11 Best Canned Foods for Your Healthy Eating

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11 Best Canned Foods for Your Healthy Eating

Canned food items are a staple in the pantry. They provide meals with nutrients and simplify cooking. Many people purchase canned chicken, garbanzo beans, diced tomatoes, and black beans for preparing wraps, salads, and soups.

Canned food serves as an affordable and convenient alternative to frozen and fresh foods, allowing individuals to enjoy seasonal meals throughout the year. While some canned items face criticism for their high sodium levels, there are many unsalted, low-sodium alternatives available.

There’s no need to visit expensive grocery stores or spend excessively on grocery items to improve overall health. Canned food offers an affordable option and helps individuals eat healthier in a pinch.

Here are the 11 best canned foods available.

What Are Canned Foods?

Canning is a method of preserving food items for extended periods by packing them into airtight containers. It was initially developed in the 18th century to provide a reliable food source for sailors and soldiers during wartime.

canned foods

The process of canning can vary depending on the product, but it generally involves three steps:

  1. Processing: Food is cut, peeled, chopped, pitted, shelled, boned, or cooked.
  2. Sealing: The processed food is sealed inside cans.
  3. Heating: Cans are heated to destroy harmful bacteria and prevent food spoilage.

This process ensures that canned food remains stable on the shelf and safe for consumption for 1-5 years or more. Everyday canned foods include fruits, vegetables, beans, meats, soups, and seafood.

Best Canned Foods for Your Healthy Lifestyle

  • Sardines

With more excellent Vitamin D for each serving than citrus juice, standard dairy products, and high levels of B12 and higher amounts of Omega 3s, Sardines are an under-appreciated superfood. 

They’re also regarded as one of those that are “accurate choices” of fish by the FDA due to their low levels of mercury. 

While many may not be able to resist opening a sardine can when they’re in the mood for a tasty snack or preparing a quick meal, they can easily be incorporated into the dishes you’re familiar with and love. 

Incorporate them into salads as starters, snacks, or appetizers. They’re also excellent when cooked as a side dish for casseroles or pasta. 

A little acidity can neutralize the sardines’ fishy taste for those who aren’t keen on their taste.

  • Canned Pumpkin

Many consumers think of canning pumpkins during the fall season.

Pumpkin puree is rich in vitamins C and A, and particularly fiber (with three grams of fiber per half-cup). It is also a great alternative to butter when baking (note: avoid canned pumpkin pie mix, which is packed with sugar added). 

It is suggested keeping canned pumpkins in ice cubes made of silicone tray trays for smoothies for extra nutrients.

  • Canned Corn

Although it has faced adversity in the anti-carb movement, corn has plenty to offer. Canned corn contains 60 calories for a half-cup and 2 pounds of fiber. 

It also contains B vitamins, iron, and potassium, which can enhance the heart and vision. Like many canned vegetables, be aware of the sodium content. 

Corn can be used in various ways and can benefit from adding vegetables in everything from stews to salads.

  • Green Chiles Diced

Green chiles can provide a wonderful flavor and be used well as garnishes.

Green chiles are a pepper abundant in phenolic compounds, such as capsaicin.

Capsaicin is the reason for the burning sensation when you eat hot chili peppers. It also acts as an antioxidant and fights unstable molecules called free radicals, which helps combat heart disease.

Furthermore, just 3.5 pounds (100 grams) of green chiles diced can provide 10 percent of the daily amount (DV) in Vitamin A, which is crucial to maintaining eye health.

Incorporate green chiles into scrambled eggs, burgers, chili, stir-fries, and sandwiches.

With only a short growing time between August and September, the green chilis are readily available during such a brief period that they’re more commonly referred to by many as being from a cannery. 

Although many think of green chilis as chili relleno or enchiladas, they favor a blast of flavor (and with a moderate spice) to everything you’d like for a kick of spice. 

Add them to soups, omelets, or mac and cheese to get an innovative take on the traditional dishes. They’re also fantastic when added to sauces or directly to serve as a garnish.

  • Canned Lentils

Canned lentils are a game changer because they can be prepared if you cannot make them. It’s appropriate to use canned varieties. 

Canned lentils are among my top choices for plant-based protein because they are protein-rich and filled with fiber. 

These two nutrients help make you feel fuller and benefit in achieving your weight loss goals.

As per the USDA, a half can of dried lentils provides approximately 8 grams of protein and a filling of 7 grams. However, since canned lentils are usually packed using salt, they could contain a significant amount of sodium. 

  • Mixed Nuts

Unsalted, please!

Sometimes, it takes time to determine the difference. It could say “whole almonds” on the container or can, and that’s probably what you’re seeking. 

If you have difficulty chewing or have a family member who cannot eat and chew, grab a peanut butter. It’s an ideal time to look up the ingredients list. Beware of buying nuts that contain additional sugars, hydrogenated oil, or high fructose corn syrup.

