The health benefits of sardines & why you should eat them!

I know, I know. I need a haircut. As soon as they put an extra hour in the day, mmkay? Until then, just stick with the seafood theme, pretend I’m a mermaid, and listen to me spout about the health benefits of sardines.
Since I’ve been singing my sardine song from the rooftops for a few years now, I thought I should finally make a video about it (just in case blog, Email Monday, and podcast mentions weren’t enough.)
The health benefits of sardines are unmatched. They’re a source of a combination of incredibly important nutrients: omega 3, taurine, selenium, calcium, vitamin D and MORE! They’re a top skin food from my Purely Primal Skincare Guide. On a “scale” of 1 to amazing (ha! Fish joke!) they’re a 10.
You should eat sardines. Do it. Just do it. C’mon. (/peer pressure)
These are the ones I buy. You can find them at most health food stores, too!
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Let me know in the comments how YOU eat these lil’ fish puppies!
Thanks for watching & reading!

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48 Responses

  1. My favorite way to eat them them is panfried (recipe from Well Fed 2). I’ll also eat them on top of green salads. I love the idea of topping them with quac or pico de gallo. Thanks for those ideas. Quick question: I’ve always gotten the ones in oil and I’ve used the oil either in dressing or as part of a dip. I haven’t gotten the water soaked ones bc I was worried I would lose some of the good Omega 3s by draining them and ditching the liquid. Are they still nutrient dense even when they’re drained? Is there nutrition in the liquid, either oil/water/ or tomato sauce?

    1. There’s probably some nutrition in the liquid, but I definitely think 99% of the good stuff is in the sardines’ bodies themselves. I also love the panfried sardines in Well Fed 2!

  2. I’m so glad you and Diane convinced me to try sardines at the paleo tour in Austin last February cuz I totally love them now! I usually eat them with avocado and hot sauce or I make a tuna and sardine salad that I actually just posted on my blog this past Monday so perfect timing!

  3. I already eat sardines now and then, but I’m happy to hear I can add the water/juice to my dogs food. Thanks for the extra tip.

  4. Ok, I’m convinced! I’ve picked up a can at Publix three times now and put it back bc I just couldn’t commit. I’m going for it! Loved the video!

    1. love eating a can packed with olive oil in a spinach salad with mushrooms,tomatoes, red bell peppers and seeds. I add a little extra olive oil and give the salad a good toss. Delicious & nutritious.

  5. I love sardines. I will eat them out of the can, but my favorite way is mashed a bit with a fork and some hot sauce, then I spread it over other food. I used to eat them mostly on bread, but I’d throw it on potatoes, spinach, rice…anything. I didn’t think of it being a skin friendly food. That’s good to know. Most people I know that don’t like them are turned off by the smell.

  6. My youngest son( age 4)and I love wild planet sardines! He has actually started putting his fishy fingers on his older brother to annoy him.

  7. I have two cans in the pantry now, waiting for just the right time. My family hates the smell. (Remember the KC book signing husband that wouldn’t do Paleo/eat meat? That’s mine.) So I decided to have a date with my sardines and my cats on the back deck every day. The family doesn’t know what their missing. Yum!

  8. I also like to eat them with mustard. More specifically, Trader Joe’s Dijon mustard. It’s strong and helps take away some of the fishy taste.

  9. I tried and stopped because I couldn’t get past the fishy taste, but I am deterined now (with some great suggestions on how to eat them) to give them another go. So eat the bones too right? Ick but i’ll do it…

  10. You & Diane got me eating sardines too! So far, the only way I’ve eaten them is how I used to eat tuna: mixed with chopped pickle and mayo.

  11. I eat a tin once a week. The extra water goes in the puppy’s bowl. I don’t get the oil or tomato-sauced ones cause they often contain soybean oil.
    Wrap it in some nori…yum! Add avocado….yum! Add to a big a** salad….YUM!!
    My dog also eats a tin once a week. We love it. I get the Whole Foods Brand or the Wild Planet (the cheap ones are gross)

  12. I’m trying to eat them! I’ve only had them twice so far, and even the smoked in extra virgin olive oil are so darned fishy to me. Maybe I’ll try cooking them next time…

  13. Okay, I finally put my big girl pants on and ate some sardines — I can hardly believe it. Thanks for the encouragement, Liz! And, you know, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. 🙂 I loaded up a bowl with veggies, added the sardines, and topped it all with some homemade tomato sauce.

