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Canned foods, if we select no added sugar or salt, provide a convenient and dependable source of nutrition virtually any time. You may be surprised to know that some foods are more nutritious canned than fresh. So let’s talk about Diabetes nutrition with a shelf life.
Welcome back to DiabetesEveryDay. I’m a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes care and education specialist, Toby Smithson. If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to my channel and log onto my DiabetesEveryDay.com website to sign up for my newsletter.
Table of contents
I know, you are probably thinking, what is so special about canned foods and diabetes? The answer is that canned food provides a convenient way to always have nutritional fruits and vegetables on hand.
Well, in honor of National Canned Food Month, I thought it would be a great time to review what you should be looking for when purchasing canned foods and a number of benefits to using canned foods – there are a bunch.
For nutrition… Look at the label.
For canned fruit, your best choice is a fruit that is in its natural juice-100% juice. Review the portion size. Typically, for canned fruit, it will be ½ cup but not always, so it’s a good idea to check the nutrition facts panel and while you are there…make sure to look at the grams of carbohydrate per serving. All fruit is a carbohydrate food, but fruit packed in syrup may double the carbs with added sugar.
Packed in juice, portion size and grams of carb per serving are the three main items to look at.
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An interesting fact about canned fruit is that it is packed within just a few hours of being harvested at the peak of ripeness, so the canned fruit is truly fresh. In fact, the canning process helps lock in some of the vitamins too. For instance, canned peaches contain more vitamin C and folate than fresh peaches.
Canned vegetables are equally convenient, and non-starchy vegetables like green beans and carrots are very low in carbohydrates.
For starchy vegetables, like peas, corn, potatoes, and beans, the carbohydrates become an important consideration the same as if they were fresh. And while avoiding added sugar is a key point in selecting canned fruit, for canned vegetables, added salt should be our focus, especially if high blood pressure is a concern.
Again, the information we need is on the nutrition facts label…look for the lowest “sodium” or “no salt added.”
Keep A Stock
I always stock my pantry with canned foods and feel a sense of relief that I will have a stock of food during uncertain times, like hurricanes (which happen in the area where I live), or for some of you, it may be winter storms that you need to be prepared for) and when the pandemic hit last year, the first thing I did was to make a checklist of my canned foods. I use the first bought, first eaten concept and then replenish my stock of canned goods as we eat them.
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What is your favorite way to eat canned fruit? (as a side dish to a meal? as your snack? or in a recipe?), let me know in the comments below.
Until next time, cheers to your health.
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