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Lightened up tuna salad recipe

tuna1You’ve probably heard that omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart. And it’s likely you know that eating more fish can help you get more omega-3 in your diet.  Tuna is a quick, convenient, and inexpensive protein source that’s a great lunch option.

Tuna salad can be made any number of different ways. But most recipes include a lot of high-fat, high-calorie mayonnaise. My version is packed with vegetables and a few low-calorie ingredient swaps that make a big improvement to the nutrition facts:

  • 4 oz. restaurant-style tuna salad: 300 calories, 24 grams of fat
  • My lightened-up version: 180 calories, 7 grams fat (will vary based on brand of tuna and add-ins)

The vegetables add bulk to the meal without adding many calories. Swap them out for whatever you have on hand!





  • 1 6-oz. can chunk tuna, drained
  • 1 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp brown mustard
  • ½ tsp sweet relish
  • ¼ cup chopped bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped celery
  • 1 tbsp minced white onion


  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Serve with whole-wheat crackers, on a bed of lettuce, or in your favorite wrap or sandwich bread! For a low-calorie option, a few leaves of crisp romaine or iceberg lettuce make great “wraps.”




The high protein content of the tuna combined with the fiber from the veggies and whole-wheat crackers keeps me full for hours after lunch.

If you’re pregnant or nursing, you may want to limit tuna – it can be high in mercury. Albacore, commonly labeled as “white” tuna, should be limited to one meal (or 6 oz) per week, according to the FDA. The FDA also recommends avoiding shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish completely due to their high mercury levels.

What do you like to add to your tuna salad?