Minimally processed, canned vegetables and fruits are packed with important nutrients as they are packaged when they turn ripe. After they are harvested, they undergo cleaning and preparation and are filled with highly concentrated syrups or fruit juices. They are then sealed in cans made of steel.
The preparation process differs according to the type of product to be sold. For instance, vegetables can be peeled, cooked, chopped, sliced boned, or shelled. After sealing the cans, they are heated to prevent the contents from being spoiled by harmful bacterial growth. Thus, your favorite veggies get preserved along with their nutrients and remaining food value.
1. 6 Advantages of Canned Veggies
You already know the benefits of canned foods, veggies, fruits, or pickles. The following is a list of some of the advantages of canned goods that contribute to their widespread use:
Two tomatoes (14.5 ounces) can be around $1.18. Perhaps, because of the lower cost of production, canned vegetables are budget-friendly. Thus, canned foods can be your go-to option if you are looking for a convenient food option.
1.2. Easy and Quick
Most people neglect their fruits and vegetables because they are unwilling to undergo the hassles of peeling, chopping, and preparing them. Ready-made canned foods can be the perfect solution to this problem. You can meet the suggested 5 to 9 servings of vegetables per day with your canned veggies.
1.3. Canned Veggies and Fruits Retain Their Nutritional Value
Canned veggies retain their exact or higher amounts of nutrients in their fresh or frozen state In fact, tomatoes get a higher quantity of lycopene and beta-carotene in their canned state than their fresh state.
1.4. Canned Veggies are not Easily Perishable
The heating process and addition of preservatives like salt and syrups elongate the shelf-life of the veggies. The taste and texture can vary after a long time but the consumption of canned foods is safe for up to a year. The duration may vary according to the company or other conditions like temperature or preservatives. Also, sealing the cans after heating their contents creates a vacuum that diminishes the risk of contamination, which might have been possible, otherwise.
3. Does Canning Impact the Nutritional Value of Preserved Foods?
The process involved in canning foods like veggies and fruits helps preserve their nutrient quality. Most of the carbs, proteins, and minerals are sealed in the cans to ensure that your canned-vegetable-consumption experience is as impactful as your consumption of fresh foods. Veggies sealed in can serve as a form of food preservation.
3. Disadvantages of Canned Veggies
3.1. Presence of BPA
Canned foods may accommodate traces of BPA (bisphenol-A). BPA in canned food can transfer from the lining of the can into the veggies or fruits it contains. The cans are coated with epoxy films made from phenolic polymers derived from BPA. One study evaluated 78 canned foods and found BPA in 71 of them.
However, BPA was not found in the frozen food samples, which were also studied. BPA can cause heart diseases, male sexual dysfunction, and so on. Search for canned foods that are marked as BPA-free products, like Amy’s., Muir Glen., Wild Planet., Edward & Sons., and Eden Foods.
3.2. High Amount of Preservatives
Too much salt or sugar in canned foods can cause high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. If you pick entire foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, that have not been processed, you will be able to overcome this problem. You can preserve your veggies by adding some common vinegar, as it can be rinsed off later and is also a natural and healthy substitute for too much salt or sugar.
3.3. May Contain Bacteria
Canned veggies, which weren’t processed accurately may contain harmful bacteria. This is a rare case and the bacteria is known as Clostridium botulinum. The toxins released by this bacteria can cause muscular and respiratory paralysis. This problem can be avoided if you don’t buy a can that is bulging or twisted, damaged, cracked, or leaking.
4. How to Select the Right Canned Food?
The disadvantages can be overcome easily by reading the labels of the products before buying and choosing wisely. Choose the “low sodium” “no preservatives added or “no salt added” option, if the salt or sugar intake is a problem for you. It is suggested to not buy cans with torn labels and dusty covers. So, check the cans carefully before you buy them.
Buying unsalted canned beans, such as black beans, and red kidney beans will ensure that you have a convenient and affordable way to consume your veggies. Also, you can keep your salt intake in check in this way. You can also buy diced tomatoes, one of the most important ingredients for most of the recipes out there, especially, if you love Italian food. It is highly nutritious, as well.
5. Final Words
Your health is the reflected result of what you eat and drink. However, how you consume your food is also very important. Just note that you are supposed to eat the veggies instead of ending up in a vegetative state.
It can be concluded that the highly consumed canned veggies have been popular for a reason. Apart from their easy advantages, canned vegetables are healthy. Going through the advantages and disadvantages of canned foods, it should be clear that discretion is necessary while buying. However, mostly, canned vegetables are healthy to consume and store.