Sardines contain a variety of nutrients vital. They are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart, and are a natural source of vitamin D, which is typically obtained from fortified foods. Regardless of the benefits, the fact that canned sardines are good for you depends on a decisive factor: portion control. The calories and sodium you consume can accumulate quickly in amounts that turn a charitable snack into an unhealthy dish.
Dealing with the disadvantages
Depending on the size of the fish, a 1 oz. Serving consists of one or two sardines. When they are canned in oil, a 1 oz. Serving has 59 calories. Even if the sardines are canned in tomato sauce, the same portion has 52 calories. Ingesting too much salt is also a potential concern because you will get 87 mg of sodium from a 1 oz serving serving canned sardines in oil. Sodium actually increases to 117 mg when in tomato sauce. Based on the recommended daily intake of 1,500 mg, 1 oz of sardines provides 6 to 8% of your daily sodium.
Filled with healthy fats
Although low in total fat, sardines are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. They also prevent cardiac arrhythmia, reduce the growth of plaques in the arteries and inflammation. A portion of 1 oz of sardines canned in oil has 0.27 g of omega-3 fatty acids. This amount contributes 25% in women and 17% in men of the recommended daily intake, based on the adequate intake established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. Sardines are low in mercury, which means that pregnant women can consume two 6 oz. Servings a week, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
Get a lot for very little
Vitamin B12 comes mainly from foods of animal origin. The main sources (livers, kidneys and giblets) are not a regular part of most diets, so look for the next best source: fish. A small serving of 1 oz canned sardines provides the total recommended daily intake. Vitamin B12 helps synthesize red blood cells and metabolize fats and proteins. It also reduces the amount of an amino acid in your bloodstream called homocysteine. This can help prevent cardiovascular disease as high levels of homocysteine damage the arteries, according to FamilyDoctor. org.
Surprising source of the solar vitamin
Vitamin D is often called the solar vitamin because it is produced in your skin in response to sunlight.Most dairy products and ready-to-eat cereals are fortified with vitamin D because it is not found naturally in many foods. Fatty fish, including sardines, represent one of the rare natural sources. Since your body can not absorb calcium without vitamin D, this vitamin is necessary to maintain strong bones. Vitamin D can also reduce your risk of heart disease, although more studies are needed to verify its exact role, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. An ounce of canned sardines contributes 9% of your daily allowable intake.