How much tuna can you safely eat?

Check out the Environmental Working Group’s handy calculator

All fish is nutritious, but the larger fish such as tuna and salmon are especially healthful, because they contain such good things as Omega-3 fatty acids and high-quality protein.

Unfortunately, tuna is near the top of the ocean food chain, which means it bioaccumulates toxins, especially mercury, which is neither nutritious nor healthful. Au contraire.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines state that consumers can safely eat about 12 ounces of fish per week. But the guidelines don’t distinguish between fish like tuna, with higher levels of mercury, and small whitefish like tilapia.

Also, a person’s weight and sex play a role in determining how much tuna is safe to eat. As does whether you’re eating “chunk light” or “albacore,” which has about three times the mercury.

So how much tuna can you safely eat? Fortunately, the Environmental Working Group ( has come up with a handy calculator you can use to answer that question. Just enter your weight and sex and the type of tuna you want to eat, and it will give you an answer.

We sought info for a 200-lb. man eating albacore, and were told he should limit himself to a 6-oz. can a week. Switch to “chunk light,” and he’s good for three cans—that is, if he hasn’t eaten any other fish that week.

The EWG recommends that women of childbearing age and children under age 5 not eat albacore tuna.

Source: Environmental Working Group (