Best-Canned-Sardines

The 10 Best Canned Sardines in 2019

Having fishes in your regular diet is honestly a great choice. A good combination of taste and health would be sardines fishes. Now we understand with the busy life we lead, it’s not easy to cook fish from the top. That’s why there are canned sardines available now. Rich in nutrients you will find most type of sardines canned for you.  Sardines are small fishes that are high in nutrient including omega 3. We love it mostly because you can prepare myriads of dishes with canned sardines within limited time. From snacks to main course, you can prepare sardine full dishes with convenience and ease.

Canned sardines are something that goes through a bit of processing and some extra ingredients are added to preserve the fishes well. Therefore, it is important that you choose a reliable brand that offers good quality and healthy sardines. They are stored in water, olive oil and vegetable oil. Depending on the medium, the taste and nutritional benefits of the canned sardines differ as well. Hence, we have made a review on best canned sardines for you. We have taken a lot of factors in consideration to come up with this list.

​Best Pick

King Oscar Sardines Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The best buy would be King Oscar Sardines Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This one is suitable for both ready to eat meal and gourmet dishes and spreads. The taste is compatible with most types of palate.

​Budget Pick

Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The budget pick would be Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. From a popular brand, these sardines are delicious and suitable for preparing most type of seafood meals.


1. King Oscar Sardines Extra Virgin Olive Oil  

Highlighted Features

  • Caught from the wild and wood-smoked
  • 3.75-ounce can with two layers of bristling sardines
  • Stored in olive and salt
  • Rich in Omega 3 and minerals like calcium and iron
  • Contains high amount of protein and possess very low mercury level
  • Nutrients are sustained to the fullest since the bones and skin of fish is not removed
  • Ideal for low carb diet
  • No sugar is used and is a gluten free product
  • Comes in Certified BPA-NI cans

King Oscar Sardines are on our list because of their organic nature. The processing is such so that the original flavors and nutrients of the sardines are sustained. Caught from the wild, these canned sardines are wood smoked then. Only sardines that meet the required size and quality are hand-packed for the customers. Basically each can is 3.75-ounce packed with two layers of bristling sardines.

The fishes are stored in olive oil and a bit of salt. For those, who do not prefer the raw fish smell, canned sardines stored in olive oil are a good choice for you. You would prefer this taste over normal fishes. We honestly loved the flavor and we like to them directly from the can or mixed with some salads. Of course, you can cook the sardines more or include them in other dishes.

In terms of nutritional benefit, King Oscar sardines are rich in Omega 3 and minerals like calcium and iron. Like most sardines, this is also rich in protein but with minimal level of mercury. We would like to point out its specialty which would be its high health benefits. This one retains the entire health value of proper sardines. That’s because the bones and skin of the fish is not removed while processing the fishes.

In fact, you will not even notice them while eating since they are so small. Therefore, the nutrients stay to the fullest in these canned sardines. This is what we love the most about King Oscar Sardines. For those who are looking for a low carb diet, this one can provide you with the essential nutrients. For special dietary requirements, know that it is a gluten free product and no sugar was added in the process.

We liked the packaging as well. It comes in Certified BPA-NI cans. This is pretty commendable for the brand. The cans are recyclable and you can easily open them with the pull-ring. These are ready to eat fishes that are for sure but you might have trouble lifting them up. The fishes are very delicate and you will end up dropping them sometimes.

​Pros

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    Completely organic
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    Good packaging
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    Possess nutritional value to the full
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    Tastes great with salads and sandwiches
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    Ideal part of healthy diet
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    Meets special dietary requirements; sugar-free and gluten-free

​Cons

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    It’s difficult to eat directly from the can since the fishes are too delicate

2. Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

Highlighted Features

  • Comes with 4.4oz cans packed with mixed sardines
  • Stored in extra virgin olive oil
  • Mildly smoked to retain the flavors properly
  • Follows sustainable sourcing and eco-friendly practices
  • Rich in protein and Omega 3
  • Good source of calcium and iron since skin are not removed
  • Scales, tails and heads of the fish is cleared out for better taste
  • Gluten-free, non-GMO and Kosher product

Wild Planet is one of our favorite brands when it comes to canned fishes. For its sustainable sourcing practices, we like it even more. It comes with 4.4oz cans packed with mixed sardines. The medium used here to store the sardines is olive oil. This way you get a more flavorful fish without the smell of raw fishes. To retain the flavors properly, the fishes are mildly smoked. You can eat them directly from the can or use them with some great seafood dishes.

