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Let's talk canned fish

Discussion in 'The Epi-Paleo Diet' started by jeanie@truelongmont.com, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. So I just don't believe canned fish is worth the effort.

    I know "jack said" etc, but everything I look at indicated the high temps needed for canning would effectively bastardize everything good about it, except protein molecules.


  2. Michael

    Michael Super Moderator

    My feeling is that fresh would be best, but I don't eat that way. I don't always have the time to get it or cook it. (I get 30 minutes for lunch.)

    Actually, I think best would be if one could pull it out the river and cook it on the bank rather than going to a fishmonger.

    I think something of the same as regards vegetables. If I had a garden or allotment I'd grow high quality organic produce using heirloom varieties. I'd go out and pick them minutes before eating them. I'd have fruit in proper fruit cages, and I'd allow it to ripen on the plant before picking it. (For supermarkets, they pick 'em unripe and allow them to "ripen" in storage.)

    The gap between what most of us can do and what would be ideal seems not negligible. The same for how every man, woman and child would have eaten in the best pre-modern environment.

    I do the best I can. I shop almost every day as it is. I have to cut some corners. If people can do better than what I do, I'd say go for it.

  3. Ok, let me try again - perhaps up in Vancouver this read differently :)

    Other than "Jack said", I see nothing but examples that all the fishy goodness is destroyed in the canning process and it's only contribution is it's a fatty carb-free protein food. People seem to be approaching it from the Jack-stated-view of "all fish is better than everything else"

    Not to mention the high heat very well may oxidize and make the fat in the fish inflammatory. People take such care to avoid rancid and oxydized oils - what makes canned fish end up as a net positive?

    I am questioning that. If all the fishy goodness is destroyed in canning, then why does Jack say it's better than all non seafood foodstuffs.

    The more you know, the better you do!
  4. Michael

    Michael Super Moderator

    Well that's what I thought. I'm not saying anyome has to agree with any of it.
  5. Inger

    Inger Silver

    I think Jack does not mean it like that...hmmm. You need to feel he's spirit, then you understand. It is important to not get stuck in phrases people say, this is just my own Nr.1. :)

    Words.. they are just words.. they can be doing harm if people get stuck in them and does not see the spirit.. I am getting more and more aware of this issue.

    I do not eat canned fish ever except in emergency situations. Why, when fresh is so much better? Jack says fresh and raw is best. Everyone has to choose for themselves how "good" one wants to get. I am not doing the best I could eather, I take it quite easy I know things I could still do better..but I never complain if I am not seeing so fast progress..lol cause then.. I also know too well why! There is always something to improve that is for sure. :)

    We can go as slow as we want just no need to complain then..huh.. ;)

    I am seeing it like that, Jack is not really recommending canned fish, but he tells it is much better then some other common Paleo foods!

    What he really recommends.. is MHS and such..lol Cavemam, have you tried that? Since you kind of take Jacks recommandation to your heart it seems? ;)

    The most practical thing to take for lunch ever, is fresh raw salmon cut into pieces and then add fresh grated ginger, a little raw honey, applecider vinegar / lime juice / vinegar, seasalt, chopped raw onions and maybe cilantro or dill if desired. I often make it ready in the morning for lunch at work. I add chopped dried seaweeds too. I just put it into a glass jar and eat directly from the jar when lunchtime. Boah... it is totally delish...!!! And makes one so nicely satiated! I use to make it from one pound salmon and I usually eat all in one setting.

    And hmmm.. one more thing.. I would not take the words of anyone without thinking of myself. I would not feel too great from most of the recipes in Jack cookbook..lol I just feel best from raw and quite plain foods. That is why I do not buy it (I might if I had money just to support him for sure. I am so very thankful for all his help!). I need fishhead smoothies and such to feel real good - that broken is this lady..huh! I would never go and eat canned fish because "Jack says so". He is no Guru and I am sure he want not to be eather. He want us to think ourselves.

