Consuming Canned Food, Good or Bad?

In addition to being practical and delicious to cook, canned food has a long enough expiration date that it can be safely stored for months. No wonder, now many people switch to choosing canned food as a daily menu. However, is this habit good?

About canned food

Quoted from Healthline , the method of canning food was first developed in the late 18th century. This was done as a way to provide a food source for soldiers and sailors who were at war.

The canning process can vary slightly by product, but generally there are three main steps, namely:

  • Processing, namely the food is peeled, sliced, chopped, seasoned, or cooked.
  • Sealing, namely processed food is sealed in cans.
  • Heating, which is food in cans heated to kill harmful bacteria and prevent spoilage. This process allows food to be stable and safe to consume for 1-5 years, even more.

Since the canning process usually involves high heat, water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins C and B, can be destroyed. These vitamins are generally sensitive to heat and air.

Although very rare, improperly processed canned foods can contain the dangerous bacteria Clostridium botulinum . Consuming contaminated food can cause botulism , a serious illness that can lead to muscle paralysis.

Other Articles: Doctor’s Tips for Buying Canned Food

Lots of added sugar and salt

In addition, dr. Karin Wiradarma, M. Gizi from KlikDokter , explained that canned foods are usually added with salt and sugar as flavor enhancers. Salt, sugar, and preservatives are usually added to canned foods within reasonable limits.

However, added salt and sugar in canned foods can increase the risk of diseases, such as high blood pressure .

If you eat canned food too often, your risk of obesity will increase. Not only that, excess sugar and salt can also disrupt the body’s electrolyte balance.

“Additional sugar in canned foods also has dangerous effects and puts you at risk of developing diabetes mellitus type 2 and heart disease . If you already suffer from both of these diseases, you should avoid canned foods so they don’t get worse,” added Dr. Karin.

Is there still nutritional value?

However, canned foods actually still have similar nutritional value to fresh foods. Canned sardines, for example, contain a number of nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, ranging from calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin D, and selenium.

As explained by dr. Melyarna Putri, M.Gizi, from KlikDokter , canned sardines still have these nutrients. You can still consume sardines, although not in too many quantities and often.

“However, even though the nutritional content is similar, canned food is certainly added with chemicals during the packaging process. One of the chemicals used in packaging is BPA ( bisphenol-A ). Although only a little, the BPA in sardine cans can transfer to the food you consume,” said Dr. Melyarna.

To get around this, you have to carefully read the can packaging. For those of you who avoid salt because you have high blood pressure, it is better to choose low or no salt.

In addition, choose canned food products that are still in good condition and are not dented, cracked, or leaking. This is because damaged packaging can cause bubbles in the food due to outside air entering. Food also has the potential to be contaminated with bacteria, germs, and dirt.

It doesn’t mean that it is not allowed at all, consuming canned food in reasonable limits can still be done. Just don’t make canned food your main choice for your daily menu. After all, fresh food is the best for you and your family.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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