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IanG 02-19-2014 11:19 PM

Canned fish diet
 
I've googled it. I've looked for it here. And I have looked for it there. But so far, I am the only crazy son [email protected] that seems to be trying this long term.

Yep, canned fish for breakfast and lunch (skipping dinner) every day, combined with oats (for breakfast) or a salad (for lunch).

In terms of nutrition, it can't really be beat. Lots of protein, low fat, low calorie.

Some fish have mercury concerns but you can avoid that with good choices. And there are BPA risks with some cans.

Let's see if I live to tell the tale.

At the moment I am eating five cans a day.

Tomorrow, I will be eating a can of kippers, two cans of smoked oysters, a can of octopus in olive oil and a can of jumbo lump crab (with oats and salad).

Do or die or both.

novangel 02-19-2014 11:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IanG (Post 4947364)
I've googled it. I've looked for it here. And I have looked for it there. But so far, I am the only crazy son [email protected] that seems to be trying this long term.

Yep, canned fish for breakfast and lunch (skipping dinner) every day, combined with oats (for breakfast) or a salad (for lunch).

In terms of nutrition, it can't really be beat. Lots of protein, low fat, low calorie.

Some fish have mercury concerns but you can avoid that with good choices. And there are BPA risks with some cans.

Let's see if I live to tell the tale.

At the moment I am eating five cans a day.

Tomorrow, I will be eating a can of kippers, two cans of smoked oysters, a can of octopus in olive oil and a can of jumbo lump crab (with oats and salad).

Do or die or both.

:lol: I'm sure you will make it...and succeed. My only concern would be is this sustainable long term?

chubbybunny29 02-20-2014 12:12 AM

Have you considered the amount of sodium & preservatives that might be in that much canned fish?

I don't really know about it all, just a thought - something you might want to check out with a 5 can a day consumption.

VioletDolphin83 02-20-2014 04:45 AM

Well if you like it and it's working I don't see why it would be a problem. Sounds interesting. What fish do you eat and in what ways do you eat it (like on a salad etc)? How do you find out which fish has mercury and which doesn't?

Pattience 02-20-2014 06:37 AM

Because of where the fish comes from and that should be noted on the packaging. And probably not buying fish from places like china where law enforcement about quality are not so stringent.

Pattience 02-20-2014 06:41 AM

Ian, are you trying to promote this approach to dieting?

krampus 02-20-2014 10:35 AM

I have to ask. Do your bodily secretions smell and taste of fish?

LilDazed 02-20-2014 11:01 AM

*shudder* I can't do canned meat. GRILLED fish on the other hand....mmmmmm.

jendiet 02-20-2014 11:14 AM

I don't know but my so eats lots of canned fish and he's very lean.

Serenity100 02-20-2014 11:35 AM

When I eat water-packed tuna every day for lunch I find good losses on the scale. Kirkland brand from Costco is the best for me as far as quality and taste. I mix in a little mayo and some Mann's Broccoli slaw. This is the only canned fish I like, but hubby who is naturally thin eats, mackerel, salmon, sardines and anchovies and loves it.

The only thought I have is that some time ago they said that tuna had mercury and pregnant women should not eat. I don't know if it is still true.

Olivia7906 02-20-2014 11:53 AM

If I could eat fish more than two consecutive days in a row I'd try it (as I like to try new things), however, for me, after two days of eating seafood, my body starts to reek. Yeah it's pretty bad for me :(

Radiojane 02-20-2014 11:57 AM

I think about you every time I open my pantry. No lie. If you feel good, keep doing it. People lived on canned meat for years. Go nuts.

Arctic Mama 02-20-2014 12:16 PM

I eat sardines daily for lunch when I'm maintaining and love it. Never get tired of it. I'm also eating a fair bit of frozen fish, too, and salmon we've caught (last night was the last filet in the freezer, so sad :( ).

I don't think you're crazy, though I know if I ate enough of it I could still gain weight. It's a great dietary staple, along with things like sea vegetables and nuts seafood is a nutrition powerhouse.

Arctic Mama 02-20-2014 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krampus (Post 4947614)
I have to ask. Do your bodily secretions smell and taste of fish?

