How many calories does yellowfin tuna have?

Yellowfin tuna is a popular fish prized for its flavor and versatility. As a nutrient-dense food, it provides high-quality protein as well as important vitamins and minerals. However, many people wonder about the calorie content of yellowfin tuna.

When considering the calories in yellowfin tuna, it’s important to account for different cuts and cooking methods. In general, a 3-ounce portion of raw yellowfin tuna contains about 110 calories. This portion size provides about 25 grams of protein, making tuna an excellent high-protein, low-calorie food.

The calorie content changes once the fish is cooked. Baking, grilling, or broiling tuna results in a similar calorie count to raw tuna. However, tuna packed in oil or other fats absorbs some of those calories, increasing the total.

Below is a detailed overview of the calories in different cuts and preparations of yellowfin tuna. This guide will help you determine the calorie counts for serving sizes of this nutritious, flavorful fish.

Calories in 3 Ounces of Raw Yellowfin Tuna

Most nutrition information for fish is provided for raw portions. Knowing the calories in raw tuna helps you determine how cooking methods increase or decrease the total.

A 3-ounce serving of raw yellowfin tuna contains about:

– 110 calories
– 25g protein
– 0g carbohydrates
– 0g sugar
– 1g total fat

With no carbs or sugar and minimal fat, raw tuna is an excellent choice if you’re watching your calorie intake. The high protein content also promotes satiety, allowing a small portion to make you feel full.

When weighing tuna portions, it’s helpful to know the approximate conversions:

– 3 ounces tuna = about 1⁄4 pound tuna
– 3 ounces tuna = about 85 grams tuna

So if you purchase tuna from a fish market or butcher counter, request a 1⁄4 pound portion to get approximately 3 ounces. This serving size applies to tuna steaks as well as raw fillets or chunks.

Calories in 3 Ounces of Canned Tuna Packed in Water

Canned tuna is a quick, convenient way to add tuna to your diet. Canning the fish involves cooking it, which changes the calorie content slightly.

A 3-ounce serving of canned yellowfin tuna packed in water contains about:

– 116 calories
– 26g protein
– 0g carbohydrates
– 0g sugar
– 1g total fat

The canning process adds a few calories but doesn’t drastically change the nutrition profile. Canned tuna in water is still an excellent source of protein and minimal fat.

When purchasing canned tuna, check the label for serving sizes. Cans often contain 4 to 6 ounces total.

Calories in 3 Ounces of Canned Tuna Packed in Oil

For added flavor and moisture, some canned tuna is packed in oil rather than water. However, the oil adds significant calories to the fish.

A 3-ounce serving of canned yellowfin tuna packed in oil contains about:

– 144 calories
– 25g protein
– 0g carbohydrates
– 0g sugar
– 6g total fat

The additional 30+ calories per serving come from the absorbed oil. If your diet allows, tuna packed in oil can be a tastier alternative. But for the lowest calorie options, stick with tuna canned in water.

Calories in 3 Ounces of Grilled Yellowfin Tuna

Grilling brings out delicious, smoky flavors in yellowfin tuna without adding significant calories.

A 3-ounce serving of grilled yellowfin tuna contains about:

– 125 calories
– 25g protein
– 0g carbohydrates
– 0g sugar
– 2g total fat

The small increase in calories compared to raw tuna comes from a bit of absorbed oil or marinade. But the total remains very low, especially for the protein punch it provides.

Grilled yellowfin tuna also serves up plenty of B vitamins and minerals like selenium, phosphorus, and potassium. Choosing this lean preparation method allows you to take advantage of tuna’s stellar nutritional benefits.

Calories in 3 Ounces of Seared Yellowfin Tuna

A hot pan-sear gives tuna a deliciously caramelized crust. And like grilling, it adds minimal calories to this fish.

A 3-ounce serving of seared yellowfin tuna contains about:

– 128 calories
– 25g protein
– 0g carbohydrates
– 0g sugar
– 2g total fat

To pan-sear tuna, use a small amount of high-heat oil like avocado, grapeseed, or rice bran oil. Avoid butter or other fats that can soak into the fish and drive up the calorie count.

