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FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS
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Sardines are fatty fish species from the family of herrings.
Sardines are named after Sardinia, an island in Italy. Sardines can be fished in abundance near the areas of this island, Sardinia, as well as the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and the Mediterranean sea.
Sardines are also known by the name 'pilchards' in some parts of the world. They are small, oily fish that usually live in large groups called 'schools'. The Latin name for sardines is Clupeidae. Sardines have a silvery gray color and unique organs called lateral lines, which allow the school of sardines to swim in synchronization with each other.
Sardines can be consumed while fresh, but they are highly perishable, hence canned sardines are more commonly found in stores. Canned sardines are usually pretty cheap and a good source of vitamins with high oil content, minerals, and nutrients that are necessary for a person’s health.
Before you look for tasty recipes featuring sardines, read on to know more about the daily value of essential nutrients present in sardines along with the related health benefits.
Canned sardines are not very popular in the USA, compared to their consumption in other countries in Europe or Asia. This happens mainly because of the availability of sardines in the region, which is quite low in the USA. Sardines are found comparatively more as canned sardines than fresh ones due to their perishability.
Generally, the canned varieties of sardines come packed with sunflower oil, soy oil, or olive oil, as well as water, tomato juice, or mustard. One can eat these sardines right out of the can, cook them with onions, add them to pasta, or just serve them with mayo or hot sauce. This fish has a lot of options for satiating hunger as well as healthy snacking.
Also, anyone who is prone to having allergic reactions to mercury need not worry about the mercury levels in canned sardines. Sardines feed exclusively on animal plankton, which results in very low levels of mercury in the fish’s body. The nutritional value of canned sardines is on par with the fresh variety as well, making it a very healthy ingredient in one’s diet.
One interesting metaphor which is being used is ‘packed like sardines’ which has obviously been derived from the typical way in which canned sardines are packed together tightly. This phrase means being in a crowded situation with a lot of people or objects, like on a subway or a bus. It is no secret that canned sardines are a lot more popular and easily available to customers than fresh sardines.
Sardines are such a good source of nutrients, minerals, fatty acids, and vitamins that including them in your diet on a regular basis will do you more good than harm.
The vitamins found in sardines are known to help prevent various heart diseases and cancers. Likewise, even canned sardines pack the same essential nutrients as fresh sardines.
Sardines contain omega 3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and are known for preventing heart diseases. These fatty acids also lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of blood clots, hence they are categorized as healthy fats. Patients who have a history of heart attacks are recommended to eat sardines, which are abundant in essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Sardines also provide calcium to the body, which is essential for the bones and muscles. Canned sardines are recommended for pregnant women and aging adults in order to ensure the healthy growth of the fetus in the former and protect bones and joints in the latter. Sardines also provide a source of calcium for those who are lactose intolerant and cannot gain calcium from milk and other dairy products.
Sardines provide vitamin B12, which is one of the most essential nutrients that provide us energy and look after our cardiovascular system.
Sardines also have vitamin D in a healthy amount that is beneficial for humans. Vitamin D is known to improve bone health.
One thing you can count on from canned sardines is the protein boost they provide in a single meal. Protein helps the body to create antibodies against harmful viruses and bacteria, which helps in making our immune systems stronger. Sardines also contain minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, Vitamin E, and zinc, which are known for reducing various health risks and aiding in combating chronic diseases. Several of these nutrients offer considerable health benefits to individuals suffering from heart disease.
Canned sardines also contain niacin and trace amounts of iodine and iron to help with immunity. Apart from this, the absence of calories and sugars in canned sardines makes them a very healthy part of the diet that can be consumed regularly in order to maintain one’s health.
The nutrition profile of canned sardines depends on the brand as well as the variety. For instance, some companies pack sardines in spring water, others pack them in olive oil. So before you pick up a new can of sardines to eat, make sure you go through the nutrition label carefully to determine the suitability of the ingredients to determine the probable health benefits.
While canned sardines do not pose a major threat to one’s life unless that person is highly allergic to fish, they are quite a healthy diet and can be consumed regularly in moderation.
But if one has some special health conditions, there are a few things one needs to look out for before buying any variety of canned sardines.
For anyone who is suffering from high cholesterol or heart disease, it is essential to check the package of canned sardines to see what the sardines are packed with. Most varieties come in olive oil or soybean oil, but there are also varieties that come packed in water. They make a very healthy option for people who suffer from obesity, high cholesterol, or are on a calorie diet.
People who have kidney problems or suffer from gout are advised to not consume sardines, as they naturally contain substances that give rise to the production of uric acid in the body. This rise in uric acid can be harmful to people who have kidney problems or are suffering from gout.
Sardines are saltwater fish, so naturally, their bodies contain high amounts of salt. Sometimes they can also be packed with salted water in order to preserve them. Sardines are not a very healthy option if one has any problems related to blood pressure or needs to control their salt intake vigorously.
Sardines are high in calories, so it is necessary that one who is on a calorie diet must check before eating canned sardines for the calorie content.
It is a common practice to add a certain chemical called Bisphenol A to most canned foods. This chemical is known to increase the risk of ovarian, prostate, and breast cancer in many people. This chemical can also affect brain development, cardiovascular health, as well as hinder male reproductive function.
Although more tests are being conducted on this substance to confirm these side effects, it is much better to avoid any canned food that contains BPA. Hence, it is necessary to check the ingredients of any canned sardines before actually buying them. Lastly, one must always check the expiration dates on sardine cans as expired, damaged, or smelly fish can affect one’s health very badly if consumed.
If one goes to a supermarket or a store, one can easily find several varieties of canned sardines. There are several species of sardine, like Sardinia pilchardus, Sardinella longiceps, and Sardinella gibbosa, available in canned varieties. These canned sardines are usually packed in oils like soybean oil, olive oil, or sunflower oil inside an airtight tin can.
Before being packed, the small fish are washed and go through cooking processes like steaming or deep frying. After being cooked, the sardines are dried and then packed into the tin containers with water, oil, tomato sauce, chili sauce, or mustard sauce. Good quality canned sardines are generally packed after removing their entrails and gills, along with their heads. Wild-caught sardines are a preferable option over farm-raised sardines, as farm-raised sardines are often fed with antibiotics, pesticides, and several other harmful chemicals that can affect our health. Hence, choose your cans wisely so you can enjoy sardines without any worries!
Sardines are extremely rich in protein, which makes them a suitable option for individuals who require higher quantities of protein. This includes athletes or individuals who are recovering from an injury. High quality protein is rich in amino acids, which is an essential ingredient required by the body for the muscles to repair and build. This enables the individual to recover from fatigue after exercise and enjoy stronger muscles over a period of time. Proteins are also regarded as an ideal source of energy as they provide the required strength to the body without adding a lot to the calorie intake as protein can keep you fuller for a longer period of time and help avoid overeating unnecessarily. When it comes to sardines, they are rich in complete proteins as all the nine essential amino acids are present in the fish, making them an ideal addition to the diet of individuals requiring higher quantities of protein.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 133 canned sardines nutrition facts: healthy and harmful effects, then why not take a look at canned salmon nutrition facts, or canned oysters nutrition facts.
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