How many calories in a fresh tuna steak?

A fresh tuna steak is a delicious and nutritious meal choice. But many people wonder just how many calories are in a serving of tuna steak. The calorie count can vary depending on the size, cut, and preparation method. This article will provide a detailed breakdown of the average calories per serving of tuna steak to help you make informed dietary choices.

Quick Answer

On average, a 3 ounce (85 gram) serving of raw yellowfin tuna steak contains about 110 calories.

Calorie Factors

Several factors affect the calorie content of tuna steak:

Tuna Species

There are several species of tuna that are commonly eaten as steak, including:

  • Yellowfin tuna – 110 calories in 3 ounces
  • Bluefin tuna – 144 calories in 3 ounces
  • Albacore tuna – 116 calories in 3 ounces
  • Bigeye tuna – 123 calories in 3 ounces

As you can see, calories per serving can vary significantly depending on the type of tuna. Bluefin tuna tends to be highest in fat and calories, while yellowfin is generally lower.

Serving Size

Larger portion sizes mean more calories. A 6 ounce tuna steak will have roughly double the calories of a 3 ounce serving. When dining out, pay attention to the weight listed on the menu.

Cut of Tuna

Calories may also differ depending on which part of the tuna is used for the steak:

  • Loin or center cut – leaner with fewer calories
  • Belly or side cut – fattier with more calories

For example, a 3 ounce serving of bluefin tuna loin may have 120 calories while the belly could have 170 calories.

Cooking Method

How the tuna steak is prepared also impacts its nutrition profile:

  • Raw – no additional calories
  • Grilled – minimal additional calories
  • Broiled or baked – very little added fat or calories
  • Pan-fried in oil – significantly increases calories and fat

Frying adds a significant amount of oil, boosting the calories. Raw or gently cooked tuna will be lowest in calories.

Added Ingredients

What you add to your tuna steak can also increase its calorie count:

  • Breading or batter adds carbs and calories
  • Sauces like soy sauce, teriyaki, or creamy sauces add sugars, fats, and calories
  • Oil, butter, or other fats used in cooking or dressing the tuna after cooking

To keep your meal lower in calories, avoid fried preparations, heavy sauces, and added fats. Season simply with herbs, spices, citrus, or a drizzle of olive oil.

Nutrition Facts

Now that we’ve looked at the factors affecting calorie content, let’s examine the nutrition facts for an average serving of tuna steak:

3 Ounce Serving of Raw Yellowfin Tuna

Nutrient Amount
Calories 110
Protein 23g
Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0.3g
Carbohydrates 0g

As you can see, raw tuna is very high in protein, with 23 grams making up the majority of its 110 calories. It is also very low in fat, especially saturated fat, and contains no carbohydrates.

3 Ounce Serving of Grilled Yellowfin Tuna

Nutrient Amount
Calories 130
Protein 23g
Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 0.5g
Carbohydrates 0g

When the tuna is grilled, it picks up a bit of additional fat from the cooking process. But it still remains high in protein, low in carbs, and relatively low in total fat and calories.

Daily Calorie Needs

To put the 110-130 calories per 3 ounce serving of tuna steak into context, let’s look at recommended daily calorie intake based on age, gender, and activity level:

Group Sedentary Moderately Active Active
Child 4-8 years 1,200-1,400 1,400-1,600 1,400-1,800
Child 9-13 years 1,400-1,600 1,600-2,000 1,800-2,200
Teen Girl 14-18 years 1,800 2,000 2,400
Teen Boy 14-18 years 2,000 2,400-2,800 2,800-3,200
Adult Woman 19-30 years 2,000-2,200 2,000-2,400 2,400-2,800
Adult Man 19-30 years 2,400-2,600 2,600-2,800 3,000
Adult Woman 31-50 years 1,800-2,000 2,000-2,200 2,400
Adult Man 31-50 years 2,200-2,400 2,400-2,600 2,800-3,000
Adult Woman 51+ years 1,600 1,800 2,000-2,200
Adult Man 51+ years 2,000-2,200 2,200-2,400 2,400-2,800

A 3 ounce serving of tuna steak provides around 6-10% of daily calorie needs for most adults and children. For very active teens and adults, it can supply closer to 5%.

This moderate calorie contribution can make tuna steak a great addition to a well-balanced, calorie-controlled diet for weight management or overall nutrition.

Weight Loss Diets

On specialized weight loss diets like the Mayo Clinic Diet, a fresh tuna steak is an excellent lean protein choice that fits well into the diet plan.