The quick sear leaves the interior of the tuna rare to medium-rare to maintain moisture and flavor. So you get all the benefits of a fresh tuna steak without high calories.

Calories in 3 Ounces of Baked or Broiled Yellowfin Tuna

Baking or broiling tuna allows the fish to gently cook to the desired doneness. While baking does add a small number of calories, broiling adds minimal to none.

A 3-ounce serving of baked yellowfin tuna contains about:

– 123 calories
– 25g protein
– 0g carbohydrates
– 0g sugar
– 2g total fat

A 3-ounce serving of broiled yellowfin tuna contains about:

– 110 calories
– 25g protein
– 0g carbohydrates
– 0g sugar
– 1g total fat

For both cooking methods, use minimal amounts of oil or butter just to prevent sticking, if needed. This will prevent significant calorie increases compared to raw tuna.

Cooking time will depend on thickness and doneness. In general, tuna steaks take about 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Flaky fish means it’s done.

Does Cooking Method Change Calories in Tuna?

As these nutrition breakdowns demonstrate, most healthy cooking techniques add minimal calories to fresh tuna. Methods like grilling, broiling, searing, and baking increase the calorie count by 10-15 calories or fewer per 3-ounce serving.

Deep-frying adds the most significant number of calories to tuna. Batters and oil soak into the fish, increasing fat and calorie content. A 3-ounce serving of fried yellowfin tuna may contain about 200 calories or more.

Healthiest Cooking Methods for Tuna

To keep tuna low in calories, use these cooking methods:

– Grilling
– Broiling
– Searing or pan-frying in a small amount of oil
– Baking

Avoid adding high-calorie ingredients like lots of oil, thick batters, or breaded coatings.

Higher Calorie Cooking Methods for Tuna

These cooking methods significantly increase the calories in tuna:

– Deep frying
– Serving tuna in heavy, cream-based sauces
– Adding high-fat toppings like bacon or avocado

In some dishes, the extra calories may be worth it. But for everyday cooking, stick with lighter preparations.

What About Smoked Tuna?

Smoking imparts delicious savory flavor to tuna. However, similar to frying, the process can add substantial calories and fat compared to cooking fresh tuna.

A 3-ounce serving of smoked yellowfin tuna contains about:

– 145 calories
– 25g protein
– 0g carbohydrates
– 0g sugar
– 4g total fat

Smoked tuna is a treat that’s worth the indulgence. Just account for the extra 30+ calories per serving compared to fresh cooked tuna.

Tuna Nutrition Facts per 3 Ounces

Now that you know approximate calories for a standard tuna portion, let’s zoom out and see the full nutrition profile.

The table below shows the nutrient breakdown for 3 ounces each of raw, canned (in water and oil), grilled, and smoked yellowfin tuna:

Type of Tuna Calories Protein Carbs Sugar Fat
Raw 110 25g 0g 0g 1g
Canned in water 116 26g 0g 0g 1g
Canned in oil 144 25g 0g 0g 6g
Grilled 125 25g 0g 0g 2g
Smoked 145 25g 0g 0g 4g

In addition to protein and fat, tuna provides:

– B vitamins, especially B3 (niacin), B6, and B12
– Selenium
– Potassium
– Phosphorus
– Magnesium
– Iron
– Zinc
– Vitamin A
– Vitamin K

So with each serving, you take advantage of many vital nutrients. Choosing tuna frequently can support a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet.

Daily Calorie Needs for Tuna Servings

To determine how tuna fits into your overall eating plan, consider your total daily calorie needs.

Here are estimated daily calorie requirements for different lifestyles and genders:

– Sedentary women: 1,800-2,000 calories
– Sedentary men: 2,200-2,400 calories
– Moderately active women: 2,000-2,200 calories
– Moderately active men: 2,400-2,800 calories
– Active women: 2,400 calories
– Active men: 3,000 calories

Using these estimates, a 3-ounce serving of tuna equates to:

– 5-6% of daily calories for a sedentary woman
– 3-5% of daily calories for a sedentary man
– 5-6% of daily calories for a moderately active woman
– 4-5% of daily calories for a moderately active man
– 5% of daily calories for an active woman
– 4% of daily calories for an active man

As a lean protein, tuna provides a significant amount of nutrition for relatively low calories. It can fit into almost any eating plan.