In terms of brand reliability, know that Wild Planet has been working relentlessly about eco-friendly harvesting and sourcing. Therefore, for any type of canned seafood, this is one the brands that you should check first. Wild Planet sardines are rich in protein just like any other ordinary sardines. It is also a good source of calcium and iron. Also, this one has omega 3, an essential nutrient for anti-oxidants in the body. While processing, the scales, tails and heads are cleared. The bones are also cleared up as much as possible.

Therefore, those who don’t prefer to eat bones that much, this one is a good brand for you. But we liked the fact that the skin of the fish is not cleared out so that you can enjoy the health benefits to the fullest. For people with special dietary needs, you can consume this brand’s canned sardines with no worries. To be exact, this canned sardines are gluten-free and non-GMO. In fact, they are also Kosher.

We like this brand because they think of people’s individual needs and do such with alignment with eco-friendly practices. We did find one problem to the product. In some packages, the ratio to fishes and oil is a bit inconsistent. Otherwise, we really like the taste of the fishes and they go great with seafood dishes.

​Pros

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    Reliable
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    Flavor is retained
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    Ready to eat meals
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    Meets special dietary needs
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    Possess good health benefits
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    Sold as whole sardines
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    Goes well with salads, sandwiches and more

​Cons

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    In some packages, the ratio of fishes to oil is inconsistent

3. Matiz España Sardines in Olive Oil

Highlighted Features

  • Sourced off the coast of Galicia
  • 100% naturally sourced whole fish
  • Premium quality Spanish olive oil used as medium
  • Dense, chewy and mild smoky flavor that goes well with seafood dishes
  • Follows sustainable sourcing and eco-friendly harvesting practices
  • Comes in cans of 4.25 ounce
  • Certified B Corporation brand

If you are looking for some unique flavors for Sardines fishes, Matiz España Sardines could be something you could look into. Processed in Spain, this one possesses quite an uncommon flavor of sardines. They are sourced off coast of Galicia. Next, the fishes are hand-prepared for the customers. The medium used to store the fishes is premium quality Spanish olive oil. The different sourcing and olive oil makes the taste unique. This brand also follows sustainable sourcing practices so that the ecological balance is maintained. Of course, in the seafood arena, this is a reliable brand.

Each pack contains 4.25 ounce. They are mostly whole fish available and you can use them for your favorite dishes including French roles, delish spread etc. This brand’s sardines are certified B Corporation. It implies that the brand follows ecofriendly practices and does responsible business for its stakeholders. We love for more reasons. If you prefer fleshy fishes, this one tops our list of best canned sardines. The fishes include bones but those can be easily removed if you do not prefer them. 

As far as the flavors are concerned, it possesses a dense, chewy taste which everyone loves. For chefs who love to try out new seafood cuisines, this brand of canned sardines can make your dish more flavorful. Since they come as whole, you can use them just the way you want. It already has a nice smoky flavor but you can definitely cook more if the dish requires.

​Pros

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    Possess an uncommon taste
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    Reliable and popular brand
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    Versatile; can be used as main dish, snack or spread
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    Flavor palatable to most consumers
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    Ecologically conscious  brand
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    Fleshy fish

​Cons

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    ​Not so suitable for those who don’t like to eat fish scales

4. Season's Skinless and Boneless Sardines in Pure Olive Oil 

Highlighted Features

  • Sourced from Morocco with sustaining harvesting practices
  • Stored in pure olive oil to retain the flavor
  • Ideal for preparing rich and fulfilling meals
  • Each serving contains 1500 mg of omega 3 fatty acids and essential protein and minerals
  • Contains 3.75 ounce of whole bristling sardines
  • Skins and bones are removed from the sardines
  • Ready-to-eat meal with salt seasoning
  • Meets special dietary needs; gluten-free and non-GMO product
  • Comes in BPA free packaging

Being in the seafood industry for almost a decade now, Season’s canned sardines are surely one of the best in the market. The canned sardines are sourced from Morocco through sustainable practices and all the ingredients used are 100% natural. In fact, you will find fresh sardines stored in the medium of pure olive oil. This is why, the fishes taste really good with some salad or fried with tomatoes. We prefer Season’s sardines specifically for preparing rich and fulfilling seafood meals.

