Are you a fan of tuna?
This popular fish is a staple in many households due to its convenience, affordability, and high protein content. But if you’re someone who needs to watch their oxalate intake, you may be wondering if tuna is a safe choice.
Oxalates are chemicals found in plant-based foods that can contribute to kidney stone formation. In this article, we’ll explore whether tuna is high in oxalates and provide some tips for incorporating this fish into a low oxalate diet.
So let’s dive in!
Is Tuna High In Oxalates?
The good news for tuna lovers is that this fish is not considered high in oxalates. In fact, it’s listed as a low oxalate food by many sources. This means that you can enjoy tuna as part of a low oxalate diet without worrying about its oxalate content.
Other meats that are safe to eat on a low oxalate diet include beef, pork, chicken, and turkey. Fish and seafood such as flounder, salmon, shrimp, and scallops are also low in oxalates. Eggs are another great option for those looking to limit their oxalate intake.
It’s important to note that canned tuna may contain some mercury, which can be harmful to developing fetuses and young children. Adults can also experience symptoms of mercury poisoning if they consume too much. To be safe, it’s recommended that you limit your intake of white albacore tuna to less than four ounces per week if you weigh 110 pounds or less. If you weigh 165 pounds or more, you can have up to five ounces of white albacore tuna per week.
What Are Oxalates And Why Should You Care?
Oxalates are compounds found in many plant-based foods that can bind to minerals in the gut, preventing the body from absorbing them. This can be a concern for those who are prone to kidney stones, as excess oxalate can cause the formation of calcium oxalate crystals and stones in the kidney. However, oxalates also have a beneficial role in feeding healthy gut bacteria as prebiotics.
It’s important to note that not all high-oxalate foods need to be avoided entirely. Incorporating a variety of low and moderate oxalate foods into your diet can help balance your intake. For those who need to follow a low oxalate diet, the goal is to consume less than 100 mg of diet oxalate per day, with less than 50 mg being ideal.
Meats such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish and seafood like flounder, salmon, shrimp, and scallops are all low in oxalates and can be safely consumed on a low oxalate diet. Eggs are also a great option for those looking to limit their oxalate intake.
Oxalate Content In Tuna: Is It High Or Low?
When it comes to oxalate content, tuna is considered a low oxalate food. This means that it contains relatively low levels of oxalates, making it a safe choice for those following a low oxalate diet or looking to limit their oxalate intake. In fact, many sources list tuna as one of the safest fish to eat in terms of oxalate content.
It’s worth noting that while tuna is low in oxalates, it may contain other substances that could be harmful in high amounts. For example, canned tuna may contain mercury, which can be toxic if consumed in excess. To minimize your risk of mercury exposure, it’s recommended that you limit your intake of white albacore tuna to less than four ounces per week if you weigh 110 pounds or less. If you weigh 165 pounds or more, you can have up to five ounces of white albacore tuna per week.
How To Incorporate Tuna Into A Low Oxalate Diet
If you’re looking to incorporate tuna into a low oxalate diet, there are many delicious and healthy ways to do so. Here are some ideas:
1. Tuna salad: Mix canned tuna with some low oxalate vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, and bell peppers. Use a low oxalate dressing like olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice.
2. Tuna sandwich: Use low oxalate bread like white or wheat bread and add some lettuce, tomato, and mayo for a tasty sandwich.
3. Tuna patties: Mix canned tuna with some egg, breadcrumbs, and low oxalate seasonings like garlic and onion powder. Shape into patties and cook in a pan with some olive oil.
4. Tuna pasta: Cook some low oxalate pasta like spaghetti or penne and mix with canned tuna, olive oil, garlic, and cherry tomatoes.
5. Tuna steak: Grill or bake a fresh tuna steak and serve with some low oxalate sides like steamed vegetables or a salad.
Remember to also pay attention to your mercury intake when consuming tuna. Stick to the recommended guidelines based on your weight and consider other low mercury seafood options like shrimp or salmon as well.
Other Low Oxalate Seafood Options To Consider
If you’re looking for other low oxalate seafood options to add to your diet, there are several choices available. Some of these include:
1. Cod: This white fish is a great source of protein and is low in oxalates. It can be baked, grilled, or pan-fried for a delicious and healthy meal.
2. Trout: Like salmon, trout is a fatty fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also low in oxalates and can be prepared in a variety of ways, including grilling and baking.
3. Haddock: Another white fish that is low in oxalates, haddock is a mild-tasting fish that can be baked or fried for a quick and easy meal.
4. Crab: This delicious seafood is low in oxalates and high in protein. It can be eaten on its own or added to salads or pasta dishes.
5. Lobster: While it may be a bit more expensive, lobster is another low oxalate seafood option that can be enjoyed on occasion. It’s high in protein and low in fat, making it a healthy choice when prepared without added butter or oil.
Incorporating these low oxalate seafood options into your diet can help you maintain a healthy and balanced diet while reducing your risk of kidney stones. Remember to always consult with your doctor or a registered dietitian before making any major changes to your diet.
Final Thoughts: Is Tuna A Safe Choice For Those With Oxalate Concerns?
For those with oxalate concerns, tuna is a safe choice to include in their diet. Tuna is a low oxalate food, which means it won’t contribute significantly to oxalate levels in the body. This makes it a great option for people who are looking to limit their oxalate intake due to conditions such as kidney stones, polycystic kidney disease, or other health concerns related to high oxalate levels.
However, it’s important to note that some types of tuna may contain higher levels of mercury than others. White albacore tuna is known to have higher levels of mercury compared to other types of tuna. For this reason, it’s recommended that people limit their intake of white albacore tuna to less than four ounces per week if they weigh 110 pounds or less. Those who weigh 165 pounds or more can have up to five ounces of white albacore tuna per week.