Haha! I'm not Ian but I can't say anyone has ever commented that I smell like canned fish. And I ate it daily while breastfeeding, but Holly never seemed to care. That said, she really likes sardines too, so maybe she's just acclimated herself to fishiness?

CherryPie99 02-20-2014 12:19 PM

Personally, the mercury would concern me eating that much.

Have you tried the tuna that comes in the pouches? I love those - takes away the slightly tinny taste of the canned.

Desiderata 02-20-2014 12:39 PM

Serenity - eating tuna every day probably is not healthy, in terms of mercury consumption. Here is a handy calculator to figure out what is a safe consumption, based on weight: http://www.ewg.org/research/tuna-calculator

This is also a good chart, to expand the conversation to more fish types than just tuna: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...d-mercury.html

Wish you the best, Ian. If it works for you, good. I know some people fine with mono-type eating over the long-run. I can't help but think how it's possible to have too much of a good thing, and that diversifying one's diet is protective (against too much of one thing, too little of another). I know you've done a lot of research though, and I'm glad you stay away from higher mercury choices!

ReNew Me 02-20-2014 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CherryPie99 (Post 4947685)
Personally, the mercury would concern me eating that much.

Have you tried the tuna that comes in the pouches? I love those - takes away the slightly tinny taste of the canned.

He's getting way less mercury eating canned sardines and kippers than you are eating pouch tuna.

CherryPie99 02-20-2014 12:57 PM

Yes, but I eat 1 pouch per week, not 5 per day.

ReNew Me 02-20-2014 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CherryPie99 (Post 4947728)
Yes, but I eat 1 pouch per week, not 5 per day.

You could still get more mercury in one pouch of tuna that he gets in 20+ cans of sardines, seriously. Check the numbers if you don't believe me (I compared 6 oz of albacore tuna to 110 oz of sardines):

http://www.gotmercury.org/article.php?list=type&type=75

What's really mind boggling is if you go for something more exotic, like swordfish. One little 6 oz steak and you've consumed more than 400% of the EPA's recommended amount of mercury for the week in one meal.

krampus 02-20-2014 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arctic Mama (Post 4947684)
Haha! I'm not Ian but I can't say anyone has ever commented that I smell like canned fish. And I ate it daily while breastfeeding, but Holly never seemed to care. That said, she really likes sardines too, so maybe she's just acclimated herself to fishiness?

At the risk of TMI I can tell what I've been eating recently based on how I sweat - onions and garlic are big telltale stinkers - and if I eat enough tuna I'll notice a hint of that, too!

IanG 02-20-2014 04:10 PM

Wow, thanks for all the great comments.

I couldn't turn down responding to this one:

Quote:

have to ask. Do your bodily secretions smell and taste of fish?
I get very bad gas. It is a combination of the fish, a lot of protein in the fish and kimchi. It smells very bad.

My skin has started to smell a little of fish. I don't notice it but if I wear a sweatshirt around the house for days on end and forget to wash it, I can smell a faint odor of fish on it. Sometimes when I sweat, I can smell fish. But that is rare.

Now for TMI. My poop does not smell of fish. But it is VERY oily.

My urine smells funny. But again not of fish.

So, yes, it does have a small impact. One I can live with. Not so sure about my wife.

On the mercury, there are surprisingly few fish you need to watch out for. I try to avoid eating on a regular basis tuna, large mackeral and swordfish.

Wild Planet sardines in water, Vital Choice wild sockeye salmon, salted anchovies (rinsed) and Polar kippers are my daily staples. There are some awesome online deals with these.

Polar kippers come on Amazon every now and again for $25 for 18 cans. Elsewhere I have also found 48 cans of wild planet sardines for $92.48 including shipping and 48 cans of Vital Choice sockeye salmon for $156.98 including shipping. That being said, some of my more niche canned fish comes in at close to $10 a can...

