Last updated on April 20th, 2017
A tin of sardines makes a quick, easy, nutritious and portable low-carb lunch or snack. It’s another food item that I seldom, or never, ate before going low-carb, a hard-to-explain list that includes salmon, almonds, macadamia nuts, and fresh avocado.
Lately, I’ve been buying Season Brand Sardines in five-tin packs at Costco. (For the record, I receive no consideration from either of those companies, but may from Amazon.com, which sells several brands of sardines, including the Season Skinless and Boneless Sardines in Olive Oil, 3.75-Ounce Tins.) Aside from reliable quality and a decent price at the wholesale store, the thing I like most about Season Brand Sardines is that they are packed in olive oil. That beats the more common soy-bean oil by a long-shot, both for flavor and healthfulness.
A search on Amazon.com for “sardines in olive oil” reveals several brands of the little yummies packed this way. The only other I’ve tried are the Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lightly Smoked, 4.375 Ounce Tin. These are lightly smoked, and have the skins on.
At work, I keep a secret cache of sardine tins in the back of a file cabinet drawer, and will open one up for a quick lunch at my desk, eating straight from the tin with a plastic fork — or better yet, with a spoon that allows me to consume all that lovely olive oil, too.
At home, I might take a few extra minutes to plop the sardines into a frying pan and heat them through, then serve them up on a plate with a side-vegetable. Or I might add the sardines (oil and all) to the top of a green salad. Or I might eat the morsels straight from the tin, the same as a work, as the mood strikes me.
The Season Brand Sardines that I buy are skinless, boneless, and wild-caught, with salt added. The package text claims that the fish have been “sustainably harvested” and certified parasite-free by a rabbi. I have no reason to doubt either claim.
The package text also claims that the 3.75 ounce tin contains two servings; that I do have reason to doubt. The tin contains three little fish, each about the size of my index-finger. For me, it’s a single serving. So, the following nutrition facts are for all 3.75 ounces.
Calories = 312
Fat calories = 216 (69%)
Fat = 24g
Carbs = 0g
Protein = 24g
The sardines also provide good amounts of vitamin D, calcium, and iron. Perhaps more significant is that one tin provides about 1,300 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids. Sardines are among the fish with the least mercury concentrations, probably because they are low on the food chain. The official U.S. government advice (for whatever it’s worth) is to eat 8-12 ounces of such fish per week. That would be two or three tins of sardines.
Of course, to enjoy sardines, you will need to be someone who enjoys fish in general. At our house, that’s only me. Anita wouldn’t eat a fish if it were the only food left on earth. Even our cats aren’t fond of seafood. I guess that’s why I view the tin as a single-serving. I have no one to share it with, and I’m not about to put a leftover sardine in the fridge.