Whatever it is, put some tuna in it
By Sophie Isbister, Life & Style Editor
Let’s talk about protein. Specifically, let’s talk about how the amount of protein in a tin of tuna can give your body the energy it needs to get you to your next meal.
There are a lot of plant- and dairy-based ways to get protein, such as oats (13 grams per half cup), tofu (10 grams per half cup), kale (three grams in one cup), or cottage cheese (13 grams per four ounces). However, the protein that comes from animal sources contains all nine essential amino acids (amino acids that your body doesn’t produce on its own), making it a complete protein. Tinned tuna is a lunchtime hero, which is why it’s my Lunch of the Week nominee to help you stick to any diet-based resolutions you might have made.
When eaten with carbohydrates, protein extends the amount of time that the carbs release energy into your body. It makes that 10 a.m. cereal binge seem like not such a bad idea, as long as you follow it with a hard-boiled egg—which contains approximately six grams of protein.
So how much protein do we need? The average Canadian adult needs 0.8 grams per kg of body weight per day (unless you’re an athlete, then you need a bit more at 1.2-1.4 grams/kg/day). So, a 180-lb person needs to consume about 65.5 grams of protein daily to ensure they have enough pep in their step and enough body fuel to build and repair muscles. Which is why the 15 grams of protein found in one tin of flaked light tuna in water can provide the boost your diet needs to kick you into the protein sweet spot.
Here are some great ways to slip tuna into your lunch:
Make a tuna pasta salad with tuna, mayo, cold pasta, tomatoes, celery, and whatever other vegetables and spices you want to add.
Make a tuna casserole for dinner and then bring the leftovers to school the next day.
Add a tin of tuna to a green salad from home, or greens from the cafeteria salad bar.
Eat it plain with crackers.
Rip off Starbucks and make your own tuna wrap, with thai spices, carrot, and cabbage.
Put it in Kraft Dinner (seriously—don’t judge me).
Add it to a bowl of plain rice with some vegetables.
Tuna travel tip: buy no-drain tuna to save on a mess at school, or drain it at home and take it in your Tupperware.
Tuna enjoyment tip: Store it in your fridge so it’s nice and cold if you need it for a salad or sandwich.