The Mayo Clinic Diet recommends:

  • 1,200-1,400 calories per day during the initial 2 week quick weight loss phase
  • Gradually increasing to 1,400-1,600 calories during the sustained weight loss phase

A 3-4 ounce serving of fresh tuna can provide around 10% of the total daily calories on this diet. It supplies protein to help you feel full and satisfied while keeping your calorie intake reduced for weight loss.

Sample Meal Plan

Here is a sample 1,500 calorie day meal plan with tuna steak on the Mayo Clinic Diet:

  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 slice whole wheat toast, 1/2 grapefruit (300 calories)
  • Lunch: 4 ounce tuna steak, 1 cup steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup brown rice (450 calories)
  • Dinner: 4 ounces chicken breast, 2 cups mixed salad greens, 1 tbsp dressing, 1/2 cup quinoa (550 calories)
  • Snacks: 1 medium apple, 12 almonds (200 calories)

As you can see, the 4 ounce tuna steak provides a lean protein midpoint that helps keep you feeling satisfied on fewer daily calories for weight loss.

Diabetes Diets

Fresh tuna can also fit well into a diet for managing diabetes or prediabetes.

The American Diabetes Association does not prescribe specific calorie intakes but does emphasize healthy eating patterns.

For diabetes management, tuna steak provides:

  • High quality lean protein to help maintain muscle mass
  • Lots of nutrition without excess calories
  • No carbs to minimize spikes in blood sugar
  • Heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids

A fresh tuna steak can be a diabetes superfood. Try it baked, broiled, or grilled then paired with non-starchy veggies and a side salad.

Sample Diabetes Meal Plan

Here is a day of meals for diabetes management including a fresh tuna steak:

  • Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, 1/2 avocado, 1 slice whole wheat toast (450 calories)
  • Lunch: 3 ounces tuna steak, 1 cup roasted brussels sprouts, 2 cups salad greens with balsamic vinegar (380 calories)
  • Dinner: 4 ounces salmon, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1 cup steamed broccoli (500 calories)

This provides around 1,300 calories with excellent sources of protein and healthy fats while minimizing carbs and blood sugar spikes.

Heart Healthy Diet

Following a heart healthy diet focused on controlling blood pressure and cholesterol is also made easier with fresh tuna steak.

The American Heart Association recommends:

  • 8-10 ounces of seafood like tuna per week
  • Focusing on lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy
  • Limiting processed meats, sweets, sugary drinks, and tropical oils

Tuna steak delivers cardiovascular benefits:

  • Lean protein without excess saturated fat
  • Heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids
  • Low sodium
  • High amounts of B vitamins, selenium, potassium, vitamin D, and other nutrients that support heart health

Enjoy tuna steak baked, broiled, or grilled as part of a balanced heart healthy plate that also includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Sample Heart Healthy Meals with Tuna

Here are two heart healthy dinner recipes using fresh tuna steak:

Sesame Crusted Tuna with Citrus Salad

  • 4 ounces tuna steak coated in sesame seeds and broiled
  • 2 cups mixed salad greens tossed with 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 cup steamed carrots

Grilled Tuna and Vegetable Kebabs

  • Skewers with 3 ounces tuna, peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup baked sweet potato
  • 1 cup steamed kale
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt dipping sauce

Both provide around 500 calories per serving with excellent heart healthy nutrition from tuna and other whole foods.

Low Carb Diet

For low carb diets like the Atkins diet or ketogenic diet, fresh tuna steak is a phenomenal choice.

With zero carbs, a serving of tuna steak provides:

  • Lean protein to prevent loss of muscle mass
  • Nutrition without boosting blood sugars or insulin
  • Fullness to help reduce appetite and cravings

Enjoy tuna steak topped with avocado, baked with tomato sauce and vegetables, grilled as a burger patty, or served over a arugula salad for delicious low carb meals.

Sample Low Carb Meals with Tuna

Here are some low carb lunch and dinner recipes built around fresh tuna steak:

Tuna Burger Lettuce Wraps

  • Tuna burger patty made with 4 ounces tuna steak
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Tomato, onion, avocado
  • Mustard and mayo for dressing

Tuna Steaks with Zucchini Noodles

  • 3 ounces tuna steak, grilled
  • Zucchini noodles tossed in olive oil
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Ranch dressing

Both provide a deliciously fresh, low carb meal built around a hearty tuna steak.


A 3 ounce serving of fresh tuna steak provides 110-130 calories depending on the cut, cooking method, and added ingredients. Tuna is packed with lean protein, heart healthy fats, and key nutrients while being very low in carbs in calories.

Tuna steak fits perfectly into any healthy diet from weight loss to diabetes management or heart health. Enjoy it simply seasoned and cooked with plenty of vegetables and other whole foods for a super nutritious, lower calorie meal.

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