From nutritional value perspective, per serving of Season’s sardines contains 1500 mg of Omega 3. Other than possessing this essential fatty acid for the body, these sardines are high in protein and calcium. Season’s sardines come in packages of 3.75 ounce. The sardines are basically bristling sardines which tends to be smaller compared to regular sardines. However, we can assure you bristling sardines taste much better compared to regular ones. In fact, they possess better health benefits compared to normal sardines. The calorie level is low for Season’s sardines.

From the name, you can clearly understand that the bones and skin are removed from the sardines. Therefore, people who do not like bones in fishes would love this feature. Moreover, this makes it easy to feed your toddlers as well. It is actually a ready-to-eat meal. It comes with salt seasoning. So, you don’t have to add anything while eating. Of course, you can use it to cook other dishes and the fish will still taste great. 

They come as whole fish, so it’s easier for you to handle and use in other dishes. It even takes care of special dietary needs. Hence, the product is gluten-free and non-GMO. The packaging that it comes with is BPA free. Therefore, overall we couldn’t find anything of the brand that we could complain.

​Pros

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    Use of 100% natural ingredients only
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    Flavorful and mild taste
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    More nutritional benefit compared to regular sardines
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    Safe packaging
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    ​Edible for adults and kids
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    ​Veteran brand

​Cons

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    The taste might not be compatible with all palates

5. Crown Prince Skinless & Boneless Sardines in Olive Oil 

Highlighted Features

  • Bones and skins of the sardines are cleared
  • Values special needs; it is Kosher and gluten-free product
  • Wild caught from Morocco
  • Possess mild flavor with firm texture
  • Comes in cans of 3.75 ounce
  • Contains high protein with low calories
  • Each serving contains 1700 mg of omega 3

Sardines are something that is not consumed by everyone. Therefore, it’s completely normal for you not to be accustomed with its taste. For those new consumers, we would recommend the brand Crown Prince for sardines. That’s because, they clear the skin and bones for you. So, you won’t face much difficulty eating them as beginners. This one is dipped in olive oil and you can use them for preparing some healthy and nutritious dishes. With processing, we liked the fact that these are hand-filleted and packed with olive oil that is cold-pressed. You can obviously guess from the processing technique that this is a non-GMO verified product.

The product comes in cans of 3.75 ounce. It has pull-top lid but it’s very difficult to open it up with hands. You would need a can-opener for this. The nutritional benefits of this one is quite good as well. To be exact, it contains 1700 mg of omega 3 acid per serving. It is high in protein along with essential fats. However, the calorie level is very low. The brand Crown Prince has been in the seafood industry for a decade now and they have always tried to catch the fleshiest type of fishes. Sourced from all the way to Morocco and wild caught, you have nothing to worry about the authenticity of the fishes.

With flavor, we found the flavors of these sardines are a bit delicate. If you are planning to use the sardines for cooking with other dishes, this is a good choice for you. That’s because the texture of these sardines are quite firm. It is also a Kosher meal and gluten-free.

​Pros

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    Ideal for new consumers
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    Non-GMO verified product
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    Ideal for healthy diet routine
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    Reliable brand
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    Great texture for cooking

​Cons

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    Can-opener is needed to open the lids

6. Season Sardines in Water, No Salt Added 

Highlighted Features

  • Whole sardines stored in water with no added salt
  • Healthy form of canned sardines with low calories and low sodium
  • Wildly caught from Morocco with eco-friendly harvesting practices
  • Ideal for majority of dietary needs
  • Non-GMO verified and gluten free product
  • Skins and bones are not removed for health benefits
  • Good source of protein and minerals
  • Comes with BPA free packaging
  • Contains whole sardines of 4,375 ounce

We understand that many might not prefer sardines dipped in olive oil for various reasons. Hence, in our list of best canned sardines we have added Seasons sardines which are stored in water. Compared to the other variant of Seasons sardines, this one is stored in water. For those, who want to enjoy the exact raw flavor of the fishes, this is what you should opt for. Furthermore, there is no salt added in the canned fishes. This is done specifically to keep the amount of sodium low. Low sodium fish is suitable for majority people’s dietary needs. Of course, you can add salt for seasoning if you want to.

