Fresh tuna no longer counts as an oily fish

A tuna steak with salad

In September 2018 the UK’s official advice on oily fish was changed – fresh tuna no longer counts as an oily fish.1

This is because current data shows that levels of long chain n3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids in fresh tuna are comparable to that found in most white fish. As the evidence no longer supports fresh tuna being classified as an oily fish, Public Health England have changed government advice to reflect this.

Advice on canned tuna remains the same; it does not count as an oily fish.

Why should we eat oily fish?

Oily fish contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. These may help to prevent heart disease.2 It is also important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, because it can help a baby’s nervous system to develop.

Examples of oily fish include:

  • salmon
  • sardines
  • trout
  • mackerel

Fish is an important part of a healthy diet and can be a good alternative to processed and red meat.  Our evidence has found that cutting back on processed meat and red meat can reduce the risk of bowel cancer.3

Download our Solely Fish cookbook, endorsed by professional chef Nathan Outlaw. Seven delicious, simple and healthy fish-based recipes, to inspire people to eat more fish.


1. GOV.UK. Nutrient Analysis of Fish. 2018.

2. NHS Choices. Fish and Shellfish. 2018.

3. World Cancer Research Fund. Limit consumption of red and processed meat. 2018.