Sardines are incredibly versatile food. They can be served on bread as a sandwich, cooked with vegetables as a dish, or eaten with rice as a meal on its own.

They (sardines) are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids (good fat) and few foods are as high in vitamin B12,” shares Magdalin Cheong, Chief Dietitian from Dietetic & Food Services at Changi General Hospital (CGH), a member of the SingHealth group.

1. Promotes a healthy heart

Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent heart disease due to their anti-inflammatory properties, and sardines are an excellent source of them. They (omega-3 fatty acids) reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol. This property has been shown to help  reduce the risk of blood clots and lower blood pressure, thus reducing cardiovascular risks. 

According to the American Heart Association, recommended consumption of fatty fish a week is 2 servings to meet our omega-3 needs – one serving is around 100g cooked, which comes out to approximately a palm-sized portion.

Sardines are also excellent source of vitamin B-12, which helps cardiovascular wellbeing and gives you energy.

2. Good for bone health

As sardines are eaten as a whole, together with their tiny bones, they provide ample amount of calcium. This makes them a good choice for those who are lactose intolerant, allergic to dairy, or need more calcium in their diet.

Sardines are also rich in vitamin D, which helps to increase the body’s absorption of calcium. In order to maintain strong bones, order adults are advised to aim for 1000mg calcium intake per day. A 90g serving of sardines provides approximately 43% of one’s daily calcium requirement.

3. Mineral-rich

In addition to being rich in calcium vitamins, sardines contain a number of beneficial minerals such as:

  • Niacin

  • Iron

  • Potassium

  • Magnesium

  • Zinc

  • Phosphorus

4. Builds muscle and keeps immunity strong

Sardines are also packed with protein, essential for growth and repair of cells and muscles. Protein also helps keep our immune systems strong.

Health precaution when eating sardines

Those with kidney problems or gout should avoid sardines as they contain a substance that creates uric acid. Uric acid build-up can cause kidney and gout issues for those who are already susceptible.

Canned sardines are also high in salt. So if you’re trying to lower your salt intake, check the food label before purchasing or alternatively, drain away the gravy.

The high calorie count of sardines is also something to be aware of if you are watching your calorie intake.

Nutritional analysis of sardine (source USDA)

This table show the nutritional value of sardines per 100g


Data - USDA​

​Data - Sardines in tomato sauce: McCance and Widdowson's 6th edition (dietplan 6) 


208 kcal​

























​Canned in oil, drained (olive oil)

Canned in tomato sauce​

Canned in brine, drained​

​Energy (kcal)




​Protein (g)




​Fat (g)




​CHO (g)




​Calcium (mg)




​Cholesterol (mg)




​Fibre (g)




​Sodium (mg)




Ref: K21

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