    I am rather thinking he does not say loud all strange foods he thinks is healthy because not to offend people. People get offended and escape when it goes too hard, like the MHS. That is sad but true. Jack is wise and does not do it that way because he knows he can help more with beeing a bit easier on the food. That is my guess.
  6. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    I think you are so right Dr. K. Expects /wants us to think for ourself. We have to do the best we can at the moment. Have you always been so intuitive? I wish I was more so. I am very intuitive about others but not myself and don't understand why or how to develope that. I know dr. Kruse says to just get out of the way and let it happen but I can't seem to manage that.
  7. Inger - good point, I think we agree actually!

    BUT - sometimes the devil IS in the details (like with grains). I know many people on here (myself included) have ramped up our canned fish consumption - probably to the exclusion of some more nourishing options. I would like to explore if indeed canned fish has any fishy-goodness intact.

    If it doesn't, then I would make different choices. . . .

    so I ask the crowd - anybody got any info one way or the other on if the canning process destorys the nutrients and overheats the oils, thus oxidizing them and rendering them inflammatory?

    Jack? What info did you have to make your conclusion? If someone was going to take things based only on "saw it in a blog post from Jack", they probably would never have made it this far in their journey (to be reading and interacting on these forums).

    Here I go again, questions questions. . .
  8. Inger

    Inger Silver

    Oh Caroline.. I wish I knew! Maybe you are very intuitive, but you just not see it? Do you have much "silent time", like time when you can do what you want? I don't know if it has something to do with it but I always needed much time.. I never wanted to go much out or too much visiting fiends and such. I very much enjoy to be with me. I very much enjoy other people too but I need to contemplate a lot. I can not have too much to do, too many places to go. too much action. I never liked that. I have no clue if that is helping my intuition but maybe? And then... I have been eating mostly raw food for maybe 8 years.. also raw meat and fish. I do feel the raw food eating helped my intuition, I become more aware then. Maybe you could try all raw for a while and se if it helps? I eat cooked too but only shortly cooked and most raw anyway. You should try the fishheadsmoothie with seaweeds. It is very easy to get down, it feels like a porrige, just close your nose. I had it again this morning and I almost exploded from happiness again from the morning on..lol I had oysters too yesterday. Raw for sure. I would not ever cook them.

    I am kind of thinking.. be silent. I often think these words in my head. Be silent. An old very wise lady, my good friend (she lived until almost 100 yo) always said that. I loved the atmosphere in her home. So very full of beautiful peace. I was there so often as a kid. I guess she learned me something huge.

    Maybe we need to silent our mind (Brain?) to feel the intuition?
    Rocky likes this.
  9. kathylu

    kathylu Gold

    I took a quick look for some data on this topic and can't find a whole lot. To summarize, "normal" cooking methods, i.e. poaching, grilling, steaming, baking do not appreciably alter the fatty acids or phospholipids in fresh fish. Frying is at such a high temp that damage can occur, so best to avoid that. Canning is a relatively low heat process, certainly less heat that baking, so I wouldn't worry too much. Oils become "rancid" not so much from heat but oxidation, which takes exposure to oxygen and time, though heat can certainly speed up the process. Some oils are quite resistant to oxidation, coconut for instance and it is true that fish oils (O3's) are subject to faster oxidation. However, there is very little oxygen in canned products, so again, I don't think it's a huge concern. My opinion is that the nutritional quality of canned fish would be quite similar to cooked fish.

    However, I agree with you...canned fish certainly does not taste as good as freshly prepared fish! I do use it for convenience though.
  10. Inger

    Inger Silver

    Dear Cavemam. Now.. I am full of questions..lol

    Seems you are not sure canned is less good than fresh? To me it is clear for sure, canned food is fastfood = not good.

