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Canned sardines dangerous?

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  • Canned sardines dangerous?

    I often eat two cans of sardines for lunch. Is there a concern for heavy metals (mercury, etc)? I also like canned salmon. I eat fresh fish too but it's very convenient for work to bring a few cans a week.
    Paleo since April 2013 for health reasons.

  • #2
    You could cut your finger when pulling open the lid of the can.

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    • #3
      Sardines have minimal levels of mercury. However, it may still be easy to consume more mercury than you might like by having sardines often. If you are concerned about eating too much canned fish, I've found it easy to bake 2 salmon fillets for dinner and throw one in a tupper ware container to take with me the next day with some veggies (on the side or a as a salad). I have maybe 2 cans of sardines a week just to focus more on whole food consumption.
      "It is never too late to be what you might have been" - George Eliot

      12 week health challenge (95%, more moving)
      Start -- March 1st -- 173.4
      End -- May 24th -- 158.6

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      • #4
        Just limit how much of it you eat, I should think it would be fine unless you were eating it every day obviously.

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        • #5
          Sea Turtle Restoration Project*:*Got Mercury?

          It's a calculator to figure out how much mercury you're getting from the fish you eat.

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          • #6
            I don't know about sardines in particular, but according to this article, mercury in most fish is neutralized by the selenium they contain.

            Is eating fish safe? A lot safer than not eating fish!

            The bisphenol A from the laquer inside the tin worries me though.

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            • #7
              Thanks! I read the articlem it's interesting. I will google Bisphenol A...
              And I will be very careful not to cut off any vital organs next time I open a tin!
              Paleo since April 2013 for health reasons.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jasperb View Post
                I don't know about sardines in particular, but according to this article, mercury in most fish is neutralized by the selenium they contain.

                Is eating fish safe? A lot safer than not eating fish!

                The bisphenol A from the laquer inside the tin worries me though.
                The jury's still very out on BPA (keep reading Chris Kresser, he wrote about this recently). While I agree that limiting it to whatever extent possible is probably prudent, I would rather see someone eat canned sardines (which, along with egg yolks and ruminant livers I consider to be one of nature's multivitamins) in a can whose lining contains BPA than to see them not eat them.
                The Champagne of Beards

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                • #9
                  The danger level of mercury and BPA is hard to put into numbers--it might turn out to be more hypothetical than realistic. On the other hand seafood is pretty much the A+ meal choice so eating it instead of anything else will produce visible benefits and I'm okay with that tradeoff.

                  Lots of variation between brands! I don't know about your area's availability but Sustainable Sea and Wild Planet seem pretty groovy.
                  37//6'3"/185

                  My peculiar nutrition glossary and shopping list

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                  • #10
                    Sardines are fine. It's the larger fish like tuna that are at higher risks for heavy metal contamination, since it takes them a long time to grow to their massive size. Snall fishes are mostly not a problem.
                    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                    "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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                    • #11
                      Thanks!
                      I buy RainCoastTrading brand and it says no BPA. I will keep eating my sardines, I love it in soup for lunch! I even get cravings for sardines... so weird!
                      Paleo since April 2013 for health reasons.

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                      • #12
                        I eat frequently them at my desk with hot sauce--I think your cravings are just your body letting you know it's helping.

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                        • #13
                          I also eat canned sardines quite a few times a week so thanks for this post!

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