This brand is certified wild-caught and sustainable. It sources the sardines from Morocco with eco-friendly harvesting practices of course. In terms of health benefits, this is the best option that you could opt for. It comes in 4.375-ounce tins packed with wild-caught and natural sardines. This one is a non-GMO verified product as well. The sardines are whole and you can easily use them any type of seafood recipe you want. This is a gluten-free product as well. Therefore, for people with gluten intolerance or requiring a low sodium diet, now you know which canned sardines you should go for.

Each serving contains 1700 mg of omega 3 fatty acids. Of course, it possesses proteins and minerals similar to other sardines. The cans that they are packed with are BPA free. For new consumers, this might not be so palatable. That’s because the skin and bones are not removed and there is no olive oil to wipe out the raw fish smell. However, there are many who prefer the fresh flavors and nutrients of mildly smoked sardines.

​Pros

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    Healthier canned sardine options
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    Ideal for gluten intolerant people
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    Reliable brand
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    Fresh and original sardine flavor
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    Easy pull lids
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    Low cholesterol and sodium

​Cons

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    The amount of fatty acids is low compared to other canned sardines
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    Comes with bones and skin and might not be palatable to everyone

7. King Oscar Wild Caught Brisling Sardines in Tapatio Hot Sauce

Highlighted Features

  • Canned sardines dipped in spicy and zesty Tapatio Hot Sauce
  • Combination of hot sauce and sardines go well tacos and nachos
  • High in Omega 3, protein, iron and calcium
  • Ideal meal for low carb and low sugar diet
  • Made from completely natural ingredients only
  • Comes in 3.75 ounce cans packed with 8-12 bristling sardines
  • Sourced from the Norway’s cold coastal waters
  • Cans made with recyclable aluminum
  • Made from BPA free materials

King Oscar Wild Caught Brisling Sardines in Tapatio Hot Sauce is something unique that we found while reviewing some of the best canned sardines for you. It grabbed our attention for its tapatio hot sauce medium. Yes, if you want really delicious and flavorful ready-to-go meal, you know which canned sardines is the proper choice for you. Let’s start by talking about the spicy and relishing sauce. The hot and zesty texture of the sauce blends with the fish flavor so well. You would absolutely love to eat it directly from the can. These canned sardines go really well with some tacos or nachos.

Despite the medium being different, the canned sardines still possess a good amount of nutritional value. It is high in Omega 3, protein, iron and calcium. If you are gluten-intolerant you can still consume this one without facing any difficulty. For a low carb and low sugar diet, these canned sardines are highly suitable. They basically come in 3.75 ounce cans packed with 8-12 bristling sardines. Made from completely natural ingredients, King Oscar sardines are non-GMO verified.

Sourced from the Norway’s cold coastal waters, the sardines of this type are smaller than usual. But the flavors are really great. That with combination of the special sauce is a match made in heaven. The sardines are wood-smoked to get the mild and gourmet flavor that you need. Of course, we have already mentioned before that the brand follows sustainable sourcing practices. In fact, for an eco-friendly business, they went an extra mile. 

The cans are made with recyclable aluminum. The King Oscar brand is also certified BPA-NI. This implies that no BPA was used in manufacturing. The only problem we found with the product would be its utility. Since the sauce is already there in the can, you can’t experiment much with the canned sardines in seafood dishes. The sauce will overshadow the dishes’ flavor.

