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What is the difference between oil-packed and water-packed canned fish?

Tuna, salmon, sardines, crabs, clams, mackerel and other fish are canned in water or oil, typically vegetable or olive oil. Even when the oil is drained, fish in oil has significantly more (mostly unsaturated) fat than water-packed varieties. A 3-ounce portion of water-packed drained tuna has 1 gram of fat, while the oil-packed variety has 7 grams.

With oil-packed canned fish, some omega-3 fatty acids are transferred to the oil, which may wind up being discarded.

Besides the fat and calorie difference, fish packed in spring water have a milder flavor, but a drier texture. Also look for fish in shelf-stable pouches.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.