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Is it Bad to Eat Canned Food?

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
Is it Bad to Eat Canned Food?

Canned food is not just a way of preserving certain ingredients in an optimal way, but it has also become a quick and simple alternative for eating certain products that people do not usually buy fresh, such as tuna, certain shellfish, sardines, etc. But the big question is: is it bad to eat canned food? How often can you eat it? Do they offer good nutritional content? If you believe this type of food makes up an important part of your diet and you care about your health, this OneHowTo article can help to clarify these questions.

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Can eating a lot of canned food affect my health?

When it comes to food, anything eaten in excess is bad for you and canned food is no exception. The process of canning and conserving food can alter a food's properties. In some cases, this can result in a higher nutritional content, such as omega 3 in fish, but it can also reduce the presence of vitamins and other nutrients that you would get if you ate it fresh.

This is just one of the aspects to consider when eating canned food, but it is not the only one. Some of the negative aspects of eating canned food which can affect your health are:

  • Canned foods have a higher level of minerals, especially sodium because salt is used as a preservative. Consuming an excess could increase your blood pressure, which can lead to heart problems and increased water retention. Low-sodium canned food is the answer to this problem.
  • One of the advantages of canned fish and shellfish is that its omega-3 content is usually higher than in fresh product. This is because oil is added to conserve it, which enhances the presence of these essential fatty acids. However, you mustn't forget that this means you consume more fat, cholesterol and calories, so it is not suitable for everyone. If you want to avoid so much fat, you should opt for oil-free products.
  • When it comes to canned fruits, these are frequently accompanied by syrups which increase the presence of sugar, turning them into an unhealthy option which is not suitable for everyone.
  • If you opt for canned foods that are prepared with large amounts of salt, sugar and calories, it is not advisable to abuse of these options.

Despite being a quick option, the reality is that canned food can't replace the nutritional properties of fresh food. For this reason, it should be a possible alternative but not the only option.

Is it Bad to Eat Canned Food? - Can eating a lot of canned food affect my health?

How many cans should I eat per week?

Provided you don't have blood pressure problems, high cholesterol, fluid retention or diabetes, particularly in the case of canned fruits, you can consume 2 to 3 canned products per week. Preferably choose those lower in salt, which are not preserved in oil and if they contain syrup, drain it off prior to consumption.

The benefits of canned food

Although there are many myths about canned food, the reality is that these foods also have benefits. In many cases, they are an alternative for eating foods that you might not otherwise consume. However, as with any other ingredient, consuming too much can affect your health.

Consuming canned food has benefits such as:

  • They offer the possibility of consuming certain ingredients that you may not otherwise eat, whether due to their availability in your country or the particular season. This is the case for fruits like pineapple or canned peaches, as well as products such as cockles, sardines or tuna.
  • The preparation process enables food to be preserved and enjoyed for longer, meaning they can be used for a longer period of time.
  • In the case of canned oily fish, these provide omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B3 which is higher than the product in its natural state.
  • They are a quick alternative when you want to prepare a dish that does not take you too long to prepare, but it is important to consume them in moderation if you want to guarantee your welfare and proper nutrition.

As with everything, there is no right or wrong when it comes to deciding if canned food is bad or not. Simply don't overconsume food in cans and eat a balanced diet.

Is it Bad to Eat Canned Food? - The benefits of canned food

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Is it Bad to Eat Canned Food?, we recommend you visit our Healthy living category.

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