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The Nutrition of Tuna Salad

Tuna salad is typically thought of as a relatively healthy food--after all, it contains tuna, how bad can it be? Unfortunately, most people fail to remember that tuna salad typically has high amounts of mayonnaise, which contains numerous ingredients that may be detrimental. This article discusses the truth behind the nutrition of tuna salad.

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One of the best parts of tuna salad is that it is very high in protein. Tuna is one of the highest dietary source of protein found in nature. And, unlike other sources of dietary protein, such as beef, chicken, and pork, tuna contains very low amounts of saturated fat, which has been found to be linked to the development of cardiovascular disease, stroke and even death. Protein is very important for our bodies. Not only does it help to maintain and promote new muscle growth, but it also allows us greater ease when performing our activities of daily living.


As discussed above, tuna is great because it not only is low in saturated fat, but it is also high in unsaturated fat, which helps to fight some of the conditions described above. Unfortunately, while the fat found in tuna is healthy for us, some of the other ingredients of tuna salad contain fats that aren't so great. Typically, tuna salad contains high amounts of mayonnaise, which is not only loaded with calories but also contains high amounts of saturated fats. While various companies have recently begun making mayonnaise that do contain olive oil, the amounts of saturated fats in these products are still very high.


Tuna is relatively low is calories. Typically, a three ounce serving of the fish contains only around 120 calories. However, most of the calories found within tuna salad is again due to the high fat content. Per gram, protein--which is found in tuna and other meats-- contain around 4 calories per gram, while one gram of fat contains 9 calories! This means that gram per gram, fat is over twice as dense in calories as the same amount of protein! It is no surprise then, since tuna salad is typically loaded with tons of mayonnaise, that it can be relatively high in calories.


Finally, the amount of salt found within tuna salad can be high. Again, this is more often than not caused by the mayonnaise. For best results, try to find a mayonnaise that is either reduced calorie or calorie free in addition to looking for tuna that is packed in water, as tuna in oil can sometimes contain more salt. Salt is dangerous for good health because it has been found to be linked to arterial and cardiovascular disease. High salt intake can also lead to bloating and water retention.

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