Are Sardines Good for Weight Loss?

 by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.

SuperHumans are the toughest, fittest, healthiest and happiest human beings on this planet. My mission is to help you realize your superhuman potential and learn how to live a long, happy and healthy life.

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are sardines good for weight loss

Whenever I find that extra time, I also write stories and articles about my gastronomic adventures. One of my most memorable was when I went to Portugal, where I sampled some of the most amazing food and wine I’ve tried anywhere in the world.

I noticed that sardines are a Portuguese staple food, and the people there (I observed) are generally healthy and well. A lot of the folks I met looked so much younger than their actual age. This led to an interest in the Mediterranean diet, which leads us to the question: are sardines good for weight loss?

How Often Should Sardines Be Consumed?

Sardines are a great food for weight loss, but you’ll want to be careful about how much you eat. Sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

They’re also loaded with protein and contain very little fat, making them a great snack for those on a diet. But sardines can be high in sodium, so it’s important to keep an eye on how much salt you’re adding when cooking them.

Sardines should be eaten sparingly; one or two cans per week is enough to get the health benefits without overdoing it. If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your weight, try eating less than 3 ounces of sardines per day.

Sardine Health Benefits

How healthy are sardines? Sardines are a type of small, oily fish that are often consumed whole. They can be found in cans and jars and are generally packed with nutrients. When it comes to health, some of the sardines’ benefits include:

  • Promote weight loss. Sardines are low in fat and high in protein, which makes them an ideal food for people who want to lose weight.
  • Improve cardiovascular health. Sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation and prevent heart disease.
  • Support the immune system. Sardines contain plenty of vitamin B12 and selenium, which help to strengthen the immune system and fight off infections.

Canned Sardines’ Potential Dangers

Sardines are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, but they also contain a lot of sodium. The high levels of sodium in sardines can be dangerous to those who have hypertension or heart failure. Salt is also known to cause dehydration, which can actually make weight loss more difficult.

canned sardine on a yellow background

In addition to their high sodium content, sardines also contain mercury—an element that’s toxic to humans and animals at high levels. Because of this, pregnant women and children should avoid eating sardines because mercury could cause developmental problems in children.

Risks associated with eating sardines also include allergic reactions. If you have an allergy to fish, you should not eat sardines. You may experience swelling of the throat or lips, difficulty breathing, or hives. If any of these symptoms occur while eating sardines, seek medical attention immediately.

Other people who should avoid eating too many sardines include people who suffer from gout or arthritis or have kidney disease or diabetes.

Should Sardines Be Avoided?

The answer is NO, but you need to consume sardines in moderation.

First, let’s look at the nutritional profile of sardines. Sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which can help to lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation. They’re also a good source of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and iodine.

However, as we mentioned earlier, sardines are also very high in fat—especially saturated fat. The most common type of sardine is the Pacific variety (also called jack mackerel), which contains about 1 gram of saturated fat per ounce (about 3 ounces in total). That’s more than double what many people should be eating each day.

So what does all this mean for your weight-loss goals?

If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight while eating fewer calories than usual because you’re sick or injured or otherwise unable to exercise regularly—then sardines could be a great option for boosting your protein intake without adding too many calories from other sources like animal products like meat or dairy products like cheese (which also contain lots of saturated fats).

Are Sardines a Good Source of Protein?

Sardines are a good source of protein and contain many essential vitamins and minerals. These are small, oily fish that are typically canned. They’re available at most supermarkets and can be eaten whole or mashed up with other foods to make sardine pâté or spread.

Sardines’ nutrition denotes richness in omega-3 fatty acids as mentioned earlier, which help reduce inflammation and improve heart health. They also provide vitamin D, calcium, iron, niacin (vitamin B3), selenium, and other nutrients that can improve your immune system.

protein-rich food

The protein content in sardines is higher than in most other types of fish, making them an excellent source of protein for vegetarians or vegans who don’t eat meat products. However, the amount of protein per serving varies greatly depending on how much fat there is in each serving (the lower the fat content, the higher the amount of protein).

Sardines are also a great protein source if you’re watching your sugar levels and are doing carb combinations.

Will Sardines Aid in Weight Loss?

Would it be effective if you embark on a sardines diet?

The answer is YES, sardines are good for weight loss.

Sardines are high in protein and low in fat, making them an ideal choice for a dieter. They can be eaten as a snack or meal, and they will keep you full for hours. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to increase metabolism and aid in weight loss.

The high protein content of sardines also makes it an excellent choice for those who want to lose weight. A serving of about 3 ounces of sardines contains about 20 grams of protein which means that you will be able to satisfy your hunger for longer periods of time without overeating. This can be especially helpful if you have a tendency to overeat at meals or snacks throughout the day.

