Tuna, baked beans, chilli con carne, they all sound like a really convenient, rather tasty addition to your dinner, don’t they? Canned foods seem like a great fall-back option for when you are REALLY in hurry. And maybe more often than that. Not every day though, right?!
Whatever your option of ready meals or processed foods, there’s not many of us that don’t have a meal out of a can every now and then. What you may not know though, is that some specific canned foods can be seriously harmful to your health. I want to go through 11 of these common canned foods, and explain why you may want to avoid them.
Corned Beef Hash
Corned beef hash has been and always will be delicious a breakfast staple. Not the healthiest option at the best of times, a canned version is just asking for trouble. One example of this mixture of beef, spices, and potatoes, Libby’s, contains 840 calories, 22 grams of saturated fat, and 2,460 milligrams of sodium in one 15-ounce can. The problem with this, and many other canned foods, is that these are empty calories. The American Heart Association recommends you consume 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, maximum, which means you are not even allowed a full can of this!
Chili is awesome, however you have it, except for canned of course. Whist full of protein, Hormel’s Chili With Beans also contains 500 calories, 5 grams of saturated fat, and nearly 2,000 milligrams of sodium. Again, this sodium content could be a problem if you would like to eat anything else with salt today! Plus, it also contains a whopping 10g of sugar. That’s 2-3 teaspoons full, which I would be reluctant to put in my tea, never mind my chili!
Yumm, peaches! A staple of picnic lunches in the yard, this always tastes so much better than fresh fruit. Thats because it is more high-fructose corn syrup than fruit, I’m sure. Sure, it’s only 100 calories per serving, and 21 grams of sugar. But, wait! That’s per serving. How many servings are in a can? 3.5.
Who on earth eats a third of a can of fruit cocktail? A full can is more like 63g of sugar. Considering The World Health Organisation suggests adults eat no more than 50 grams of sugar (12 teaspoons) per day to avoid obesity and tooth decay risks and advises limiting ourselves to 25 grams would provide “additional health benefits.”, this is way too much!
Beans have a high protein content, which makes them very good for you. This however, does not apply to canned baked beans. Bush’s Honey Baked Beans has nearly 600 calories and more than that recommended daily 50 grams of sugar per can. And, if you are anything like me, you probably could eat the whole can!
Lemon Crème Filling & Topping
Homemade lemon pie is bad enough. But at least you know what’s in it. Ie. it’s not mainly high-fructose corn syrup. Unlike Lucky Leaf’s Lemon Crème Filling & Topping. One can contains nearly 800 calories and a huge 140 grams of sugar. Yikes! At least you’re meant to share it.
Potato and Bacon Soup
To be honest, most cream-based canned soups could be included here, but I want to point out one specifically. Progresso’s Loaded Potato soup has 340 calories per can, plus 20g of fat and 5g of saturated fat, the last two being the main problem, along with the 1,600 milligrams of sodium!
Italian food is a real favorite, but can be rather morish. Try not to eat too much more of this next canned good though. Chef Boyardee’s Beef Ravioli contains 11g of fat, 4.5g saturated fat, and 1,140mg of sodium, fairly standard for canned food, as we have seen. But there’s more, in the form of 9g of sugar!
Sloppy Joe Sauce
A childhood defining meal, sloppy joes don’t seem too bad at first glance. Take a closer look though, especially at a canned version, and it’s not too reassuring. Take Hunt’s Manwich Bold Sloppy Joe Sauce for example.
With only 70 calories and 0g of fat per serving, it doesn’t look too bad. Take a look at the sugar content though.At 13 grams of sugar per serving, and a serving being just ¼ a cup, that’s a lot of sugar per meal!
A buttery, flakey Pillsbury biscuit sounds good at any time of day. And there’s a reason for that. Full of unhealthy ingredients, there is 170 calories, 6g of fat, 4g of sugar and 470g of sodium in each and every Southern Homestyle biscuit you eat. (It seems highly unlikely you are only eating one!)
You’ll need some gravy to go with those biscuits of course. But again, steer clear of the canned variety! In just ¼ cup of Libby’s Country Sausage Gravy, there is 70 calories, 6g of fat, 1.5 of this is saturated, and almost 300 mg of sodium. Considering you’re not likely to stick to the serving suggestion of ¼ cup of gravy, that’s pretty high!
Yuck. This one doesn’t even look appealing any more. Nabisco’s Easy Cheese is a dairy product that stays “fresh” for years and is in a can. Doesn’t sound good.Just 2 tablespoons contains 100 calories, 6g of fat, and 430 mg of sodium.
Phew. Go forth and cook your own food!