Are Sardines Good for You?

Sardines are an acquired taste. Also known as pilchards, they are on the oily side and are part of the Clupeidae family. They are usually available in cans and have a very strong fishy flavor. Many people like to add them to their recipes for added flavor and extra nutrition. Sardines are not limited to one area and are enjoyed by people around the world.

Are Sardines Good for You?

Sardines have so much going for them that the answer is a resounding YES! They are brimming with omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your heart, and they provide natural vitamin D which is usually added to foods that have been enriched. Even though they are good for you, keep in mind the amount of sodium you eat and the number of calories per serving; if you eat too much, you can easily turn a heathy food into one that can do more harm than good.

Reasons Why Sardines Are Good for You

Are sardines good for you? Yes of course, they provide various health benefits with the vitamins and minerals they contain.

1.    They Are Full of Vitamins

To say that sardines are vitamin packed is an understatement. Just 3.75 ounce can yield more than 100% of the daily requirement of B12, 63% of vitamin D, 24% of vitamin B3, 12% of vitamin B2 as well as a smaller amount many other vitamins. And the most important of all their health benefits comes from the easy access to vitamin D as it is contained in very few foods.

2.    They Are Packed with Minerals

People who follow the Paleo diet and those who cannot tolerate dairy products can get 35% of the RDA of calcium from a 3.75 ounce can of sardines. This is an easy substitution for dairy, which is a major source of calcium. As if that is not enough, sardines can also provide you with plenty of minerals. Each can contains 69% of selenium; 45% of phosphorus; 15% of iron; 9% of magnesium; 9% of copper; and 8% of zinc. It is no wonder that the answer is clear when people ask, “Are sardines good for you?”

3.    They Contain Healthy Fats

Many types of seafood provide an impressive profile of fatty acid and sardines lead the way. The complete content of the fat is contingent on whether the sardines are packed in olive oil, which will contribute additional monounsaturated fat, or canola oil which is not preferable adding polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). When you take into consideration just the fish, they offer a ratio of 12:1 of omega-3 to omega-6 PUFA.

4.    They Can Reduce Inflammation & Risk of Disease

The benefit of sardines reducing inflammation comes from the fact that a single can contains half of the daily requirements for omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have a positive effect on many medical situations such as depression, ADHD, anxiety, arthritis, specific kinds of cancer, and heart disease. They can lower triglycerides and high cholesterol numbers.

5.    They Are Able to Control Blood Sugar Levels

One of the things that help to keep blood sugar levels even is the combination of protein and healthy fats. This combination is most effective in aiding the body in releasing sugar from refined carbohydrates, such as pasta or white bread. Once the sugar is released, it is able to flow more smoothly eliminating the chance of a spike caused by the sugar with a dip not far behind. This is very beneficial for those who are insulin resistant, have metabolic syndrome, or are diabetic.

6.    They Promote Weight Loss

Are sardines good for you in weight loss? Yes, when you combine healthy fat with protein, you have a winning combination that helps eliminate food cravings while creating a feeling of being full. Sardines are packed with beneficial nutrients as well as heathy fats and all at a low number of calories. While sardines are not only for people who want to lose weight, it has all of the components of a valuable weight loss tool. Being able to control cravings while not feeling hungry is much of the battle that must be dealt with in weight reduction.

Cautions to Take When Consuming Sardines

With all of the positive points listed about sardines, there are a few things that should be considered before eating them.

  • Excess purine: Purines form RNA and DNA and sardines carry a high level of purines. The purines work their way into becoming uric acid, which in great amounts puts undo pressure on the kidneys whose job is to flush them out.
  • Mercury: Sardines as well as other fish have been subject to pollutants such as mercury which has been released into the atmosphere and into the water. In consuming an excess of fish that contains this pollutant, you could suffer from mercury poisoning. If a normal level of sardines is consumed, this shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Allergies: Sardines have specific compounds in them that are called vasoactive ammines. Some of these include serotonin, tyramine, histamine, tryptamine, and phenylethylamine. These components can create reactions such as headache, increased heart rate, constriction of the blood vessels, asthma, and hypertension.

All in all, you can safely answer yes when asked "are sardines good for you?" However, consume sardines in moderation if you are pregnant or trying to conceive. It is advised that you keep your intake of sardines at two servings (6 ounces each) per week. If you are a relatively healthy person, you can consume higher amounts without a problem.

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