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Yellowtail vs. Tuna - Nutritional and Health Differences

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on February 01, 2024
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Yellowtail
vs
Tuna

Summary

In short, yellowtails are rich in calcium, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese, whereas tuna is higher in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and selenium. 

A serving of yellowtail contains 7.32% of the daily value (DV) for fat, while a serving of tuna contains only 0.6% of the DV for fat. Furthermore, one serving of either of these fish can provide 40% of the daily value for protein.

100g of tuna provides 98% of the daily value (DV) required for vitamin B12. Yellowtail contains half as much vitamin B12 as tuna.

Introduction

This article compares two types of fish, tuna and yellowtail. Different subspecies of both will be listed in the general differences sections. The main focus of this article is the differences in their nutritional and health impact. 
Both tuna and yellowtail are quite different fishes that are vastly used in different cuisines around the world, and it’s quite interesting to know these differences in addition to their nutritional and health differences. 

Nutrition

In this section, we will compare 100 grams of bluefin tuna to yellowtail, both in their cooked form (dry heat). It is worth noting, however, that the average serving size for these fish is 85 grams. 

Please be aware that the serving size provided only reflects what is typically consumed and should not be taken as a recommendation for the amount you should consume.

Macronutrients and Calories

Yellowtails have a slightly higher nutrient density than tuna. They contain approximately 7% fat, 67% water, and other essential nutrients. Conversely, tuna has a lower fat content of only 0.6% and contains 69% water along with other nutrients. Both yellowtails and tuna have roughly equal amounts of protein, about 29%.

100g of yellowtail contains 187 calories, while 100g of tuna contains only 130 calories.

Protein

Both yellowtail and tuna are excellent protein sources, with almost 29g of protein per 100g, containing all essential amino acids. One serving of these fish can provide 40% of the daily value for protein.

Fats

Yellowtail fish has a fat content of 6.72g per 100g, which is considerably higher than tuna, which has a fat content of 0.59g per 100g. 

A serving of yellowtail contains 7.32% of the daily value (DV) for fat, whereas a serving of tuna contains only 0.6% of the DV for fat. 

Raw yellowtails and tuna have higher amounts of unsaturated fats (mono- and polyunsaturated) than saturated fats. However, yellowtail has more saturated fats than tuna (1).

Cholesterol

It's important to note that yellowtails have more cholesterol than tuna. Yellowtails contain 71mg of cholesterol per 100g, whereas tuna only has 47mg per 100g. 

Additionally, it's crucial to remember that daily cholesterol consumption should not exceed 300mg.

Carbohydrates 

They have negligible carbs.

Minerals

Yellowtails are rich in calcium, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese, whereas tuna is higher in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and selenium. 

50g of tuna can provide about 98% of the daily value (DV) required for selenium. 

The following chart compares the mineral contents of two types of fish.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Calcium +625%
Contains more Zinc +48.9%
Contains more Copper +34.9%
Contains more Manganese +46.2%
Contains more Iron +46%
Contains more Magnesium +10.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +65.7%
Contains more Selenium +131.2%
Equal in Potassium - 527
Equal in Sodium - 54
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 9% 24% 28% 87% 48% 7% 19% 20% 3% 256%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 2% 35% 30% 143% 47% 8% 13% 15% 2% 591%
Contains more Calcium +625%
Contains more Zinc +48.9%
Contains more Copper +34.9%
Contains more Manganese +46.2%
Contains more Iron +46%
Contains more Magnesium +10.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +65.7%
Contains more Selenium +131.2%
Equal in Potassium - 527
Equal in Sodium - 54

Vitamins

Tuna is richer in lipid-soluble vitamins D, E, and K, and it contains higher levels of B2, B3, B6, and B12 than yellowtail. On the other hand, yellowtail is richer in vitamins A, C, B1, B5, and B9 (folate). Tuna has a more varied and richer vitamin profile than yellowtail.

100g of tuna provides 98% of the daily value (DV) required for vitamin B12Yellowtail contains half as much vitamin B12 as tuna.

Boost your vitamin B6 intake by eating two servings of tuna, which provides 100% of your daily needs for this essential nutrient.

The following is a chart that depicts the difference in vitamin content.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
8
Tuna
Contains more Vitamin A +60%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +30.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +103.9%
Contains more Folate +100%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +168.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +153.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +461.1%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +88%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 7% 0% 0% 10% 44% 12% 164% 41% 43% 3% 157% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 4% 6% 60% 0% 34% 32% 414% 21% 240% 2% 294% 43% 1%
Contains more Vitamin A +60%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +30.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +103.9%
Contains more Folate +100%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +168.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +153.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +461.1%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +88%

You can read about sardine vs. tuna in this article

Positive Health Impacts

Cardiovascular Health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

Consumption of tuna is associated with improved cardiovascular markers and low risks of cardiovascular diseases (2).

In addition, yellowtail and tuna contain rich omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA, which have been shown to decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and reduce cardiovascular mortality risks (3).

To maintain a healthy heart, consuming fatty fish at least twice a week is crucialAccording to the American Heart Association, this dietary habit helps lower the risk of heart disease (4).

They can both be consumed in our diets for good heart health. 

General Health Impacts

When it comes to macronutrients, tuna and yellowtail are similar; however, when it comes to minerals and vitamins, tuna has a much richer and more versatile profile than yellowtail. The cumulative effect of all these nutrients has positive health benefits. 

Selenium in tuna is one of the most remarkable antioxidative minerals (5). 

Tuna is associated with reduced risks of Alzheimer’s and dementia due to its fatty acid composition (6).

Improperly kept tuna fish causes scombroid poisoning, a self-limited reaction similar to an allergic reaction. In addition, since tuna is eaten raw most of the time, gastroenteritis and other foodborne illnesses can arise. Consuming raw fish from proper sources is important to maintain good food hygiene.

