4 canned foods that may be preferable to fresh - HMS National, Inc.

4 canned foods that may be preferable to fresh

June 10, 2014

Keeping plenty of canned goods available makes it easy to whip up side dishes in a matter of minutes. And if you happen to be something of a can connoisseur, odds are you're a healthy eater by rule.

Turns out that people who make canned foods a standard part of their daily diet also tend to be health-conscious by nature, eating more fruits and vegetables, milk, whole grains and lean sources of protein like chicken and fish.

Though often viewed as being too convenient to be healthy, talk to any dietitian and they'll say otherwise. In fact, they say canned goods kill two birds with one stone - because they offer all the benefits that fresh vegetables do and can be prepared in half the time. All it takes is a can opener and a healthy appetite.

Similar to how the cooking process takes some of the nutrients and fiber out of raw vegetables, the canning process does to a certain extent as well. But some foods maintain their nutrient density than others. Which ones? Eating Well Magazine has the lowdown.

1. Beans. Chilis and hearty soups would be a shell of themselves without the bean, be it pinto, black or kidney. Rich in fiber, they're also chock-full of calcium and iron, little of which goes away when canned, so says USDA plant research expert Gene Lester.

2. Corn. Few foods scream summertime quite like corn on the cob, as each kernel is bursting with flavor. But if canned corn floats your boat, you aren't losing out on the nutritional advantages. Lester says the fiber found in canned corn is virtually identical to freshly shucked corn - and at a fraction of the price.

3. Tomatoes. You may not associate tomatoes with cans, besides the kind that's used for sauce on a pizza or a bed of spaghetti. You ought to be though, because there are advantages to canned tomato sauce that a raw tomato doesn't offer, namely lycopene. Known to prevent cancer, lycopene is released through the heating process, which canned tomatoes are the ideal candidate for.

4. Pumpkin. You'll be hard-pressed to find someone who finds joy in breaking down a whole pumpkin. The convenience of pumpkin found in cans takes care of this - just be sure you're looking for the pure vegetable and not sugar-laden pie filling. Lester says canned pumpkin is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin K, little of which is lost in the canning process. Besides the ever-popular pumpkin pie, the orangey-yellow gourd is a great way to infuse freshly baked bread with added flavor and nutrition.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.