Question: What is the difference between solid white and chunk light tuna?
Answer: It’s all in the species.
Albacore tuna is the only tuna that can be classified as white-meat tuna. It’s canned in larger chunks. The fish weighs 10-25 pounds typically, but some get as large as 100 pounds.
Tuna labeled “light” or “chunk light” is commonly from the skipjack species. It’s pinker, and comes in smaller chunks or flakes. This is the most commonly packed canned tuna. Skipjack are smaller than albacore.
Yellowfin tuna, which has a light pink flesh and falls under the “light” category, is used too.
Tuna comes in many varieties on grocery shelves. Some is sold in pouches, which are an easy lunch option. Some is seasoned or marinated.
Pay attention to the label. All canned tuna is cooked, and then packed in oil or water. Tuna packed in oil will have more calories. Much canned tuna has high sodium. Some brands now have low- or reduced-sodium varieties.
A key recommendation of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is to consume more seafood, about 8 ounces a week. Seafood like tuna contains healthy fats that are associated with helping to reduce the risks of heart disease.
Tuna Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
This is ideal for lunch or dinner. The celery leaves are a great addition to the tuna.
2 medium-large ripe tomatoes
1 can (5 ounces) favorite tuna, drained
1 rib celery with a few leaves, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped, optional
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 ½ teaspoons red or white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
With a sharp knife, slice a very thin piece off the bottom of the tomatoes, if needed, so they will stand upright. Remove a ¼ inch off the top of each tomato. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Roughly chop the pulp and tomato bottoms and place in a large bowl.
Add the tuna, celery, capers if using, oil, mayonnaise and vinegar. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Stir in the parsley leaves.
Spoon the tuna mixture into the tomatoes. Serve with the tops.
Cook’s note: The tuna mixture can be prepared without the tomato and parsley and refrigerated for two days. Stir them in just before serving.
Adapted from Woman’s Day magazine, August 2011 issue.
91 calories (54 percent from fat ), 6 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat ), 10 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 366 mg sodium, 1 mg cholesterol, 2 grams fiber.
©2012 Detroit Free Press
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