Tuna in Oil vs Water – Which One is Better

by Braxton Taylor

Tuna in oil vs water. Is one better than the other? Especially in the context of preparedness and long term storage?

What’s the difference between them?

Tuna in Oil vs Water

The main difference is this.. Tuna in oil has about four times as much fat as tuna in water. Consequently, tuna in oil contains more calories than tuna in water for the same size can.

If you’re here viewing this from a calorie-conscious point of view (e.g. watching one’s calories), then tuna in water is your likely better choice. Though you probably instinctively already knew that.

From a prepping and preparedness point of view, in my opinion, tuna in oil is a better choice than tuna in water. That’s because one factor we’re looking for is calorie density for what’s on our shelves (storage efficiency). Unfortunately for me, my issue here is that Mrs. J prefers tuna in water. Oh well.. Happy wife, Happy life..

Before we go further, here’s a reminder (caution) about potential Mercury in tuna. The general advice that I’ve read is to not consume more than one or two cans of tuna per week.

Calories and Fat in a can of Tuna in Oil

It may vary a bit depending on your brand of tuna. One example – A 5 ounce can of solid Genova Yellowfin Tuna in oil (olive oil).

210 Calories per can of tuna in oil
11 grams of fat
29 grams of protein! (excellent)

Calories and Fat in a can of Tuna in Water

Here’s an example of tuna in water. A 5 ounce can of Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore Tuna in water.

130 calories
1 gram of fat
29 grams of protein! (excellent)

Genova Yellowfin 8-pack (olive oil)

Chicken of the Sea Solid White 8-Pack (in water)

Tuna in Oil — Better for Preparedness

Overall, it seems to me that from a preparedness standpoint, tuna in oil may be the better choice.

Why? Because of higher fat and subsequent calorie content.

It may seem counterintuitive during times of non-emergency, or while being health-aware. But more fat and calories will be important during challenging times.

Some may suggest that the oil may go rancid in a can of tuna versus tuna in water. However I’m not so sure… because it’s ‘canned’. Regardless though, one should rotate their food storage anyway – before such things might happen. For example, maybe you’ve acquired ~ 2 years worth of canned tuna (given your typical consumption of tuna). Well, use it! Rotate. First in, First out.

I love that canned tuna is exceptionally high in protein. Important!

Which Tastes Better, Tuna in Oil or Tuna in Water?

The Canned Tuna Taste Test

Apart from the preparedness benefit of more fat and calories for tuna in oil, which tastes better? Tuna in oil or tuna in water?

Mrs. J prefers solid white tuna in water.
I like canned tuna in oil. I will admit however, that clean up is much easier for canned tuna in water.

[ Read: Canned Protein Foods for Preparedness ]

[ Read: How Much Protein in your Deep Pantry? ]

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