Understanding Mercury Levels in Chicken of the Sea Tuna

Chicken of the Sea is one of the most popular and well-known brands of canned tuna in the United States. Tuna can contain low levels of mercury, which may raise concerns among consumers. This article provides an in-depth look at mercury levels in Chicken of the Sea tuna, key factors that impact mercury content, and considerations for choosing and consuming tuna safely.

Why Tuna Contains Mercury

Mercury is a heavy metal that is found naturally in the environment and released through certain human activities like burning fossil fuels It makes its way into the ocean and accumulates in the tissues of fish and other marine life through a process called bioaccumulation

The larger and older a fish is, the more mercury it will have accumulated over its lifespan Since tuna are large, predatory fish that can live a long time, they tend to have higher mercury levels compared to smaller species However, levels vary widely between different types and sizes of tuna.

Chicken of the Sea Tuna Varieties

Chicken of the Sea sells different tuna varieties in cans and pouches, including:

  • Albacore (solid white) tuna
  • Light tuna (chunk light, flaked, minced)
  • Skipjack tuna

Key Difference: Albacore tuna tends to have higher mercury levels because they are larger fish compared to the smaller skipjack and juvenile yellowfin/bigeye tunas used for light tuna.

Recent Testing of Mercury Levels

Independent testing by Consumer Reports in 2023 analyzed the mercury content in canned tuna from 5 top brands, including Chicken of the Sea.

Here are the key findings for Chicken of the Sea:

  • Albacore had 3 times more mercury than light tuna on average
  • Mercury levels varied widely from can to can

This indicates that while light tuna generally has lower mercury than albacore, mercury content can spike unpredictably, even within the same brand and variety.

FDA Guidelines on Mercury Levels

The FDA provides guidelines for how much canned tuna can be safely consumed each week based on mercury levels:

  • Albacore: 1 serving (4 oz)
  • Light tuna: 3 servings (12 oz)

However, Consumer Reports advises pregnant women avoid all canned tuna due to potential spikes in mercury from can to can.

Reducing Potential Mercury Exposure

If you regularly eat Chicken of the Sea tuna, follow these tips to reduce potential mercury exposure:

  • Choose light tuna over albacore whenever possible
  • Limit albacore intake to no more than 1 serving (4 oz) per week
  • Stick to recommended serving sizes based on the variety
  • Avoid tuna altogether if pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Rinse canned tuna to remove excess liquid (may contain mercury)
  • Consume a variety of other low-mercury seafood like salmon, shrimp, and tilapia

Looking Beyond Mercury Levels

When choosing tuna, also consider:

  • Sustainability: Look for tuna certified by organizations like Marine Stewardship Council to support responsible fishing practices.

  • Additives: Some tuna contains vegetable broth, water, or oils. Look for tuna packed in water to limit additives.

  • Cost: Albacore is more expensive than light tuna. Opt for more budget-friendly light tuna if you eat tuna regularly.

  • Taste/Texture: Albacore is lighter in color with a milder flavor than light tuna. It also holds its shape better when mixed into salads or sandwiches.

The Bottom Line on Chicken of the Sea Tuna

Chicken of the Sea tuna contains mercury, like all tuna, but light tuna has substantially lower levels than albacore. While mercury content can’t be predicted can-to-can, following the FDA guidelines can help reduce potential exposure. Pregnant women should avoid tuna. For others, tuna can still be part of a healthy, balanced diet with the right precautions. Consider sustainability, additives, cost, and your taste preferences too when choosing tuna.

Is Canned Tuna Safe To Eat? Experts Weigh In On The Benefits Of Eating The Canned Fish | TIME


Which canned tuna is lowest in mercury?

If you’re concerned about limiting the amount of mercury you consume, and if you’ve eaten no other fish during the week, Consumer Reports says up to 12 ounces a week of Bumble Bee Chunk Light, Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light, Safe Catch Wild Elite, and StarKist Chunk Light tunas are the safer choices among the products …

Is chicken of the sea tuna high in mercury?

Chicken of the Sea albacore, for example, had 10 times the mercury than its light tuna did. Wild Planet’s were very close together, and either should be eaten only once per week, according to the researchers.

Is chicken of the sea tuna healthy?

Yes, tuna is a great choice for a heart-healthy eating plan. It contains little to no saturated fat and plenty of unsaturated fatty acids.

Is chicken of the sea real tuna?

Product name. The company’s official explanation for the name of their product is that, in the “old days”, fishermen referred to white albacore tuna as “chicken of the sea”. It was so called because of the white color of its flesh and mild flavor reminded them of chicken.

Does canned tuna have mercury?

About half of people don’t know that different varieties of canned tuna have varying levels of mercury, and 18% don’t know that canned tuna has any. The FDA recently told CR that those levels are “protective of neurodevelopmental effects from a critical window of development for a fetus during pregnancy,” and are also safe for other individuals.

Is tuna fish good for health?

1) Tuna is loaded with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which help in reducing cholesterol. 2) Tuna is rich in potassium which is known to reduce blood pressure. Omega 3 fatty acids in combination with potassium bring an anti inflammatory effect and promotes heart health. 3) Tuna is rich in various vitamins and minerals like manganese, zinc, vit C and selenium which help in strengthening immune system. They help in reducing free radicals and protect the body from cancers. 4) Vit B that is present in tuna helps in strengthening bones. 5) It improves skin health as it is rich in vitamin B complex.

Can you eat tuna with a high mercury level?

Skipjack and canned light tuna, which are relatively low in mercury, can be eaten as part of a healthy diet. However, albacore, yellowfin and bigeye tuna are high in mercury and should be limited or avoided. Certain populations are especially susceptible to mercury and should limit or completely abstain from tuna.

Is bluefin tuna high in Mercury?

Bluefin tuna: Bluefin tuna is more likely to contain high mercury levels due to its long lifespan in comparison to other tuan, and its position as a top predator. Albacore tuna: Albacore tuna, also known as white tuna, typically contains higher mercury levels than other tuna, like skipjack or yellowfin.

Leave a Comment