August 3

Is Canned Food as Healthy as Fresh Food?


by Rob Baker

While canned food used to be limited to simple vegetables, fishes and beans, the increase in modern demand for long lasting preserved foods has resulted in all manner of food types ending up in canned forms. Canned potatoes, canned burgers and canned whole chickens are just some of the strange offerings that have made their way to shelves in recent years. For many people, canned foods can never or will never be as good as the fresh alternative. However, the reality is not as clear cut as you might think. While some canned produce is undoubtedly less healthy than the fresh alternative, there are some anomalies.

Beans are one of the most commonly canned goods. From baked beans to kidney beans, the vast majority of beans are sold canned. And are they unhealthier as a result? Not quite. Although being canned does rid beans of some of their folic acid, they retain much the same levels of iron and calcium as with fresh beans. Similarly, canned beans are also a superb source of fibre. When comparing canned to fresh, the argument against canned beans is weak.

Corn, or sweetcorn, is also one of the most heavily canned vegetables on our shelves. While there are a number of varieties with canned corn, there remains one fairly inarguable truth; canned corn gives just as much fibre as fresh corn, and does so at a cheaper cost. You do sacrifice some vitamin C along the way, but few people are eating corn because they are looking to get the vitamin C for the day. Much like the beans, canned corn stands up pretty well to scrutiny.

Tinned tomatoes are a life-saver. The variety of chopped, peeled, diced or whole tomatoes allow even the laziest of shoppers to find exactly what they want at very affordable prices. That may be all well and good, but what about the nutritional content of tinned tomatoes? The canning process for tomatoes involves preserving them with heat. This process releases a certain carotenoid which has been linked with reducing the risk of certain types of cancers.

So as you can see, there are huge benefits from some canned goods. This is not to say that you should soon be going out to buy a whole chicken in a can - far from it. However, you also know that not everything in a can is to be avoided. Do your research, and you’ll find that there are some cans worth picking up.


Canned Goods, Food, Fresh, Health, Healthy

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