Tuna for Weight Loss

Due to its stellar nutrition stats, tuna is an excellent choice if you’re trying to lose weight. Protein promotes satiety so a serving of tuna can leave you feeling full.

Some research shows that bumping up protein intake to 30% of total daily calories, or about 150 grams per day, can support healthy weight loss.

To hit a target of 150 grams of protein daily, you’d need to eat about three 3-ounce servings of tuna. Spread these servings throughout your day along with other protein foods like lean meats, eggs, dairy, beans, and nuts.

Going over 30% of calories from protein or any one food group is difficult without supplements. So tuna alone likely won’t provide enough protein for significant weight loss. But combined with more protein-rich whole foods, it can be a nutritious part of a reduced-calorie diet.

Tips for Losing Weight with Tuna

Here are some tips for effectively using tuna for weight loss:

– Choose tuna packed in water rather than oil to reduce calories
– Enjoy tuna as part of meal prep lunches and dinners to increase protein
– Add tuna to salads for a lean protein topping
– Make tuna salad stuffed tomatoes or bell peppers for low-carb lunches
– Grill or sear tuna steaks for dinner two or three times per week
– Bake tuna casseroles with mostly non-starchy vegetables to up protein and fiber
– Flavor tuna with low-calorie options like lemon juice, herbs, mustard, and vinegar

While tuna itself is relatively low in calories, what you eat with it also matters. Focus on non-starchy vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and other lean proteins to round out high-protein tuna meals.

Mercury Concerns with Eating Tuna

It’s well-known that tuna contains mercury, which occurs naturally in the environment. But is it safe to eat tuna regularly while keeping this toxin low?

The answer is yes. Here’s what you need to know about minimizing mercury exposure when eating tuna:

– Focus on “light” canned tuna rather than “white” or albacore tuna. Light tuna like skipjack contain lower mercury levels.
– Stick to 1-2 servings (about 3-6 ounces) of tuna per week if you regularly eat fish. This limits mercury exposure.
– Avoid eating tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel. These fish are very high in mercury.
– Pregnant women, those breastfeeding, and young children should limit albacore tuna and high-mercury fish. Up to 6 ounces (170 grams) of light tuna per week is considered safe.
– For most adults, the benefits of eating fish outweigh potential mercury risks. Focus on a variety of seafood, including those lowest in mercury.

Seafood, especially tuna, provides excellent nutrition. Consuming 1-2 servings of low-mercury fish like light tuna each week poses little risk for most people.

Tuna Recipes

Ready to enjoy delicious tuna meals that keep calories in check? Here are some tasty recipes to try:

1. Tuna Poke Bowl

Poke bowls pack tons of flavor and nutrition. This recipe pairs tuna with brown rice, edamame, avocado, cucumbers, and carrots for a balanced meal containing about 390 calories.

2. Grilled Tuna Tacos with Jalapeno Slaw

In these tacos, seasoned grilled tuna teams up with crunchy cabbage slaw. They provide about 358 calories per two-taco serving.

3. Tuna Casserole with Peas and Potatoes

This lighter tuna casserole includes Greek yogurt for creaminess. A generous 3⁄4 cup serving has approximately 331 calories.

4. Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

Make your tuna salad more exciting by stuffing it into tomato halves. Each tomato half has around 145 calories.

5. Tuna Steak with Lemon-Herb Sauce

Take advantage of tuna’s stellar lean protein in this dinner entree. A 5-ounce tuna steak with lemon-herb sauce has 375 calories.

The Takeaway on Calories in Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin tuna contains about 110 calories in a 3-ounce portion when fresh or canned in water, increasing slightly with cooking to 125-145 calories depending on the method. Choosing tuna canned in oil significantly increases the calorie density. However, tuna remains a lean source of protein, providing 25 grams per 3-ounce serving. It can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet, especially when fresh or canned without added oils. Eat tuna in moderation along with a variety of other protein foods and plenty of produce as part of a balanced, nutrient-dense eating plan.

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