Is canned tuna worth the Points?

Find out how many Points are in canned tuna when on WeightWatchers®.
Published 18 February 2021 | Updated 1 July 2024
Recipe: Tuna, herb and lemon tray bake

Fish is an excellent source of protein, essential omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, important vitamins and is low in saturated fat. Although mercury is present at low levels in most fish, there is no need for anyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) to stop eating fish altogether.

When canned in springwater, the protein-rich fish is a ZeroPoint food and you don't need to track it in your app. Other varieties, particularly those packed in oil, may have higher Points values, so use your app barcode scanner to check your specific brand.

The real beauty of canned tuna? It stays good almost forever. For the best flavour, use within best before date—but toss any cans that are dented, leaking, bulging, or rusted. Once a can is opened, transfer leftovers to a covered container and refrigerate and use within 3 to 4 days.

What about the mercury in fish?

Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and builds up in fish over time. All fish contain some mercury with most fish having low levels. Only a few species have higher amounts. The amount of mercury depends on the age of a fish, the environment in which it lives and what it eats. Most people only eat moderate amounts of fish so the benefits of eating fish far outweigh any potential risks related to mercury intake.

What you need to know about canned tuna varieties

In most supermarkets, you'll see a large array of options for canned tuna—ever the more reason to use your barcode scanner! Here's the scoop on the most common varieties:

  • Tuna in springwater. The lowest-calorie option, but be aware that sometimes there's more than just water in the can. Vegetable stock may be included to add flavour and it also adds sodium. Read labels carefully if you're watching your intake.
  • Packed in oil or brine. Oil adds fat and calories, but many say it's worth it for the richer texture—drained tuna packed in water can be quite dry. Look for tuna in olive oil to get the best flavour.
  • Pouch. This option is a newer choice but the taste-test results are mixed. Like canned, pouches come packed with water or oil.