Are canned foods as healthy as fresh foods?
Shelf-stable foods, such as canned beans, vegetables, fruits, and meats, have gotten a bad reputation. This is because some canned foods contain added sodium, sugar, or fat, changing the nutrition of the fresh version. The good news is there are canned foods that do not contain these added ingredients, so they are just as nutritious as the fresh versions!
Which foods should I buy canned?
- Beans are often underrated, but they are packed with fiber, vitamins, and protein.
- Did you know? Fiber helps prevent disease! In addition to helping lower your cholesterol, it also contributes to your overall colon health. Fiber is great for digestion and keeps you feeling full for longer.
- Meats and fish are often less expensive and last longer than the fresh versions. Consider adding canned tuna, salmon, and even chicken to your grocery basket.
Fruits and Vegetables:
- Equally as nutritious as fresh versions
- Cost less than fresh varieties but can last for months in your pantry
- Naturally low in sodium* and saturated fat, both of which can cause health issues if consumed in high amounts
*Remember to look for low or no sodium (no salt added) on the label.
Check out this grocery guide – which can help you pick out what to buy at your next store visit!
Make one meal this week using mostly shelf-stable items. Remember to look for low- or no-sodium, low-fat or fat-free, and no added sugars!
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Are Canned Foods Nutritious for My Family? Accessed May 18, 2022.
- Freedman MR, Fulgoni VL. Canned Vegetable and Fruit Consumption Is Associated with Changes in Nutrient Intake and Higher Diet Quality in Children and Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2010. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2016;116(6):940-948. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.10.013
- American Heart Association. The Benefits of Beans and Legumes. www.heart.org. Accessed May 18, 2022.