YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Sardines Good Source of Calcium, Riboflavin--but Heavy on Sodium

April 03, 1986|TONI TIPTON

With so much talk about calcium intake and calcium supplements, it's not surprising to find confusion among consumers. The truth is, sufficient calcium may be obtained through the foods we eat with little or no supplementation, and sardines are an excellent source.

These tiny fish are so delicate that even their bones are soft; thus, the fish is eaten whole, bones and all. Three ounces of sardines have 40% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance for protein and 25 to 30% of the USRDA for calcium. In addition, sardines are a good source of riboflavin and niacin.

Sardines range in size from 3 1/2 to 4 3/4 inches long and are packed primarily in virgin olive oil, although some varieties may be packed in the light, natural oil from the fish itself, in soy oil or in tomato sauce or in mustard sauce. The oil pack contains about 260 calories, the tomato pack and the mustard pack, each 240.

Sardines are ideal for use whole in salads, sandwiches and as a topping for pizza, but they are also good mashed in casseroles and quiches as the following recipes demonstrate. Consider cutting our Calcium Club sandwich in half and sharing it with a friend as the caloric total is hefty. Persons on sodium-restricted diets should note the high sodium content of sardines, when adding the fish to their daily menus. Because they receive a brine bath for descaling before smoking, sardines are extremely high in sodium. CALCIUM CLUB

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped pimiento

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

6 slices caraway rye bread

1 (3 3/4-ounce) can sardines in oil, drained

3 ounces sliced Swiss cheese

1 medium tomato, sliced

6 slices bacon, fried crisp and drained

2 Boston lettuce leaves

Combine mayonnaise, pimiento, onion, mustard and pepper in small bowl. Spread mixture over 1 slice bread. Arrange single layer of sardines, then half of cheese over bread. Spread both sides of second slice bread with mayonnaise mixture and arrange over cheese. Layer with several tomato slices, 3 slices bacon and lettuce leaf. Spread third slice with mayonnaise mixture and top sandwich with bread. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients. Makes 2 club sandwiches.

PER SERVING: 924 calories; 37 gm protein; 47 gm carbohydrate; 67 gm fat; 1475 mg sodium; 752 mg potassium. USRDA

Protein 57% Riboflavin 33% Vitamin A 34% Niacin 31% Vitamin C 52% Calcium 67% Thiamine 27% Iron 32%


1 head Boston lettuce

1 pound small red potatoes, cooked, cooled and thickly sliced

4 hard-cooked eggs

2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 medium red onion, sliced and separated into rings

3 (3 3/4-ounce) cans sardines in oil, drained

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon dill weed

Dill sprigs, optional

Line large platter with lettuce leaves. Arrange potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, onion and 2 1/2 cans sardines on lettuce.

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, horseradish, lemon juice and dill weed in bowl. Mash remaining 1/2 can drained sardines and mix into mixture. Serve sauce over salad and garnish with dill sprigs. Makes 4 servings.

PER SERVING: 622 calories; 28 gm protein; 28 gm carbohydrate; 44 gm fat; 694 mg sodium; 1,294 mg potassium. USRDA

Protein 43% Riboflavin 24% Vitamin A 35% Niacin 29% Vitamin C 65% Calcium 38% Thiamine 16% Iron 34%


2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 tablespoon oil

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 (3 3/4-ounce) cans sardines in oil

Whisk together water, vinegar, oil, mustard and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Drain sardines and leave in cans. Pour vinegar mixture over sardines in cans and refrigerate several hours or overnight to blend flavors.

Turn sardines out of cans onto serving plate and serve as desired with sandwich makings, on crisp crackers or baguette slices. Makes 4 servings.

Note: Nutrient data does not include garnishes or accompaniments.

PER SERVING: 198 calories; 11 gm protein; 1 gm carbohydrate; 16 gm fat; 435 mg sodium; 301 mg potassium. USRDA

Protein 17% Riboflavin 05% Vitamin A 02% Niacin 12% Vitamin C 03% Calcium 19% Thiamine 01% Iron 11%


1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup sliced green onions

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon dill

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups cooked rice

Pastry for 1 (9-inch) pie

2 (3 3/4-ounce) cans sardines in oil, drained

3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup prepared mustard

Saute mushrooms and onions in butter in large skillet. Stir in flour to blend. Gradually add broth, cooking until mixture begins to thicken. Add wine and cook, stirring, until thickened. Stir in dill, salt, pepper and rice and set aside.

Los Angeles Times Articles