By Ashley Wilhoite, BSN, RN, Wellness Director
If you lead a busy lifestyle like me, then going to the grocery store can be taxing at times. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, sometimes it seems easier to just go up and down the aisle at the grocery store and fill your cart full of canned and boxed items. Although this system of shopping may be quite a bit easier, it’s not the healthiest option…even when it comes to fruits and vegetables.
Canned fruits and vegetables should be mostly avoided when on the path to better health and wellness. Yes, it’s necessary to eat your fruits and veggies as often as possible, but choosing fresh or frozen is always the golden rule to keep in mind when shopping for your favorite healthy goodies. Fresh and frozen fruits and veggies are nutrient dense, which means all the nutritional value, such as fiber and antioxidants, are still intact.
Canned foods are usually heavily processed, meaning they are typically loaded with salt, sugar, or preservatives that are sometimes included in the canning process. While this doesn’t necessarily pose a health risk for most people, it may be quite problematic for some. A lot of canned foods can be especially high in salt. They may also contain added sugar, which can have harmful effects to your overall health.
Fresh and frozen fruits and veggies are a rich source of folate, a B vitamin that helps your body produce new red blood cells. They are also packed full of copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, and selenium, all nutrients essential for our body to function at its best! And remember, fruit contains sugar, so although fresh or frozen is best, limiting the intake of sugary foods is generally warranted to prevent weight gain and other potentially harmful effects to health.