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Is Canned Food Any Better?

By on February 10, 2015

If you have ever wondered which is better, canned or fresh vegetables, you might be surprised by the next sentence. Although the heating process involved in canning  does partially destroy some vitamins and other essential nutrients found  in fresh produce, canned produce is still good for you. In fact, canned is a great alternative to freshly picked fruits and veggies.

See, very few  of us pick, prepare and consume our produce at peak freshness — when  it’s the most nutritious. Fresh fruits and vegetables are harvested  before they are ripe, trucked long distances and stored before they make  it to your produce section. As they age further in your grocery store or  refrigerator, they lose additional nutritional value.

Canned  produce, in contrast, is packed and sealed at the peak of freshness,  which helps prevent further nutrient loss associated with the canning  process. In fact, canned whole tomatoes, tomato paste and jarred pasta  sauce contain more lycopene than fresh tomatoes. And compared with  fresh corn and carrots, the canned varieties have more antioxidants,  which may help prevent a number of diseases including cancer and heart  disease.

Beware of sugary syrup and salt. However, canned vegetables tend to be high in sodium, and  canned fruits are often packed in sugary syrup. Look for fruit packed in  natural fruit juice, and be sure to consume only canned vegetables that  are advertised as low in sodium. Also, rinse canned foods before  preparing them.

Finally, if you prefer canned produce to fresh  produce because it keeps longer, try frozen fruits and vegetables, which  are also packaged at the peak of freshness but don’t have the extra  ingredients associated with canning.


Article content courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine

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