Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables can be tough, but it’s been especially difficult now that fresh fruit and vegetables are racing off the store shelves. The “stay home, stay safe” mentality has people buying items in bulk causing shortages, and one can see from the bare spots in the produce aisle the truth in this.
While fresh is always best, frozen and canned items can still offer beneficial nutrients like fiber, vitamins/minerals, and antioxidants.
So, out of the produce aisle, and into the canned section we go! Get your nutrients while minimizing grocery store trips during quarantine by choosing canned fruits and vegetables.
Follow these 3 simple tips to choose healthier canned foods:
- When purchasing canned fruit, look for options that contain 100% fruit juice or “in own juices.” This will help to cut down on added sugars from heavy syrups. Pears, peaches, mandarins, and even applesauce can be good choices.
- When purchasing canned vegetables, look for labels that say “no salt added” or “low sodium.” Another way to cut down on sodium is to drain the liquids, then rinse canned vegetables and beans, washing away excess salt.
- Make sure to avoid cans with dents, bulges, cracks, and leaks. This may be a sign of a harmful bacteria growth called Clostridium botulinum, which could cause a food-borne illness.
During this time of caution and care not to spread the Coronavirus, it is always good practice to thoroughly wash the top of canned goods before using a can opener to cut the lid. Without washing, any bacteria or virus that is on the outside of the can may contaminate your food. Here’s to staying healthy during COVID-19!
About the Writer
Hello, I am Kathleen Schaaf, a junior at EMU majoring in Dietetics. I enjoy being involved on campus and connecting with fellow students. During this time of quarantine, I study and spend my time staying active through online workout videos.