5 Worst Canned Foods You Can Buy
There are a lot of reasons to buy canned food. It is inexpensive, quick to prepare and when you make the right choices it can be healthy. The origins of canning food for the purposes of preserving date back 300 years ago when the French government was seeking ways to keep its army fed in times of war. It was further popularized during the Civil War when soldiers needed food that was long-lasting and safe to consume.
These days, modern refrigerating and freezing technologies provide us with more options for keeping food stored for long periods of time. But canned items remain a popular option. However, it is important to be aware that lots of canned food contain Bisphenol A, which medical experiences warn can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. This doesn’t mean you should ditch this option, but it is important to understand the risks and make informed decisions based on this knowledge. Let’s take a look at 5 types of canned foods that you need to be wary of.
When it comes to canned foods, soups are without a doubt the most popular type. On a cold winter evening, there is nothing more convenient or comforting than enjoying a can of hot soup. Although soup companies like to promote their product as being packed with vegetables and other healthy things, the reality is they contain high amounts of sodium and preservatives, which are not good for our liver, kidneys, or heart. Furthermore, cream-based soups such as clam chowder are loaded with fat. Your best option is to choose soups that contain a few basic ingredients, at least 5 grams of protein, and low sodium.
Although it is essential that we incorporate plenty of fruit in our diet, going the canned route might not be the best idea. First, the canning process first involves peeling, slicing and cooking the fruit, which causes it to lose a significant amount of its vitamins and minerals. In fact, some fruits lose up to 80% of the vitamin C found in their non-processed counterparts. Furthermore, canned pineapple, peaches, and fruit cocktail invariably include heavy syrup and other added sugars. As a result, this doubles the amount of carbs versus what you’d find in fresh fruit.
Vegetables canned in brine
Just as with fruit, there are a lot of potential problems if you choose canned over fresh. For one thing, the cooking and canning process can cause those veggies to lose some of their vitamins B and C. When brine is added, vegetables can lose their phenolic compounds, and as a result they can lose their flavor and some of their nutrients. This is especially true if the foods have been peeled. Let’s also remember that brine is essentially salt water, which obviously increases the sodium content. Sure, it adds a nice flavor to corn, carrots, spinach, and the like, but the whole point of eating vegetables is for the health benefits, not to increase the health risks! Always check the label, and if your goal is to store vegetables for long periods, it is better to buy the frozen variety in bags since they often don’t contain any additives at all.
You need to really be careful when it comes to buying meat from a can. Take corned beef, for example. It doesn’t get its name because it contains any corn; it has to do with the corn-sized salt crystals used to preserve it. This results in extreme amounts of sodium. It should also be mentioned that the kind of corned beef that comes in a can is not the same as the variety you’ll find at the deli counter, which is made from brisket. Instead, it is made of cuts of meat that wouldn’t pass muster if grocery stores tried to sell at the deli counter. Also be aware that like other processed meats including sausage, bacon, and pepperoni, corned beef contains nutrients, which have been linked to cancer.
When it comes to canned foods, Tuna is yet another staple. Although it is packed with protein and low in calories, not all tuna is created equal. Although albacore and white tuna might be of higher quality in terms of the type of filet, they contain amounts of mercury that can be potentially dangerous if consumed too often. In fact, if you opt for this, the FDA recommends not eating it more than three times a month. Although mercury is something that naturally occurs in the air, soil, and in the water, it can be toxic for all our organs and have an adverse effect on our immune and nervous systems. Canned light tuna contains only ⅓ the same amount of mercury as albacore and white tuna, but it should also be eaten only in moderation.