Is canned food healthy? How to choose healthy canned food options.
We all know that fresh is best. Right? That’s simply common sense and goes without saying. But in today’s busy world, when you want to eat healthy but there’s not always loads of time to spend in the kitchen, you might be asking the question “is eating canned food healthy?”
And that’s a good question!
The answer however, as with so many things these days, isn’t a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
So how do I choose healthy canned food options
Canned foods are generally canned at their freshest. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, they’re picked and then canned.
That’s a good thing!
But…and this is a big ‘but’…
Many canned foods, like so many processed foods these days, have all sorts of ‘non food’ additives.
In other words lots of canned foods contain a sneaky dose (or two or three) of chemicals… and something to remember is that you want to avoid those non-food chemicals where ever possible.
That’s because there can be a big difference in the effects on our body and health, between REAL food that our bodies have evolved to eat and know what to do with, and the artificial stuff that’s concocted in a laboratory then added to the food for whatever reason.
The truth is, that our bodies just don’t know how to deal with these chemicals that come added to so many foods these days.
Many of them mimic hormones and can cause all sorts of chaos which ultimately leads to all sorts of health problems, and just because some government department says that something is regarded as ‘GRAS’ (generally regarded as safe), doesn’t mean it is!
The good news is, that when it comes to most canned food items, there are brands that don’t add all that nasty stuff that your body doesn’t know how to deal with.
The trick is to choose them!
Okay. But how do we now if it’s a healthy canned food?
This is an easy one. Read the ingredients!
- If there’s stuff in there that you’re not sure of, leave it and find out what the ‘stuff’ is.
- If there are numbers, find out what they are and whether they’re actually food.
My final thoughts on whether it’s possible to eat healthy from canned foods
I think that in a push, canned foods are okay to use sometimes, but I personally wouldn’t want to live on them and I think the image to the left says it all.
If we really want to eat a super healthy diet we need to eat our food as close to the way nature intended as possible, however we need to be relaxed enough to know that sometimes that’s just not possible.
I think that canned foods are a good backup as long as they don’t have chemicals added.
And that reminds me – don’t buy cans with white plastic liners because you’ll be getting a dose of a chemical that’s not on the ingredient list – BPA – which has been proven to be quite harmful (see my further reading links below).
And so how about some healthy canned food recipes?
This video has a few good recipes. But always remember, for your dishes that you make with canned food to be healthy, you need to make sure that you’re choosing the healthy versions of those canned foods that you’re going to use!
Let this become your become your mantra: Read the ingredients…. 😉
P.S. If you’re wondering why organic is better and you’re even a little bit skeptical about whether it’s worth the extra money to buy organic, take a look at my short post and the accompanying video about bio-magnification. That explains the difference really well.