Canned tuna: how to replace it in your diet, to stock up on Omega 3 without mercury

How to replace a can of tuna with healthier and more eco-sustainable plant foods?

Il canned tuna it represents for many a quick dinner saver, an excellent complement to rich salads, a practical way to fill a sandwich or a flatbread and is also often recommended by dieticians and nutritionists for its protein intake and for the high content of Omega fatty acids -3.

Unfortunately, however, tuna is also a dangerous source of mercury for our body, as various studies show. In addition to this, a can of tuna contains high levels of histamine, a so-called "chemical mediator" that our body naturally produces in response to an allergen but which, if present in excess, can cause damage to our health. 

Also read: The most dangerous side effects you should think about before opening a can of tuna

So how to eliminate this food from our diet and how to replace it correctly?


Alternative sources of Omega-3

Many people believe that by eliminating fish from their diet, they are missing the Omega-3 fatty acids, which are so important for our heart health and for our general well-being. This is not true at all: in fact, there are numerous plant foods that are very rich in fatty acids and with much less negative consequences for our health.

Dried fruit, in addition to providing an unexpected protein intake, is also a source of Omega-3 polysaturated fatty acids. Adding it to our diet is very simple:

  • it can enrich the cereals we already use for breakfast or be the ingredient for a crunchy homemade granola (here some recipes)
  • it can be a healthy hunger break snack
  • coarsely chopped can give crunchiness to salads or first courses. With these fruits you can then make delicious vegetable "butters" to spread on bread or to enrich our vegetable breakfast.

Another alternative to stock up on Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are i oil seeds. These too, like dried fruit, can be used for breakfast, for the preparation of salads, pesto and sauces. We can also take them in the form of oil, such as flaxseed oil or hempseed oil.

Plant sources of fatty acids of the Omega-3 family 

Canned tuna: how to replace it in your diet, to stock up on Omega 3 without mercury

Plant sources of fatty acids of the Omega-3 family (Vegetarian Science)

Read also: Not just fish: the 5 plant sources of Omega 3

And the proteins?

It is not necessary to kill animals to get the correct protein intake necessary for a healthy life. Legumes, for example, can make up for the absence of tuna and other animal sources very well: we can use them to prepare pasta dishes, salads or in the mixture of burgers and meatballs (here are some of our recipes for legume and cereal burgers that will make the originals with meat). Chickpeas, in particular, can be used to prepare a delicious and versatile hummus, ideal for filling sandwiches, sandwiches and wraps with the same convenience of a can of tuna. 80 g of cooked legumes (30 g raw) are enough to create a balanced portion of protein.

A separate discussion must be made for the soy, the legume perhaps most used in the vegetable diet. In the form of milk or vegetable yoghurt, it provides protein right from breakfast. It can also be used for the preparation of meatballs and other main courses; finally, from the curdling process, tofu is obtained, to be eaten on its own or as an ingredient in many recipes.

Foods rich in vegetable proteins

FOOD QUANTITY PROTEIN PROTEIN (gr) (gr / 100 cal) Tempeh 1 cup 31 9.5 Seitan 4 oz 15-31 21.4-22.1 Soy, cooked 1 cup 29 9.6 Veggie hot dog 1 8-26 13.3-20 Veggie burger 1 5-24 3.8-21.8 Lentils, cooked 1 cup 18 7.8 Tofu, solid 4 ounces 8-15 10-12.2 Kidney Beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.8 Lima Beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.8 Black Beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.3 Chickpeas, cooked 1 cup 15 5.4 Pinto Beans, cooked 1 cup 14 6.0 Black Peas eyed, cooked 1 cup 13 6.7 Veggie baked beans 1 cup 12 5.2 Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 11 3.5 Soy milk, commercial, plain 1 cup 3-10 3-12 Tofu, plain 4 oz 2-10 2.3-10.7 Bagels 1 medium (3 oz) 9 3.7 Peas, cooked 1 cup 9 3.4 Textured Vegetable Protein (DVT), cooked 1/2 cup 8 8.4 Peanut Butter 2 tbsp. table 8 4.1 Spaghetti, cooked 1 cup 7 3.4 Spinach, cooked 1 cup 6 11.0 Soy yogurt, plain 6 oz 6 6 Bulgur, cooked 1 cup 6 3.7 Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 6 3.3 Almonds 1/4 cup 6 2.8 Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 5 10.5 Wholemeal bread 2 slices 5 3.9 Cashews 1/4 cup 5 2.7 Almond butter 2 Tbsp. 5 2.4 Brown rice, cooked 1 cup 5 2.1 Potatoes 1 medium (6 oz) 4 2.6 SSNV

The article offers generic indications, therefore we do not make any claims in the nutritional field. We recommend that you contact your nutritionist. Sources are under each article

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Vegetarian Science

Read also:

  • New study confirms that omega-3s extend life. Fill up on foods that are richer in it
  • Cutting down on meat and eating more plant-based protein makes you live better and longer. The new confirmation
  • The 10 best plant-based sources of protein
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