The Ultimate Guide to Canned Mackerel Calories and Nutrition

Are you a seafood lover looking for a nutritious and convenient protein source? Look no further than canned mackerel! This humble fish packs a powerful punch of essential nutrients, making it an excellent addition to a well-balanced diet. In this comprehensive article, we’ll dive deep into the calorie count and nutritional profile of canned mackerel, exploring its benefits and how to incorporate it into your meals.

Canned Mackerel: A Calorie-Conscious Choice

One of the most appealing aspects of canned mackerel is its relatively low calorie content. A 190-gram serving (approximately 1 cup) of canned mackerel contains around 296 calories. This modest calorie count makes it an excellent option for those watching their weight or following a calorie-controlled diet.

However, it’s important to note that the calorie count can vary slightly depending on the specific brand and preparation method. Some canned mackerel varieties may contain added oils or sauces, which can increase the calorie content. Always read the nutrition labels carefully to ensure you’re making an informed decision.

Macronutrient Breakdown: Protein, Fats, and Carbs

Let’s take a closer look at the macronutrient composition of canned mackerel:

Protein: A Powerhouse of Essential Amino Acids

Canned mackerel is an excellent source of high-quality protein, with a 190-gram serving providing a whopping 44 grams of this vital nutrient. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting muscle growth and maintenance, and promoting a healthy metabolism.

The protein in mackerel is complete, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce and must obtain from food sources. This makes canned mackerel an excellent choice for vegetarians, vegans, or anyone looking to increase their intake of complete proteins.

Healthy Fats: Omega-3s and More

While canned mackerel is relatively low in overall fat content (around 12 grams per 190-gram serving), it is an excellent source of healthy, unsaturated fats. These include omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function, heart health, and reducing inflammation.

A 190-gram serving of canned mackerel provides approximately 2.54 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, primarily in the form of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These fatty acids have been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved cognitive function, reduced risk of heart disease, and better mental health.

Carbohydrates: Virtually None

Canned mackerel is an excellent choice for those following a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet, as it contains virtually no carbohydrates. A 190-gram serving provides a negligible amount of carbohydrates, making it a perfect addition to a carb-conscious meal plan.

Micronutrients: A Nutritional Powerhouse

In addition to its impressive macronutrient profile, canned mackerel is a rich source of various essential micronutrients, including:

  • Vitamin D: Canned mackerel is an excellent source of vitamin D, providing around 70% of the recommended daily intake in a single 190-gram serving. Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption, bone health, and immune function.

  • Calcium: With 458 milligrams per 190-gram serving, canned mackerel is an excellent source of calcium, a mineral essential for strong bones and teeth, as well as proper muscle and nerve function.

  • Iron: Canned mackerel provides 22% of the recommended daily intake of iron in a 190-gram serving. Iron is essential for transporting oxygen throughout the body and supporting energy production.

  • Selenium: This essential mineral plays a vital role in antioxidant defense and thyroid function. Canned mackerel is an excellent source, providing 130% of the recommended daily intake in a 190-gram serving.

  • Vitamin B12: A single serving of canned mackerel provides a whopping 550% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B12, which is essential for proper red blood cell formation and neurological function.

Incorporating Canned Mackerel into Your Diet

Canned mackerel is incredibly versatile and can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. Here are some delicious and nutritious ways to enjoy this fish:

  • Salads: Toss drained and flaked canned mackerel into your favorite salad for a protein-packed punch. Pair it with fresh greens, vegetables, and a light vinaigrette for a satisfying and nutritious meal.

  • Sandwiches and Wraps: Add canned mackerel to sandwiches or wraps for a tasty and convenient on-the-go meal. Try it with avocado, tomatoes, and spinach for a nutrient-dense combination.

  • Pasta Dishes: Flake canned mackerel into your favorite pasta sauce or toss it with whole-grain pasta, vegetables, and a drizzle of olive oil for a quick and easy meal.

  • Omelets and Frittatas: Mix canned mackerel into your egg dishes for a protein-packed breakfast or brunch option.

  • Dips and Spreads: Combine canned mackerel with cream cheese, yogurt, or mayonnaise for a delicious and nutritious dip or spread to enjoy with crackers or vegetables.

Remember to always choose canned mackerel packed in water or its own juices to avoid unnecessary additives and excess sodium.


Canned mackerel is a nutritional powerhouse that deserves a place in your diet. With its impressive protein content, healthy fats, and abundance of essential micronutrients, this affordable and convenient fish is a true superfood. Whether you’re looking to boost your protein intake, incorporate more omega-3s into your meals, or simply enjoy a delicious and nutritious seafood option, canned mackerel is an excellent choice. Embrace this versatile and flavorful fish, and reap the numerous health benefits it has to offer.

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How many calories does canned mackerel have?

Mackerel, canned contains 296 calories per 190 g serving. This serving contains 12 g of fat, 44 g of protein and 0 g of carbohydrate. The latter is 0 g sugar and 0 g of dietary fiber, the rest is complex carbohydrate. Mackerel, canned contains 3.5 g of saturated fat and 150 mg of cholesterol per serving.

How many times a week should you eat canned mackerel?

Atlantic mackerel contain relatively little mercury, according to the FDA and the EPA, and it’s safe to eat them two or three times a week. Their short lifespan and plankton diet means they don’t accumulate the high levels of toxic heavy metals found in larger, apex-predator fish such as swordfish.

Which is healthier canned sardines or canned mackerel?

Sardines and mackerel are seriously rich in omega-3s. A four-ounce can of sardines packs about 900 milligrams of them, while a 15-ounce can of mackerel has a whopping 4,815 milligrams.

Which is healthier mackerel or tuna?

Tuna — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison. Tuna contains more vitamin B6 and B3 and about 3.4 times more vitamin D than mackerel. Tuna is lower in saturated fats and is richer in P, K, and Se than mackerel.

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