Here is a list of my main canned fish goodies:

Fat Calories Protein Carbs
Millers jumbo lump crab 1 120 26 0
Wild Planet Sardines 5 183 33 0
Roland Marinated Mussels 8 150 22 0
Wild planet shrimp 2 80 16 0
East Point shrimp 2 100 22 0
Cockles 1 50 8 4
Skipanon Smoked sturgeon 2.8 132 24 0
Smoked clams 10 150 16 0
Chicken of the Sea Smoked oysters 14 240 22 4
Roland Eel 32 340 12 1
Cod liver 24 246 5 1
Large can of Mackeral 24 540 78 0
Octopus with vegetables 16 240 16 8
Smoked rainbow trout 16 260 28 0
Skipanon Smoked steelhead 21 315 36 6
Albacore tuna 20 400 56 0
Sprats 26 354 32 2
Chipotle Cod 3 171 39 0
Smoked Halibut 5 249 36 0
Small can of mackeral 9 180 27 0
Medium can of mackeral 21 411 62 0
Octopus in oil 12 220 24 6
Squid in ink 18 240 16 4
Wild planet Canned sockeye 9 210 36 0
Vital choice canned sockeye 16 340 48 0
Bar Harbor Smoked Wild Kippers 28 350 39 0
Ekone original oysters 5 165 17 11
Ekone teriyake oysters 6 180 11 20
Ekone lemon pepper oysters 6 165 17 12
Ekone barbeque oysters 5 195 15 21
Ekone habanero oysters 6 165 20 9
Ekone smoked sturgeon 3 123 23 0
Crown Prince smoked oysters with chilli 8 150 11 8
Skipanon Smoked chinook 21 315 30 0
Ocean harvest Dungeness crab 1 120 26 0
Bar Harbor Clams in water 1 67 12 0
Polar Kippers 12 162 14 0

Sum38 02-20-2014 04:22 PM

Yumm! I could do a fish diet. You may be onto something!

IanG 02-20-2014 10:26 PM

I am gaining though, now I am weight training....a lot. I hope it's muscle. The protein in the fish should be good for that.

crispin 02-20-2014 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IanG (Post 4947841)
So, yes, it does have a small impact. One I can live with. Not so sure about my wife.

:lol:

I love fish and would eat it every day, but sadly I'm also in the camp that can't go more than 2 consecutive days before I start to smell like a sea creature.

IanG 02-20-2014 10:47 PM

I am evolving into a sealion.

There are some interesting other benefits and costs though:

Benefits...

1) my hair looks great. I don't need to use shampoo any more. I just get in the shower and go.

2) my eyes look amazing. The whites are better.

3) skin. Less wrinkles and pimples. Acne has gone.

4) head. I can read stuff at work now. And concentrate better.

Costs...

1) smell, bathroom (see earlier posts).

2) skin. I know I said this was a benefit, but I am more prone to cracked skin on my hands. Weird. But I swear it's the fish and specifically the anchovies.

VioletDolphin83 02-21-2014 05:04 AM

Sounds like the benefits outweigh the costs. After reading this thread I decided to buy some canned fish to try.

ReNew Me 02-21-2014 06:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IanG (Post 4948041)
I am gaining though, now I am weight training....a lot. I hope it's muscle. The protein in the fish should be good for that.

Scale is useless for tracking muscle gain/loss. It only measures overall body weight.

Assuming that measuring your body composition via water is not an option (although it's the gold standard to measure fat to lean) you have to understand that the scale is kind of useless to measure muscle gain. The easiest thing you can do to track progress is to take a tape measure and get baseline body measurements (tape measure should always be level and not overly compressing tissue): Neck, upper arm, upper chest (under arms), "bust" (nipple level), waist (for men, at bellybutton, for women waist and bellybutton are generally two measurements), hip, upper thigh, mid thigh, mid calf. These should be repeated once per week.

As long as the measurements go up somewhat equally, yeah, you're gaining muscle, especially if your strength gains steadily go up. If you gain ONLY in say, your hips or abdomen, especially accompanied by no strength gains, that's an indicator you're headed down the wrong path and need to revise your diet or workout (or both).

Thinking of it as a work in progress, not a one time shot helps. Basically you are constantly striving to be the best you that you can achieve. It's not a chore, it's a lifetime goal.

