Protein Punch on a Budget: Unveiling the Champions – Tuna vs. Sardines

Looking for convenient, affordable protein powerhouses? Canned fish shines, with tuna and sardines leading the pack for nutrition and recipe versatility. But which reigns supreme in the protein arena? We dive deep into their nutritional profiles, uncovering the winner for your health and taste buds.

Protein Powerhouse Showdown: Tuna vs. Sardines

Fueling your body, building muscle, and supporting overall health? Protein reigns supreme, and both canned tuna and sardines boast impressive amounts.

Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna, Sea Salt, Canned Tuna, Pole & Line Sustainably Wild-Caught, Non-GMO, Kosher, 5 Ounce Can (Pack of 12)
  • DELICIOUS TUNA STEAK – Our Wild Skipjack Tuna steak is hand-cut, hand packed and cooked only once with a touch of sea salt to retain its natural juices and pristine flavor. We don't add water, broths, or fillers to our tuna, so no need to drain the can
  • CONVENIENCE AND QUALITY – With a convenient pull tab, enjoy this tuna at home or on-the-go for a great-tasting, satisfying snack or healthy lunch. Our tuna steak can also be used in seafood recipes or to elevate any tuna sandwich
  • EXCELLENT SOURCE OF PROTEIN – Our Wild Skipjack Tuna contains 20 g of clean protein per 3 ounces and 374 mg of DHA and EPA Omega 3s. Wild Planet tuna is Non-GMO verified, gluten-free, keto-friendly and Kosher Pareve
  • NATURALLY LOW IN MERCURY – Skipjack Tuna are naturally lower in mercury than other tuna species
  • SUSTAINABLY SOURCED WILD-CAUGHT TUNA – We catch our tuna to the highest sustainability standards. Wild Planet tuna is 100% pole & line caught, eliminating bycatch, or the capture of unintended species. Dolphin & turtle safe
  • Tuna: A 3-ounce serving (85g) packs a punch with 20-25g of complete protein, providing all nine essential amino acids your body needs.
  • Sardines: Don’t be fooled by their size! These mighty fish offer 17-23g of complete protein per serving, making them excellent protein warriors.

Beyond Protein: Unveiling Hidden Champions:

While protein takes center stage, other nutritional aspects set these fish apart:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Both tuna and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. Sardines typically have a higher omega-3 content compared to tuna, making them slightly more advantageous for cardiovascular health.
  • Calcium and Vitamin D: Sardines are also a good source of calcium and vitamin D, especially when the bones are consumed. These nutrients are vital for bone health, and the presence of vitamin D helps in calcium absorption.
  • Mercury Content: A concern with consuming fish is the mercury content. Tuna, especially larger species like albacore, tends to accumulate more mercury than smaller fish like sardines. Thus, sardines are often considered a safer option for frequent consumption, particularly for pregnant women and children.
Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Water with Sea Salt, Tinned Fish, Non-GMO, Sustainable 4.4 Ounce (Pack of 12)
  • DELICIOUS SARDINES IN WATER- Meaty, and scale-free, WIld Planet's Wild Sardines in Water with Sea Salt are delicious, meaty, and tender.
  • CONVENIENCE AND QUALITY- With a convenient pull tab, enjoy these sardines at home or on-the-go for a great-tasting, satisfying snack or healthy lunch.
  • NUTRITIONAL POWERHOUSES- One 3 oz serving contains 18 g of clean protein, 1,800 mg of EPA & DHA Omega 3s and 70% of your daily value of vitamin D.
  • SCALE-FREE- Our Wild Sardines in Water with sea salt contain scale-free skin and bones and are Non-GMO verified, gluten-free, and OU Kosher Pareve.
  • SUSTAINABLY SOURCED- We use sustainable and selective harvesting methods to catch our sardines to help eliminate bycatch. From the North Pacific.

Sustainability Savvy: Tuna vs. Sardines

Eco-conscious choices matter!

  • Sardines: Lower on the food chain and reproducing rapidly, they generally boast better sustainability compared to tuna.
  • Tuna & Sardines: Sustainability varies based on fishing practices. Look for certifications like the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for eco-friendly choices.

Culinary Champions: Tuna vs. Sardines

Both tuna and sardines offer kitchen versatility:

  • Tuna: A mild flavor makes it perfect for salads, sandwiches, and casseroles, pairing well with various ingredients.
  • Sardines: Enjoy them straight from the can, on crackers, or in pasta, salads, and pizzas. Their bolder flavor adds a unique punch.

The Verdict: A Delicious Tie!

Both canned tuna and sardines are champions, excelling in protein and other vital nutrients. The choice boils down to your preferences, dietary needs, and environmental concerns:

  • Max Protein, Low Calorie: Tuna might edge out sardines.
  • Omega-3s, Calcium, Sustainability: Sardines take the crown.

Remember, variety is key! Include both in your diet for a well-rounded nutritional punch.


This article is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content provided herein, including but not limited to, any text, graphics, images, and other material, is for general informational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or health objectives. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on these links and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Your support in purchasing through these links enables us to continue providing valuable content to you. Thank you for your support!