 3 ounces which is the equivalent to approximately 85 grams. 

This means that when you consume a standard can of Tuna, you are consuming roughly 24 grams of protein.

The amount of protein that you need to consume per day, according to dieticians, is simply 0.8 grams of protein per every kilogram of body weight. 

So, if you weigh 160 pounds, this would be 72.6 kilograms. Your daily intake of protein or your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein would be 58 grams of protein. 

This means that with a little over two 3-ounce cans of tuna, you would meet your daily requirement of protein.

But don’t take that as the final word on how much protein you need and how much tuna you should eat to meet the daily goal. 

Understand that the recommended daily allowance refers to the quantity of a particular nutrient that you need to cover your basic nutritional requirements. 

Put simply, it refers to the bare minimum that you need to be consuming to avoid becoming ill. 

If you are following carefully, you will realize that this means that it does not necessarily specify the amount you should be eating to hit your body goals or optimum health goals.

The standard that exists for the use of the recommended daily value has resulted in much conflicts in the world of health. 

Nancy Rodriguez, A registered dietitian and professor of nutritional science at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, suggests that there exists some amount of misunderstanding about the recommended daily value in the realm of the public as well as in her profession. 

She says that based on the minimum established by the RDA, most health professionals are telling people that they are consuming way too much protein.

Speak with a dietician to ascertain exactly how much tuna you should eat on a weekly or daily basis. 

Be sure to also grab an understanding of how much protein you should be consuming daily based on both your body weight and your health goals.

What Other Nutrients Are Found in Tuna?

Your favorite can of tuna is an incredible source of other essential nutrients beyond protein. Tuna fish contains nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and Vitamin D. 

The typical tuna has around 2 grams of fat per 113-gram portion. It also has less than 45 milligrams of cholesterol and sodium for those who are watching their daily intake of these two nutrients

You tuna lunch will also contain incredibly important long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that are needed to support good cardiovascular health. 

This also helps with the proper function of your brain, your normal growth and development.

You will find that Albacore and bluefin tuna contain the absolute largest amount of omega-3 fatty acids. They are followed by the skipjack and yellowfin species of tuna.

The canning of tuna provides a convenient and nutritious product for health-conscious individuals. 

The process of canning also significantly increases the shelf life of tuna, providing you with a great source of protein and other essential nutrients all year round. 

The nutritional make-up of canned tuna products is influenced by the liquid that manufacturers pack it with. 

Nevertheless, the label of your favorite canned tuna will share the nutritional value of your purchase.

Take a look at the chart below of the nutritional value of a 165-gram portion of tuna as supplied by the United States Department of Agriculture.


Nutritional Facts

165 Grams

    • Calories 191
    • Fat 1.4g
    • Sodium 83mg
    • Carbohydrates 0g
    • Fiber 0g
    • Sugar 0g
    • Protein 42g

Being an incredible source of vital nutrients such as protein, omega 3 and more, it is wise to include tuna in your weekly dietary routine. 

Along with being highly nutritious, tuna is very tasty, as you already know. Tuna is an incredibly versatile ingredient. 

It can be had as a tuna patty. You could whip up some tuna with avocado and make into a salad. 

You can use salad as your protein in an awesome pasta. You can use tuna to make a casserole and many other creative and taste bud exploding ways.

Tap into the power of tuna and the next time you have it, know that you are gaining some incredible nutrients while having an awesome meal.

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