Palestrina 02-21-2014 10:19 AM

What is it about the canned fish that's so appealing to you Ian? I mean there is just no beating fresh fish. Even frozen fish can be so wonderful from Trader Joe's and it's a fraction of the cost of fresh. I mean, canned fish is fine once in a while but a whole diet of it - it's just .... I don't know it's just makes me so sad to think of it.

Munchy 02-21-2014 10:29 AM

I always have a stock of canned fish on hand. Sardines are my absolute favorite (I had them for breakfast yesterday) but the interesting sauces/varieties of seafood from the Asian market are great!

I also eat fresh seafood when I can splurge - one grocery store near here has local and never-frozen seafood, but it's pricey for me to go often. I always have frozen white fish filets and frozen scallops too.

kaplods 02-21-2014 12:22 PM

I find it interesting that your animal protein choices would ever be considered sadly limited when it's so mainstream in the US (at least in the midwest) to eat far fewer.

It's sadly not unusual for many people to eat beef and chicken (and pork, but only if you count bacon, ham, and sausage) almost exclusively during most of the year (holiday turkey being the exception).

Most of the "fresh" fish available in noncoastal states is actually defrosted from frozen, or never-frozen that isn't so fresh anymore. Freezing is often done on the fishing boat, and canning is done pretty quickly too.

From a nutritional and food safety standpoint, canned and frozen seafood is often better than any fish that isn't minutes out of the water.

As for flavor, there's at least as much flavor variation in canned fish as in non-canned.

Canned foods (and organ meats, which is another story) are unfairly stigmatized in the USA because of their associated with poverty - foods you eat because you have to, not because you want to.

Almost ten years ago, my husband and I had to file bankruptcy due to job loss and our out-of-pocket medical expenses (and our medical insurance paid 90% of expenses with no deductible). As a result, for about two years, we had to seek out the cheapest
of the cheapest food sources.

Canned fish was literally a lifesaver. In the local Asian markets I discovered an astonishing array of canned fish, just in the "Smiling Fish" brand alone.

I went through a bit of an obsessive canned-fish diet myself, and not only because I had to, but because flavors were just so amazing, especially for the price.

You can't find many foods that are healthy, cheap, tastey, and ready-to-eat, but canned fish are one of the rarest of exceptions.

I eat more variety now, and haven't been eating nearly as much canned fish as when I first discovered them, but I also haven't been losing any weight lately, either.

I may have burned myself out a little on canned fish, in my quest to try as many as I could find, but I wasn't deprived in flavor, nutrition, or variety.

If you can find an Asian or global market, sardines alone, can be found in an amazing variety of sauces. Some are a bit high in fat and even sugar by proportion, but even the sweet varieties tend to be very filling and satiating, so you (or at least I) end up eating less.

All this canned fish is giving me a craving for Smiling fish sardines or mackerel in green or red curry sauce. I may have a can in the pantry. Otherwise I'll have to make a trip to our nearest Asian grocery (only five blocks away). The store must carry at least three varieties of fish in at least five different styles of southeast asian curry sauces. And that's not counting other types of canned seafood, like fried clams with chilies.

The fried clams with chillies are one of my favorites, and while the fat and sugar content are a bit high compared to other products, the flavor is so intense I usually only eat about 1/3 of a serving at a time.

Geez, now I'm hungry for those too.

Sum38 02-21-2014 12:28 PM

Had fish for dinner, tilapia, yumm-o!

Silverfire 02-21-2014 12:37 PM

I've taken a page from Ian's book and started having canned fish as a mid morning snack, I'm really enjoying it. There are lots of varieties. I'm mostly stuck on tuna, because it is all I know. But I picked up some salmon, crab and one other to try out. Can't beat it for convenience!

kelijpa 02-21-2014 01:35 PM

Thanks Ian for starting a great thread, like most the canned tuna (and smoked oysters) were all I ate as far as canned fish, DH regularly eats fish steaks, sardines, that sort of thing, so I started eating those once in awhile, he even got me to eat that squid in ink, it was excellent with rice and mussels.