​Pros

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    Unique gourmet flavor
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    Possess good health benefits
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    Ready to go meal
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    Gluten-free and non-GMO product
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    Firm texture
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    BPA-NI certified
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    Follows sustainable sourcing practices
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    Reliable brand

​Cons

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    Not so suitable for using with other dishes since the hot sauce overshadows the dish flavor

8. BRUNSWICK Sardine Fillets in Spring Water 

Highlighted Features

  • Stored in spring water with no added salt
  • Ideal for low sodium and low carb diets
  • Comes in 3.75 ounce cans and packed with natural sardines fillet
  • Ideal for preparing lunch or snack-able items
  • Uses eco-friendly practices for sourcing and harvesting
  • Contains omega 3 acid and protein

The final one in our list of best canned sardines is BRUNSWICK Sardine Fillets in Spring Water. This one is stored in fresh spring water in order to retain the authentic sardine flavor. Salt is not added in the cans so that people with low sodium diets can also consume these sardines. For people who prefer natural taste of fish, you would really like the canned sardines from this brand. It comes in 3.75 ounce cans.

Another positive aspect of these sardines is that it is great for a keto-friendly diet since no salt or oil was used for preserving. The sardine fillets can be used to prepare all types of sardine related dishes. You can use it as a ready-to-snack or a fulfilling meal for the day. The brand believes in responsible harvesting and management in the seafood industry. In fact, they have managed to fulfill their promise of sourcing though eco-friendly techniques only. From nutritional benefits, this one has omega 3 acid and protein of course.

As a high-protein snack, this band is widely popular in the seafood consumer’s segment. What we love more is that the flavors seem completely natural. But for those who are not used to the taste of sardines, you might not like it without salt and a bit of seasoning.

​Pros

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    Keto diet friendly product
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    Gluten-free
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    Responsible sourcing
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    Goes well with most seafood recipes
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    Good texture and fresh flavor

​Cons

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    Might not be palatable for those who are trying sardines for the first time

Things to Consider Before Purchasing Canned Sardines

Medium

Understand that canned sardines are not sold alone. It needs a medium to be stored properly. The common mediums used are olive oil, water, vegetable oil, sauces etc. What medium you choose depends on a lot of factors. For instance, if you don’t like the raw taste of fishes, you should go for the olive oil medium. If you prefer fresh flavor of fish, olive oil medium will give you the right taste. In that case, go for water medium. We would recommend not going for the ones that has vegetable oil. Those ones are not so suitable for low fat or low carb diet.

Type of fish

Canned sardines could be mixed type of sardines or one particular type. They can be whole fish or fillets. Of course, based on your needs, feel free to choose any of the type. But do check if the brand follows sustainable sourcing. That way you would know that the fishes are authentic. A rule of thumb is that bristling sardines are better taste and nutritional value wise. But they are usually smaller in size compared to others.

Type of dishes

This depends on your needs. For instance, if you want ready-to-go meals, we would say going for olive oil medium canned sardines. If you need sardines for spread or sandwiches, fillets can work great with any type of medium. Again, if you planning to prepare proper sardine seafood dish, you should go for whole sardines with water medium. Basically, what type of canned sardines you would buy depends on your particular needs of dishes. For instance, we love sardines stored in hot sauces as ready-to-go meals. But those are not at all suitable for preparing gourmet dishes.

Added ingredients or seasonings

This is important to understand for your special dietary needs. For instance, if salt is added, it’s good as seasoning and the taste would be better. But if you are on a low sodium diet, this seasoning needs to be avoided. Again, sauces and spices are also added in the canned sardines. Those are great for eating directly from the cans but you can’t really use them for preparing other meals. But for salads and side dishes, you can use them.

Nutritional value

Ideally, every sardine you buy possess moderate amount of omega 3 and protein. They also contain minerals like calcium and iron. However, the nutritional value is the highest when the bones and skins of the fishes are not removed. There are many canned sardines that clear out the bones and skin. Again, that is your choice whether your palate is compatible with the taste of bones and skins.

Conclusion

We would recommend including fishes in your regular diet. Canned sardines are a convenient way to include them in your diet. The good thing is there are plenty of brands that provide completely organic canned sardines with no added preservatives. You can choose any suitable brand for you based on medium, type and other factors. Usually most of the sardines are gluten-free and nutritious for your health.
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