  14. I’ve never eaten them. Bought a can for my cat once. She wouldn’t eat them. But, I’m willing to try them. Since I went Paleo, I’m eating food I wouldn’t eat before.

  15. Sardines wrapped in Romain lettuce with avocado slice and touch of mayo. I can’t take credit for this one, but it is tasty (Dr. Perlmutter I think…).
    BTW, I loved the “Monty Python” animations!

  16. I’ve been eating these with mustard since I was a kid. It’s one of my favorite snacks/meals. I didn’t know they were healthy, just thought we had them because they were cheap!

      1. I mash them up before adding avocado, or mayo/dill relish, or mustard. Then the bones aren’t an issue:-)

  17. Are there any concerns about plastics lining the tins? Chris Kresser did a podcast recently about the estrogenicity of even non-BPA plastics, and that kind of made me nervous about my several cans of “wild planet” sardines a week.

    1. Brian, I wouldn’t worry about it – especially with sardines canned in water. They’re kept at stable temperatures and don’t contain acidic compounds that tend to be responsible for leeching chemicals from the lining (BPA or other chemicals). I don’t generally buy acidic canned foods – I buy tomatoes in jars – so perhaps the sardines in tomato sauce would be of concern, although I have no proof of that!

  18. If you don’t like the fishy taste or smell. Try squeezing some lemon or lime juice over the top. Let them sit for a minute or two and enjoy! Also, a teaspoon or so of ACV can make them more palatable.

  19. * just to explain – I love sardines but I wonder of there is such a thing as too much of them (overdose of omega3?). They are so easy and fast to eat !

    1. I think it would be hard to OD on the sardines, especially since I’d get so full from the protein… but I’m sure eating a pound a day isn’t necessary! A few times a week is great.

  20. It’s hard for me to understand how Americans can get so squeamish over sardines…eh,eh don’t have the issue, as a toddler I was used to fetch runaway eels from the kitchen sink.
    I only tried wild planet tuna, and I didn’t like at all. If sardines taste like tuna…
    I like a lot matiz under olive oil sardines and I was able to find a Portuguese brand (Novomar) much cheaper and also very good.
    There is this very cute little book, not all paleo recipes of course but many, nice ideas
    http://www.amazon.fr/Sardines-boîte-30-recettes-culte/dp/2501073851/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-2&keywords=Sardines

  21. Just bought and ate a tin can of salmon (in hot sauce!) as a snack-yes, I liked it! Just searching to see if eating a can (small tin) of sardines would be a healthy snack to have on a regular basis? Definitely hit the spot, and I’m sort of amazed how it conquered the pangs of not eating lunch. Thoughts?

    1. Sure, that sounds great to me! I love sardines even more than salmon since they’re a bit lower on the food chain (I get mine from Vital Choice). But I think this sounds like a great healthy snack, especially if it’s not drowning in weird oils or gunk!

  22. Because of you I’ve had sardines in my pantry for about 6 months, however, we haven’t been “brave” enough to try them. I’m doing my first Whole 30, and needed a snack pretty bad yesterday and we just went for it, right outta the can! What the hell was I waiting for?!?! So good!! Thank you for your constant recommendation to eat them, would’ve never tried them otherwise.

  23. I always loved Sardines since I was a child…no kidding. My favorite way of eating them is with egg noodles. Once the noodles are boiled and ready to eat, I pour a whole can of skinless and boneless Sardines (in Olive Oil from Trader Joe’s) and mix them with Jalapeno pepper hot sauce. It takes 3 minutes to prepare and is one of my favorite instant dishes. If you don’t want egg noodles then have them with baked potatoes and hot sauce. Hot sauce all the way….Bon appetit!

  24. liz, I DID IT! I don’t know why I was so scared. I have been an avid liz advice follower for a long while now and this was my final plunge. On a saltine cracker (I know, I know) with guac. New favorite snack. A non-paleo, real foodie you have just convinced to eat sardines a few times a week. The best part is, NO COOKING REQUIRED.

  25. Thanks for introducing me to the easiest lunch / snack ever!!
    I haven’t had sardines since I was a little kid but after reading your book I decided to dig in and order a stack online and I’ve been having them everyday!
    So far I love them straight from the can, topped with Dijon and a tiny splash of maple syrup, guac, mashed in with sweet potato, what’s not to love? XXOO

  26. Sauteeing sardines with onions, garlic and pepper with any veggie makes them delicious and part of a complete meal (of course add the sardines last because they just have to warm through, not actually cook)

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