  • Rice And Pasta That Has Been Dried

Dry pasta, rice, and other grains, such as quinoa, don’t contain canned food. But they are definitely a must in your cupboard. 

There is a range of grains in your pantry you can use, and you can create an entire, healthy, and balanced meal without even opening the refrigerator.

With the dried pasta you have in your cupboard, it is easy to boil noodles to make spaghetti dishes and casseroles. 

It can also be used for hot or cold weather. If you have whole grains and rice like bulgur, farro, and quinoa in your pantry, it will allow you to attain additional things. 

You can use them with fresh vegetables, canned fruits, various proteins, and jarred sauces from your kitchen. They can also be a food source for all meals throughout the day.

Additionally, these food items can last for a long period of time when stored. Whole grains and rice, when stored in airtight containers, can last from 6 months to a full year. Dry pasta, on the same note, can be kept fresh for two years.

  • Palmini Low-Carb Linguine

If you’re not looking to cut down on carbs, we think you’ll be awed by the “noodles” made from hearts of palm. 

They are calorie-free and contain just 20 calories and 4 grams of carbs for each portion. They can be used as a substitute for pasta. Add a thick red sauce and your preferred protein to make a delicious dinner. 

They come in angel hair, lasagna, and rice varieties.

  • Coconut Milk

Canned coconut is commonly utilized as a lactose-free, dairy-free milk substitute in baked goods and sauces. 

Coconut milk that is canned (unlike refrigerated coconut milk) is creamy, thick, and fat-rich; a small amount can go quite a distance.

Some ways to use canned coconut milk are in coffee, smoothie, or make the creamy oatmeal or Chia pudding. Coconut milk can also be utilized in Thai sauces such as Thai Red Curry Sauce.

  • Salmon

Canned salmon is cheap, convenient, and nutritious, making canned salmon more suitable for your pantry than canned tuna. 

But, aside from the nutritional value, it is versatile and a great ingredient to add to salads, egg-based dishes, or some delicious fish cakes. Eating the salmon straight from the can with crackers and some salt, lemon juice, and pepper is also possible.

One of the standard kinds of salmon that can be found and sold in cans is pink salmon, commonly found in the Pacific. 

Pink salmon isn’t quite as oily as other types of salmon, plus they are generally smaller. Pink salmon is sustainably harvested and protected under federal and state laws, making it an eco-friendly option over various other kinds of salmon and other fish varieties. 

  • Soups

Canned soups are a quick and straightforward meal option. 

There are some essential points to be aware of to ensure you’re buying a healthful version. People prefer canned soups that do not contain over 300 mg of sodium per serving or not more than 600 milligrams of sodium per can. 

They also have [at least three grams of fiber in each serving, have no added sugar and are based on plants.

Tips for Choosing Canned Foods

Although canned food items are a great option (and must) and part of your kitchen, it is recommended keeping these suggestions in mind when you shop for canned foods and go through your pantry.

  • Opt For Salt-Free Or Low-Sodium Alternatives: Rinse canned foods in cool water under the faucet if you suffer from hypertension or observe the amount of sodium you consume.
  • Make Sure To Read The Label on The Ingredients: Foods can be canned with syrup, or sauce can contain sugar added.
  • Verify For The Date of Expiration: Foods that are canned have a long shelf life, but they do not last for a long time. Take a look at the cans you have available. Make use of those that have the closest expiration date first. Then, keep these in the pantry with the FIFO (first in, first out) method.
  • Avoid buying canned goods with cracks, bulges, or dents. Use canned food only in cans that have been sealed, free of scratches and smells, and look fresh after opening.

The Bottom Line

Healthy eating doesn’t need to be costly.

Canned food is inexpensive, easy to cook, and full of nutrients that benefit overall health. It also lasts an extended time and can be used in various dishes.

Always check the nutrition label carefully to determine if a specific canned product will suit your lifestyle.

FAQs

What Is The Most Nutritious Canned Fruit?

Canned peaches, pineapples, pears, and many more! 

It’s not likely that you know that many canned fruits like peaches are picked at the peak of maturity and transported from field to canister in hours. This means they mature to full nutrition and flavor in the plant before making it to the grocery store.

Are Canned Soups Safe?

Canned soups may be filled with sodium (salt). Many contain more than 50% of your daily intake of 2000 mg sodium, which can result in hypertension. To be safe, set your goal not to exceed 700 mg sodium per serving.

Is It Okay To Consume Canned Vegetables Every Day?

Fortunately, this issue can be answered with a straightforward solution.  The best option is which choice can warrant consuming plenty of vegetables daily, whether they’re canned, fresh, or frozen.

What Happens When You Stop Eating Processed Food?

What happens if your diet is cut back on processed foods? Eating unprocessed food, often referred to as “clean eating,” has many health benefits, including increasing your mood, helping you lose weight, and helping you sleep better. To achieve this, reducing your consumption of processed foods like processed meats, cheese, sweetened drinks with sugar, and potato chips is recommended.

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