When Eating Healthy Don't Count Out Canned Foods

If you were to peak into the pantries of most homes in America, you would likely find an assortment of canned food items. From soups and stews to peas and peaches, canned foods are non-perishable and great to have on hand when you need a quick side dish or want to add extra nutrients to soups, pasta’s or casseroles.

Canning is a safe way to preserve foods. Once the cans are sealed and heat processed, the food inside will maintain its quality and nutrients for up to two years and is safe to eat as long as the container is not damaged in any way. Because canned food has already been cooked, it is ready to serve out of the can or can be warmed before serving, if desired. In terms of nutrition, canned foods such as fruits and vegetables are nutrient-rich and comparable in nutrients to fresh or frozen varieties.

When buying canned fruit, you can reduce added sugar and calories, by selecting varieties packed in fruit juice or water rather than syrup. When selecting canned vegetables, look for those labeled “reduced sodium” or “no salt added.” When it comes to canned soups, check the nutrition label for sodium content as many varieties are high in sodium and look for reduced sodium varieties. Clear soups tend to be lower in calories and fat than creamy varieties however there are also many reduced-fat cream soups available.  When it comes to canned fish, you can find those canned in water or oil. Fish canned in oil will be higher in calories and fat than those packed in water although most of the fat is unsaturated.

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