Canned Fish – Which one for Protein and Omega-3?

Posted on Posted in Cholesterol, Food, Research

When focusing on an “Eating Lifestyle” that is focused on reducing bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol, you can’t go past canned fish. Omega-3 fats and protein where my main focus as well as finding an economical and suitable way of consuming my daily protein intake to facilitate a lean body mass and build muscle.

I scouted Aldi as they have some very good everyday pricing for their canned fish and sought through their stock.  The following is what I compiled, and tabulated the values per 100g.  Each can has varying quantities and prices, so comparing at least per 100g is one of the only ways to properly compare them.

I sorted what I got with emphasis on the Omega-3 Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  I did a bit of research on them in this post.   Even though the concentration of EPA and DHA was very high per 100g, the cost was also pretty high with $1.17 per 100g.

So I decided to try compare “apples with apples” and focused on the nutrition per can as you will buy it per can and the cost will be per can. Then took it a step further and started what would you get by doubling the cheaper cans and what nutritional value you get for them versus a single can of the more expensive canned fish.

What I found from the above is that 2 cans of the cheaper canned fish (3rd column – Portview Wild Caught Sardines in Springwater 125g) was cheaper than one can of the more expensive and higher nutrition dense one (Ocean Rise Brisling Sardines in Tomato Sauce 110g).  You got more protein, polyunsaturated fats and more EPA, DHA Omega-3 fats. However, it had less monounsaturated fats, and more saturated fats and sodium.

The levels of saturated fats recommended by the Heart Foundation Australia is 16g of fat if you have an 8700kJ daily intake.

“For heart health, we recommend saturated fat be only 7% of your total energy intake. For example, for an average adult intake of 8700 kilojoules, 7% is about 16 grams of saturated fat.

Currently Australians have about 12% (e.g. 28 grams of saturated fat in an 8700 kilojoule intake). That’s about 70% more than they need.”

So 2 cans of the Portview Springwater sardines gives 4.5g vs 2.75g isn’t a big deal since 16g is the maximum recommended limit per day, assuming your other food is low in saturated fats.

And then finally, trying to compare them if we had 3x the cheaper canned fish versus 2 cans of the Tuna Seeded Mustard (which was high in Alpha Linolenic acid – Omega-3) and then compared to 1 can of the Ocean Rise Sardines in Tomato Sauce plus one can of Portview Sardines in oil (bit cut off the end in the last picture).  What I found that with a similar cost of $1.77 and $1.88, the combination gave a fairly “balanced” Omega-3 result with more alpha linolenic acid versus 3 Wild Caught Sardines in Spring water cans (270 vs 105 => 157% higher), however, lost out severely in the EPA (1017 vs 2002 => ~49% lower) and DHA (1753 vs 2448 => ~28% lower).  Seems that alpha linolic acid is a bit more unknown with its health benefits than EPA and DHA.

So I think trading off and focusing on EPA and DHA is better than trying to up the alpha linolenic acid.

And now comes the sodium level for 3 Portview Wild caught sardines in springwater. 1256mg.  It isn’t as bad as 3 Portview Wild caught sardines in oil at 2092mg but it is still pretty high.

However, with a Intermittent Fasting eating lifestyle, more sodium than normal is actually required to replenish your body. I think this is more during the actual fast rather than when you are breaking it, however, i’m guessing it still all gets into your body anyways. Again, I am not a medical professional or nutritionist.  Please consult your trusted medical professional before thinking of trying anything I write on this site.  This is only my views and research in trying to optimise my diet and i’m sharing it with you because I like to help others.

So from all of the above, what conclusion have I come to?

Aldi Portview Wild Caught Sardines in Springwater (125g) at $0.59 per tin can.  Not the highest density of Omega-3 per 100g or per can, but is the highest under the $1.30 price bracket.  It also happens to be one of the highest protein dense canned fish per 100g, and is the highest protein per can.  Doubling the quantity and tripling the quantity makes it streaks ahead of other options for the same price point equivalent.

I think 2 cans of Aldi Portview Wild Caught Sardines in Springwater (125g) per day spending $1.18 will be plan for protein and Omega-3 intake with respect to canned fish for lunch.

52.5g of protein

1335mg of EPA Omega-3

1632mg of DHA Omega-3

4.5g of saturated fat

4.75g of polyunsaturated fat

1.75g of monounsaturated fat

838mg of sodium

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