Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

 

Canned food is a safe and nutritious addition to any larder

May 2020

illustration of various canned goods

For many of us, shopping during the last few weeks has been a tad challenging. Because our weekly shopping routines have been changed, it makes sense that so many people have been stocking up as best they can.

Interestingly, along with frozen foods, supermarkets have seen a surge in sales of canned food.

Tinned food was the name more usually given in the days of our childhood. Tins of baked beans of course, but also a huge range of tinned foods from spaghetti to green vegetables, from tinned spam to tinned corned beef. Tinned Fray Bentos corned beef used to be as familiar a name as Cadbury’s chocolate.

In our grandparents’ days, tinned food was not as safe as it is today. Before the mid 1950s cans were often made of steel. This however could react with the food, so the steel was coated inside, usually with tinplate, to stop this happening.  That was why in those days it was really important not to eat anything from a tin that was dented or damaged as the smooth inside coating might have been broken and the reaction with the metal could have ruined the food.

Since the mid 1950s aluminium cans, which do not rust, started being introduced and this greatly reduced the fear of opening a can and finding the food had gone off.

Today, with modern processes, canning is still a really good way to preserve food. The food is prepared and sometimes cooked and then sealed in the cans. The cans are then specially heated to kill harmful bacteria and prevent spoilage.  Today, modern canned food can last for as long as a year or even up to five years.

Even better, research shows canned food doesn’t lose much of its nutrients during the process. Proteins, carbohydrates and fat ae unaffected by being canned. Most minerals and fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K, are also retained.  Canning can damage certain vitamins however such as vitamins C and B because they ae especially sensitive to heat.

One interesting aspect is that the canning process can actually improve certain foods. For instance with tomatoes, the heating lifts their levels of antioxidants.

The general consensus is that canned foods can provide good levels of nutrient levels and play a successful part in any diet.

While modern canning is generally very safe, do not use a can of food if it is bulging out at the top. This could indicate that there may have been problems in the canning process, perhaps the can was not heated sufficiently. Either way bacterial activity in the food inside can produce gas and this can cause the can of food to bulge at the ends.  Slight denting of a can is not a problem; but again if a can is badly damaged do not eat the food as its sterility might have been lost.

Once canned food is opened, it is best not to store it in the can in the refrigerator as the air could help a reaction of the food in the tin. Instead just tip it out and store it in a bowl or jar as normal.

Canned foods are an excellent way to store items for longer periods and right now, they can provide a very useful back up when shopping is difficult.

Back to LaterLife Health


Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this

 

Latest Articles:

Health food of the month: Prawns


prawns

Prawns add flavour and health at any time of year, these easy to cook little crustaceans make a perfect addition to many recipes.

more

AXA Health:
Tips to delay dementia and boost your brain power

Older woman struggling to recall a memory

According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, there are over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with that figure set to rise to 2 million by 2051.

more

White wine might also have health benefits

Glasses of wine

There have been some interesting reports in recent media about the health benefits of white wine and how white as well as red can provide good levels of antioxidants and other benefits.

more

Gene therapy – The future of our health

Gene therapy

Gene therapy is hugely exciting. Whether it will fulfil its promise and in future years produce terrific treatments for many health problems we don’t know but at the moment, although still in its early stages, the results are very encouraging.

more

Back to LaterLife Health Section

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site

Bookmark


Advertise on laterlife.com