Downsides

Mercury Poisoning 

Tuna is considered to be a fish with a higher mercury content than yellowtail. Thus, this should be a matter of concern for individuals who consume high amounts of fish. Especially pregnant women, where mercury is considered toxic and should be avoided

Thus, if you crave fish, yellowtail is a better option than tuna (7.8). 

General Differences

Tuna and yellowtail are different types of fish. Tuna comes from deep waters and is a larger fish, whereas yellowtail is smaller than tuna and is mostly on coastlines. It’s called a yellowtail because it has a bright yellow stripe and tail. 

Their taste is different, and their culinary usages are different and versatile

Sushi mostly uses tuna as raw fish, searing, tuna steaks, and canned forms. 
Yellowtail is also used as sushi and sashimi in Japan. In addition, it can be used in dishes, soups, grilling, and stews. Yellowtail tempura is frequently used in Japanese cuisine. 

Yellowtail has a white to pink color, whereas tuna has a darker red color. 

Yellowtail has a buttery texture and a mild flavor. Tuna has a stronger fishy flavor taste than yellowtail. White tuna has a smooth texture compared to other tunas.

You can read about tuna vs. salmon in this article

When adding soy sauce to yellowtail or tuna, consider the amount of sodium consumed. 

Types of Tuna and Yellowtail

The main types of tuna species are:

Pacific Bluefin tuna
Atlantic bluefin
Southern bluefin
Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)
Albacore tuna
Bigeye tuna
Skipjack tuna
White tuna

The main types of yellowtail are:

Yellowtail amberjack (Seriola lalandi) (Hamachi)
Yellowtail snapper
Japanese yellowtail
California yellowtail

What’s the Difference Between Canned Tuna and Fresh Tuna?

Since tuna is a popular choice, it is important to distinguish the differences between fresh and canned tuna. 

Well, there is quite a difference between them. 
Fresh tuna is mostly eaten raw, so there is a higher infection risk than canned tuna. 
In addition, their taste is quite different since canned tuna is cooked and contains oil or water. 

In turn, since it has additional oil, mostly sunflower oil, it has higher calories and a different nutritional profile. 

Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: February 01, 2024
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian

Infographic

Yellowtail vs Tuna infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Fats +1039%
Equal in Protein - 29.15
Equal in Water - 68.98
Equal in Other - 1.28
30% 7% 67%
Protein: 29.67 g
Fats: 6.72 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 67.33 g
Other: 0 g
29% 69%
Protein: 29.15 g
Fats: 0.59 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 68.98 g
Other: 1.28 g
Contains more Fats +1039%
Equal in Protein - 29.15
Equal in Water - 68.98
Equal in Other - 1.28

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Yellowtail Tuna
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Glycemic Index Equal
Lower in price Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Yellowtail Tuna Opinion
Protein 29.67g 29.15g Yellowtail
Fats 6.72g 0.59g Yellowtail
Calories 187kcal 130kcal Yellowtail
Calcium 29mg 4mg Yellowtail
Iron 0.63mg 0.92mg Tuna
Magnesium 38mg 42mg Tuna
Phosphorus 201mg 333mg Tuna
Potassium 538mg 527mg Yellowtail
Sodium 50mg 54mg Yellowtail
Zinc 0.67mg 0.45mg Yellowtail
Copper 0.058mg 0.043mg Yellowtail
Manganese 0.019mg 0.013mg Yellowtail
Selenium 46.8µg 108.2µg Tuna
Vitamin A 104IU 65IU Yellowtail
Vitamin A RAE 31µg 22µg Yellowtail
Vitamin E 0.29mg Tuna
Vitamin D 82IU Tuna
Vitamin D 2µg Tuna
Vitamin C 2.9mg 0mg Yellowtail
Vitamin B1 0.175mg 0.134mg Yellowtail
Vitamin B2 0.051mg 0.137mg Tuna
Vitamin B3 8.718mg 22.07mg Tuna
Vitamin B5 0.681mg 0.334mg Yellowtail
Vitamin B6 0.185mg 1.038mg Tuna
Folate 4µg 2µg Yellowtail
Vitamin B12 1.25µg 2.35µg Tuna
Choline 77.6mg Tuna
Vitamin K 0.1µg Tuna
Tryptophan 0.332mg 0.313mg Yellowtail
Threonine 1.301mg 1.224mg Yellowtail
Isoleucine 1.367mg 1.287mg Yellowtail
Leucine 2.411mg 2.27mg Yellowtail
Lysine 2.725mg 2.565mg Yellowtail
Methionine 0.878mg 0.827mg Yellowtail
Phenylalanine 1.158mg 1.091mg Yellowtail
Valine 1.528mg 1.438mg Yellowtail
Histidine 0.873mg 0.822mg Yellowtail
Cholesterol 71mg 47mg Tuna
Trans Fat 0.02g Yellowtail
Saturated Fat 0.205g Yellowtail
Omega-3 - DHA 0.105g Tuna
Omega-3 - EPA 0.015g Tuna
Omega-3 - DPA 0.005g Tuna
Monounsaturated Fat 0.138g Tuna
Polyunsaturated fat 0.175g Tuna
Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid 0.002g Tuna

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Yellowtail Tuna
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet Equal
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet Equal

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
37%
Yellowtail
88%
Tuna
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
49%
Yellowtail
88%
Tuna

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Yellowtail
Yellowtail is lower in Sugar (difference - 0g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Yellowtail
Yellowtail contains less Sodium (difference - 4mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Yellowtail
Yellowtail is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.205g)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Tuna
Tuna is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 24mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (0)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Yellowtail - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174248/nutrients
  2. Tuna - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172006/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.