Sardines vs. Other Types of Fish for Weight Loss

While sardines may be a good option for losing weight, it is important to note that they are not always easy to find at your local grocery store. If you’re looking for an alternative option that will provide similar benefits when it comes to losing weight, try eating other types of fish instead. Let’s have a look at some differences between sardines and other possible substitutes when it comes to weight loss:

Anchovies vs. Sardines

Sardines and anchovies are both small, oily fish that are rich in protein, but they have different nutritional profiles. Sardines are smaller than anchovies, but they also have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Both sardines and anchovies are high in protein, but sardines also contain more calcium than anchovies. However, sardines have fewer calories than both types of fish.

Sardines are also a good source of vitamin D and selenium, which is an antioxidant that helps prevent cancer and improve metabolism. By contrast, anchovies do not contain much vitamin D or selenium but provide more omega-3 fatty acids than sardines do.

Herring vs. Sardines

Both types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which helps you lose weight because it helps your body use fat as fuel instead of storing it. They also have high levels of protein, which makes them an excellent source of lean muscle mass. This can help you maintain a healthy metabolism and keep your appetite in check.

fresh fish on the grill

Sardines also contain calcium, which is important for maintaining bone density and preventing osteoporosis—something that is especially important for women who are approaching menopause or who have passed through it.

Sardines also have a high concentration of selenium, which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol levels. This means that sardines can be good for your heart health as well—as your overall health.

Sardine vs Mackerel

Mackerel and sardines are both types of fish that have been consumed by humans for thousands of years. They’re both rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids—which helps you feel satisfied after eating them—but they also differ in several ways:

The mackerel is larger than the sardine and has white flesh with red spots (like a mackerel). The sardine is smaller than the mackerel and has dark brown flesh with no spots at all. The mackerel has more omega-3s than sardine does; however, both types are high in these healthy fats. Both also contain some vitamin D and selenium (which helps protect against cancer).

Tuna vs. Sardines

Tuna is a popular choice for many dieters. It’s low in calories and high in protein, which can help keep you feeling full longer. But tuna isn’t the only fish that can help you stay slim: sardines contain similar nutritional properties and are also low-calorie.

In fact, sardines are often touted as a weight loss superfood because they’re high in healthy fats, which help you feel satiated longer than other foods. They’re also high in vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids—all nutrients that help your body burn fat more efficiently.

Packed in like sardines: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Do Sardines Cause Weight Gain?

YES. Sardines are low in calories, but high in protein. So if you’re thinking of sardines as a part of your muscle-building regimen or if it makes it to your list of foods to get bigger thighs or pecs, you’re on the right track.

But watch out: the problem with sardines is that they’re also high in sodium, so if you eat too many of them, you could end up gaining weight instead of losing it. While eating a few servings of sardines every week is definitely good for your waistline, eating too many could cause you to retain water and gain weight instead of losing it.

Is It Ok To Eat a Can of Sardines Every Day?

YES, but keep the quantities of consumption in mind.

fresh fish on ice

How often should you eat sardines? Sardines are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. They’re also a good source of protein, selenium, vitamin D, and calcium. But they’re also high in sodium, which is not good for the body if you consume too much.

If you want to eat those sardines every day, make sure you’re getting enough potassium from other sources. And make sure you’re drinking lots of water—at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day—to help flush out the excess sodium. Fortifying your gut health with natural gut supplements such as Optima will help you improve your digestive health and help you process nutrients better.

Is Canned Sardines Good for Diet?

YES. That’s because canned sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have a host of health benefits, including improved heart health, cognitive function, and mood regulation.

Plus, they’re low in calories, so if you’re trying to lose weight by eating fewer calories per day than you burn off through exercise (like walking), then eating sardines can help make up for any calorie deficit without making you feel hungry. And of course, always remember everything is good in moderation.

How Many Sardines Should I Eat a Week?

Sardines are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, so they’re good for your general health. They’re also high in protein, iron, calcium, and phosphorus—all of which are important for maintaining your weight and muscle tone.

But it’s important to be careful with how much you eat. Although they have a lot of good nutrients and can help you lose weight when eaten in moderation, sardines are also high in calories and fat. That means you should limit yourself to eating only 1-2 servings per week if you want to lose weight.


So there you have it, a candid look at the pros and cons of sardine eating, as well as a few different recommendations to get your wheels turning.  Sardines do contain a good amount of nutrition. Plus, they are relatively cheap to buy. However, because they contain some mercury, you should enjoy them in moderation.

Keep visiting this site as I address other interesting questions on health and wellness, such as “is oat milk good for you”, or “does cheese cause sleepwalking”? Together, we learn and discover. Nothing makes this more worthwhile than knowing that I have helped SuperHumans like you understand and learn how to live longer and healthier lives. Cheers!

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