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Canned food: risks and benefits

Is it as bad as it is said canned food? As always, everything is nuanced. So, let's see the main considerations when tasting it. Come on!

benefits of canned food

Let's start with the positive. Everyone knows how convenient it is to open a can and already have the vegetables boiled Even more so to fish fans who enjoy sardines, anchovies… Now, this is exactly why the cans. That is, to preserve food for a long period of time the most comfortable way.

What some people do not know is that canned food do not lose their nutritional value. Much has been said about the loss of quality of food. However, nothing is further from reality. Research shows time and time again that you can create a balanced and diverse menu with cans.

tuna sardines best canned fish from Mercadona/canned food
Tin of tuna and sardines with lemon / Own photo

Thus, heat treatment can denature certain proteins o Vitamins. However, water-soluble compounds can pass into the liquid in which they are submerged. That is why the loss of nutrients is minimal if we take advantage of the entire content of the can. In this way, only the organoleptic properties of the product. However, do not pretend to nourish yourself through them. They also present certain dangers.

The problem is in the can

The food is not the problem but the year. That is, to prepare canned food, a process takes place by which it is cooked before it is packaged. Once in the can it is sealed to prevent air from penetrating and spoiling the food through bacteria. It turns out that for this sealing it is very common to use Bisphenol A. It probably sounds more like the name of BPA.

This compound is used to coat cans to prevent oxidation and deterioration. The worrying thing is that its continued use has been shown to cause heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and even male sexual dysfunction. It's not that the amount in a can is harmful. However, regular consumption is, since it accumulates in the body.

In addition, a lot of salt is used to preserve food. That is why canned food contains much more than its normal version. As an example, a single can of black beans Goya contains 2 grams of salt. The maximum for an adult according to the WHO is five. Therefore, it is convenient to drain what you can from the can and even wash the product. However, when we drain the liquid we lose some of the nutrients that the food releases.

We have this same problem with the sugar in canned fruit. That is, mainly syrup. If we eat it fresh, we enjoy its benefits without the harm derived from this substance.

Cans/Source: Pixabay


In the end, as in everything, you have to put it in the balance. It is true that food does not lose nutrients. In addition, in some foods such as tomato and corn we enjoy more Antioxidants by heating them before canning. However, the risks are still present and can play a trick on us if we eat canned frequently.

This is a very serious problem in places like Puerto Rico o Guam. Both US territories with cabotage laws. That is, any foreign product entering or leaving must first pass through a US port. Not having developed his primary sector they depend on importing food from the mainland. Much of it comes in a can, which is why both territories have serious problems with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

In conclusion, delight yourself with a delicious canned food As long as you don't do it daily. Of course, never buy a can close to its expiration date or one that comes dented. Any failure in the sealing process can result in the proliferation of bacteria. What are you waiting for to enjoy it?