    Better then Paleo cookies from old sesame seeds and almond flour? Hell, yes! Can you see me? ;)

    I can tell you for sure, canned is MUCH less good! Canned is ALWAYS much much less good than fresh, and raw.. that is the best (you know we need bacterias and cooking destroys bacteria and viruses.. here you go.. read the BG series again..your eyes will open huge). So if I were you and struggling so bad, I would eat only raw and fresh. The most strange foods, I would not care. I bet you would see results fast! Just try Cavemam! :)

    My own Nr.1 with canned fish, I choose only the best, no vege oils and only wild caught. They makes me feel not bad, no nasty reactions. But they makes me feel no radiant eather. So to me they are not healing for sure. To one person that was used to eat crap, canned fish could be healing of course because better then they used to eat.
  11. villjamur_stevenson

    villjamur_stevenson New Member

    My biggest worry about canned fish is the can lining - typically it has BPA or something worse in it.

    Heat might destroy some of the omega-3s, but the selenium, iodine, etc will still be there.

  12. Kathylu, I always love your responses - very informative.

    I guess perhaps I was mis-informed on the heat. . .I thought they were super heated to quick can (watching too much "how they make that"). Mebby it wasn't fish that were heated. Something to investigate. . . .

  13. Yea, the BPA is a whole other kettle of fish! (har har)

    Good point on the minerals. Minerals should always stay bioavailable with cooking I think. I am going to see if I can figure temps of canning! I suspect KathlyLu is correct tho.
  14. DarleenMB

    DarleenMB Silver

    And then there are those of us who live waaaaaaaay out in the weeds who are mighty damned grateful for canned fish. Yes, we have an Albertson's here in town with a fish counter. It's cheaper to eat beef. Gotta love livin' in Wyoming.
  15. kathylu

    kathylu Gold

    Oh, how I love the internet! Here's a description of fish canning...most fish is processed at 121 degrees centigrade for about 10 minutes. That's rather gentle heat, less than steaming, baking or broiling.


    Here's a general description of meat canning (which includes fish). Lots of pictures...knock yourself out!

    Victoria B. likes this.
  16. JanSz

    JanSz Gold

    On canned seafood.

    I hope the can lining will do no harm.

    Seafood with water is probably ok to eat.

    Seafood with anything else than water needs study.

    I am looking at my can of oysters in cottonseed oil.

    Why do I eat oysters--- because of omega3, specially DHA + good incidentals, zinc, etc.


    cottonseed oil is devoid of Omega3, it is pure Omega6 (how could they do that to me).

    When I open the can, I will drain all oil, replace with olive or coconut oils.


    When I think seafood, I think predators and their place on a food chain.

    Salmon is too high for my taste. Also other bigger fish.

    Not really sure how this thinking would fare with bottom feeders, flounder, halibut.

    Probably biggest would be a cod, sea bass, that would be ok to eat.

    Yest to mackerel no to salmon.

    Anyhow, saltwater fish is a secondary food, primarily we should concentrate on shelfish.


    healthy ratios of n−6:n−3 range from 1:1 to 1:4 (an individual needs more n−3 than n−6)

    Typical Western diets provide ratios of between 10:1 and 30:1 (i.e., dramatically higher levels of n−6 than n-3)

    The ratios of n−6 to n−3 fatty acids in some common vegetable oils are:

    this three oils are acceptable

    canola 2:1

    olive 3-13:1

    flax 1:3

    this oils should not be eaten

    soybean 7:1

    sunflower (no n−3)

    cottonseed (almost no n−3)

    peanut (no n−3)

    grapeseed oil (almost no n−3)

    corn oil 46:1 ratio of n−6 to n−3


  17. You are spoiling me doing all the google-fu for me!
  18. kathylu

    kathylu Gold

  19. JanSz

    JanSz Gold

    That would leave only olive oils, because I do not really care for flax oil.

    Fats in summary

    olive oil

    coconut oil, MCT

    red palm oil

    clarified butter


    beef tally

    Anything else???


    macadamian nut oil

  20. JanSz

    JanSz Gold

    I inject testosterone cypionate

    Mine is in cotton seed oil.

    Weekly it is 0.8cc

    Wonder how big source of O6 that is (it does not go thru digestive system), it is (about) subq shot


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