Canned food is convenient and inexpensive. It is easy to stock up, eat for a quick snack, or add to a prepared meal. Food that is ready to eat seconds after opening. But, because of the aforementioned traits listed above, people tend to believe canned food is unhealthy when in actuality, it can be a superb and healthy source of nutrition. Most canned food packs a significant amount of healthy nutrients and vitamins, even on par with the fresh version. Take, for example, my personal favorite canned sardines. A single can of sardines provides 24 grams of protein, 1600 milligrams of Omega 3s, and up to 20% of your Vitamin D and calcium needs.
What to Look for When Buying Canned Food
Like all foods, canned foods are not created equally. Depending on the food source, how the food was canned, and what ingredients the food is packed in will determine a lot about the quality of the food in the can. First and most importantly, attempt to go for the best version of the food you are buying. If you’re buying fish, look for the fish in wild form. If you’re buying beans, look for organic. If you’re buying chicken, look for chicken that is free-range and fed an organic diet. Next, check to ensure your canned food is in water or olive oil and not inflammatory vegetable oils like soybean or canola oil. I like to make sure the canned source is not full of sodium as canned foods tend to be high in sodium to maintain the food’s freshness. Lastly, make sure the can is BPA-free as some brands are lined with a BPA coating. BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical and can lead to a slew of problems.
The canned food should be:
- Buy in freshwater or extra virgin olive oil
- Check the ingredients label, especially for sodium content
- BPA free
My favorite brand of canned food is Wild Planet.
The company focuses on sustainability and producing organic, high-quality foods. I also like to get canned salmon and sardines at Costco. The Salmon is the Kirkland brand and is wild-caught from Alaska, while the sardines are from Safe Catch. Do a little homework before buying canned food, and you’ll be shopping healthy on a budget!
To MAS Health,