Tuna is an almost perfect food. It provides high quality protein and healthy fats. Tuna tastes great, is versatile and easy, and the price can’t be beat. But fear of mercury has kept this impressive food in the shadows as people wondered if any amount could be safely eaten.
The Environmental Working Group has developed a calculator that tells how much tuna can be safely eaten in a week and still remain within the FDA guidelines: http://www.ewg.org/tunacalculator.
- Avoid albacore tuna altogether, as it contains 3 times as much mercury as light tuna. Albacore is biologically “tuna,” while light tuna can be various fish such as skipjack, bluefin, yellowfin and tongol.
- If you eat other seafood, especially large species like king mackerel, swordfish, shark or tilefish, don’t eat tuna that week.
- Vitamin C has been shown to be protective against the toxic effects of mercury, lead, arsenic and other metals, as well as biologic poisons such as snake and spider venom. Therefore, taking 2 or 3 grams of Vitamin C before or after eating tuna can protect you from the damage of mercury.