Smoked canned tuna in cooking oil in open tin can set, on old dark  wooden table background
When To Use Oil-Packed Tuna Over Water-Packed (And Why It Matters)
By Linda Larsen
Canned tuna is a tried-and-true, versatile ingredient that tastes delicious in salads, sandwiches, and recipes such as tonnato (not tomato) sauce. You can buy canned tuna packed in water or oil, and while they may seem similar, they are better suited for different things and have some notable nutritional distinctions.
One of the biggest differences between the two tuna packing methods is how they’re used in the kitchen. If you’re making a salad or sandwich with a fat, such as mayonnaise, you can use water-packed tuna to avoid extra oil; on the other hand, oil-packed tuna is great if it’s going to be eaten straight or in a salad with dressing.
Although both varieties are high in protein, water-packed tuna has twice as much cholesterol and more DHA omega-3 fats, while the oil-packed version contains more sodium and vitamin D. While both varieties are pantry staples, your nutritional goals and the way you plan to use the tuna should dictate the type of canned tuna you buy.