We've been eating more frozen fish as well, tilapia, cod, pretty much we only eat meats on the weekend lately and have been losing at a nice slow pace, whereas for quite awhile I was stuck at about 10 pounds heavier.

Anyway, as usually happens, I found Kaplods post very interesting. It is funny how it's ok if you only eat hamburger and bacon that's accepted but if you only eat fish or vegetables you can't be eating healthy... Thanks for the suggestion to try the Asian market for different varieties.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I always thought smoked oysters were an indulgence and high calorie, but a whole tin is really not that bad, years ago when I did the exchange plan with WW I ate more fish because it was 2oz. fish to 1 oz. meat, I think sausage was 2x the opposite way so naturally I ate less of that.

I'm a big believer in trying new things, so I'm going to try some different fishies and different sauces and see what I like.

Best to all :sunny:

IanG 02-21-2014 01:41 PM

Thanks and so much great information. I did not realize there would be so much interest. And thanks for the tips ReNew Me.

I like canned fish because fresh or frozen fish is a hassle to store and prepare. Cans keep for years, are cooked and already portioned out. And the nutrition facts are on the side of the can!

Cost is a bit of a factor but I do splurge on the gourmet stuff so I am not going cheap. But less wastage is a definite plus.

I do try to eat the lower calorie canned varieties though so am wary of stuff in sauces. I buy in water or own juices if I can and olive oil if I cannot.

Yesterday I took a delivery of a case of Ekone Smoked Oysters and Ekone Smoked Sturgeon. Today, I should have 14 cans of Crown Princes Natural Smoked oysters with chilli arriving.

BillBlueEyes 02-21-2014 01:46 PM

For lunch, I had King Oscar sardines in EVOO. So tasty. Thanks for the reminder; I'm a big fan but forget to dig them out of the pantry and eat them.

After kaplods enthusiastic post, I'll try to get to one of the big Asian markets in Boston to try some different sardines.

Palestrina 02-21-2014 01:50 PM

I don't see what bacon or hamburgers has to do with this at all. Beyond an occasional tuna sandwich it salad, some anchovies in a dressing or sauce, that's as fat as I go. They definitely have their place in a healthy diet. I find the idea of eating several cans of fish per day kind of repulsive and only eat fish once or twice a week usually sushi or fresh broiled fish at home. I wouldn't eat canned tuna everyday any more than I'd eat bacon everyday.

I don't associate it with poverty, buy its a palette buster for me. I'd rather splurge on fresh food and I'm not rich by any means. In Ian's case judging from past threads this is kind of an obsession. A diet that consists of this much canned food and beer is not my aspiration of healthy. One can lose weight on any diet, doesn't mean it's healthy.

Arctic Mama 02-21-2014 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IanG (Post 4948057)
I am evolving into a sealion.

There are some interesting other benefits and costs though:

Benefits...

1) my hair looks great. I don't need to use shampoo any more. I just get in the shower and go.

2) my eyes look amazing. The whites are better.

3) skin. Less wrinkles and pimples. Acne has gone.

4) head. I can read stuff at work now. And concentrate better.

Costs...

1) smell, bathroom (see earlier posts).

2) skin. I know I said this was a benefit, but I am more prone to cracked skin on my hands. Weird. But I swear it's the fish and specifically the anchovies.

You may be onto something, one weird change I noticed this year was my skin cracking on my hands, most specifically around my fingernails. Never happened to me before and nothing changed but fish consumption. Huh.

novangel 02-21-2014 02:30 PM

I eat a lot of fresh salmon...maybe I will look into canned.

love2b150 02-21-2014 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krampus (Post 4947774)
At the risk of TMI I can tell what I've been eating recently based on how I sweat - onions and garlic are big telltale stinkers - and if I eat enough tuna I'll notice a hint of that, too!

krampus I notice it when I eat whiting fish ... it's really bad.

CherryPie99 02-22-2014 10:14 AM

I also prefer fresh fish. We have an extra freezer, so storage is not an issue. Here in Northern NY fish tends to be a bit pricey. Last week I totally scored when they had fresh Mahi Mahi for $4.99/ lb!!


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