Physique-Builders: Eat enough tuna and you won't have to fish for compliments when it comes to those big guns. It's jam-packed not only with protein but the superhero omega-3 fatty acids that can help your body burn fat like a well-oiled machine.
Physique-Killers: Wolf down a can drowned in oil and you'll reel in 150 extra lackluster calories. Not to be overlooked, your albacore (solid white) tuna might be swimming in mercury, a potent neurotoxin. Yikes.
Smart Play: Save calories by building a sandwich with tuna packed in water. Choose chunk-light tuna for lower mercury levels, or select the albacore version from smaller companies that test for mercury.
May We Suggest: Wild Planet Wild Albacore Tuna (1wildplanet.com), 4 oz.: 240 calories, 32 g protein, 0 g carbs, 12 g fat (1 g saturated)
10) Deli Meat
Physique-Builders: Deck out a sandwich with the right lean deli meat and you'll help your body stockpile heaps of protein, B vitamins, iron and zinc. "Iron is needed for the synthesis of muscle protein, whereas zinc helps regenerate their cells," Gidus points out. Zinc has also been found to help raise levels of testosterone and IGF-1 and helps elevate the metabolic rate.
Physique-Killers: Many packaged cured meats contain nitrite preservatives. Nitrites cause oxidative stress in the body, which is why processed meats have been linked to prostate cancer. On top of that, add too much saturated fat and sodium and your sandwich isn't so body-friendly.
Smart Play: Concentrate on meat slices with a high protein-to-fat ratio such as sliced chicken breast, turkey breast and roast beef. Gidus suggests looking for brands that do away with nitrites and a portion of the salt.
May We Suggest: Applegate Farms Herb Turkey (applegatefarms.com), 4 oz.: 100 calories, 24 g protein, 0 g carbs, 0 g fat (0 g saturated)
Matthew Kadey is a Canada-based dietitian and writer (mattkadey.ca).