Shoppers can find almost any of their favorite foods in canned varieties. Convenience is a driving force behind the popularity of canned foods, as such items are often affordable, easily cut and/or prepared, and stored for long periods without the need for refrigeration. When a certain ingredient is needed, all you have to do is go to the pantry and select the right item for the meal.
Despite the benefits of canned foods, shoppers may not have all the information about its nutrition and benefits. To set the record straight, here’s the lowdown on popular canned goods.
Canned foods are nutritionally sound
Canning preserves most of the nutrients. Healthline reports that proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are not affected by the canning process. Most of the fat-soluble vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, D, E and K are also retained. However, certain water-soluble vitamins may be affected, such as vitamins C and B. Mixing canned foods with other foods rich in water-soluble vitamins can ensure nutritional needs are met.
Canned foods are tasty. Have a Plant¨, the Plant-Forward eating guide, says that canned foods offer comparable flavor to fresh and frozen alternatives. Recipes won’t suffer if canned ingredients are used instead.
Canned foods reduce food waste
The high-temperature canning process locks in freshness and flavor, so canned items are shelf-stable for many months. While fresh food is beneficial, it can go bad if not used in a timely manner, creating waste. Canned foods are often packaged in manageable portions, which means a home cook can take only what he or she needs for a recipe, which also results in less waste.
Canned food is affordable
The Canstruction charity says canned food helps families stretch their budgets. Fresh green beans are almost 500% more expensive than canned green beans, according to an analysis by researchers at Michigan State University. Many other canned foods are less expensive than their fresh or frozen counterparts. Canned items are also frequently put up for sale, helping people save even more money.
Canned Foods Provide Variety
Canned options are limitless, which means families can prepare many different recipes even when access to fresh ingredients is limited, such as when produce is not in season.
Canned foods are not necessarily high in sodium
Yes, certain canned items are sealed in a saltwater solution, but this is not always the case. Additionally, many reduced-sodium varieties are available for those watching their salt intake. A 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified bread, cold cuts, cured meats, and pizza as food categories that add the most sodium to Americans’ diets. Canned goods did not appear on the list. Also, by draining and rinsing canned foods with fresh water, you can reduce the sodium in products that contain salt.
Canned foods are viable options that are convenient, tasty, and nutritious.