Canned food gets a bad rap sometimes. While some of it doesn’t provide the best nutrition for older adults, others are perfectly fine. February is National Canned Food Month. Learn more about some of the common myths and realities regarding canned foods.
#1 – Canned Foods Are High in Sodium
Some canned foods are high in sodium, but you can shop for low-sodium items. Learn to read labels. Look at the sodium content before you purchase an item. Remember that the sodium content on that container may change if you’re using the items as one ingredient in something else.
For example, a can of low-sodium kidney beans has approximately 400 mg of sodium per half-cup. If you’re using those beans in a pot of minestrone soup, the sodium intake will be even lower. If you drain and rinse the beans, you remove some of the sodium.
#2 – Metal or Plastic Within the Cans is Dangerous
Cans are not dangerous. Many manufacturers use non-BPA linings within cans, so there’s no need to worry. The danger comes if your parents cook the food within the metal container. That could cause the plastic lining to melt into the food. Make sure your parents remove the food from the can into a pan or bowl before heating.
#3 – A Dented Can Means the Food is Bad
Dented cans occur when the can is dropped or hit against another item. That does not mean that the food inside is unsafe. If the dent has allowed a crack that’s opened and allowed air inside, that’s when the food is not safe to eat. Otherwise, a dented can is not an issue.
#4 – Canned Food Contains Fewer Nutrients
Processing a fruit or vegetable can take away some nutrients. With canned foods, the items are often processed immediately after harvesting, so there’s less nutrient loss. Plus, canned foods can have added nutrients that boost the nutritional content. Tomatoes are an example of this. Lycopene is often added, which boosts their nutritional value.
There’s another thing to consider in terms of the nutritional value of canned foods. It stores longer, so your parents can store foods for years and still have them be safe. When the power goes out, they have foods they can eat straight out of the can without having to heat it.
Home care services are one of the best ways to make sure your parents eat well. With a caregiver helping them plan menus, shop for groceries and household supplies, and prepare their meals, you have peace of mind that they’re eating well. Make arrangements with a home care agency today.