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When Canned Food Is Freshest

Photo Credit: Chiot’s Run/ Flickr


When Canned Food Is Freshest

Stop scorning the can. The most nutritious and best tasting foods don’t always come from the produce section.

Canned food can seem a lot less enticing than fresh produce, but it’s time for you to rethink your shoping habits. A new Michigan State University study shows canned produce is not only cheaper than fresh, but also can contain more nutrients because packaging fruit and vegetables at their peak preserves vitamins and minerals.

“In some cases, the canned options actually have more nutrition than fresh or frozen,” said registered dietitian and sports nutritionist Rebecca Scritchfield.

Think of the canned food as fast food, only healthier. An athlete trying to grab a quick bite in between a mid-day run and a work meeting might manage a more balanced meal by making a salad with canned beans, corn, and tomatoes. And buying from the can lets you eat a wide variety of produce year-round, rather than waiting until fruits and vegetables are in season.

“A lot of people discount the canned food aisle and shouldn’t,” said registered dietitian Toby Amidor, a contributor to the Food Network’s Healthy Eats blog and author of the cookbook The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. “There are so many good, nutritious canned foods.”

Here are five canned goods that you should pick up on your next grocery outing:

Canned fruit, such as pears and peaches, can be an effective pre-workout snack. The natural sugars provide energy without causing stomach distress or a that dreaded heavy, bloated feeling. In addition, the canning process preserves vitamin C. To minimize added sugar, avoid fruit in syrup, and choose produce in water or its own juices. Amidor suggests canned peaches over plain Greek yogurt as an easy pre-workout snack.
Canned beans provide fiber and an easy source of protein to fuel an athlete’s muscles. “Beans are strongly associated with heart health,” Scritchfield added. Since beans can be harder to digest, they are best used as a post-workout meal. Many time-pressed individuals don’t have the hours to cook dried lentils, but can easily open a can. If salt has been used to preserve the beans and someone is concerned about sodium intake, Amidor suggests rinsing them in water.
Tuna or salmon are another easy canned food meal for the active individual. The fish are a source of protein and offer healthy fats, iron, Vitamin B, and niacin. Salmon and tuna combat inflammation, which can benefit athletes who are training rigorously, Scritchfield said. Shoppers should look for fish packed in water rather than oil, and consider chunk light tuna over albacore if concerned with mercury intake. Since tuna and salmon are often preserved with salt, athletes might want to watch sodium intake in other meals if eating canned fish regularly.
Canned vegetables such as string beans, mushrooms, artichokes, asparagus, carrots, or corn are a quick and healthy addition to salads for the active individual. Amidor recommends combining a number of the above canned food for a well rounded salad. “I take a bed of greens and throw on canned string beans and tuna,” Amidor said.
Tomatoes in canned form can be more flavorful than off-season fresh tomatoes. “The can locks in the freshness so you’re getting the taste of summertime tomatoes,” Scritchfield said. Tomatoes are also one of the foods that actually contain more nutrients in canned form than fresh.

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ROMANTIC MONDAY! Perfect Peach Cobbler


As featured on www.wbls.com

by: Chef Nikki Shaw



4 store-bought, refrigerated pie crusts
8 cups sliced peaches, canned
1⁄2 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground allspice

HAAGEN DAZS vanilla ice cream

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 9X13 glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Remove pie crust from refrigerator to become room temperature. Unfold 2 crusts & lay them in the pan side by side. Cut overlapping dough, replace & press along sides of pan where dough is missing. With a fork, make holes all over the crust. Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly golden.
  2. Place peaches in a colander to drain all of the juice. Pour peaches into pan over baked crust. Cut butter into small pieces & place throughout the top of peaches. Sprinkle vanilla, sugar, brown sugar & allspice evenly over peaches.
  3. Cut 2 remaining crusts into long 2-inch wide strips. With first crust, place each strip 1-inch apart diagonally over peaches. With second crust, repeat in the opposite diagonal direction (forming a crisscross pattern). Bake 55-60 minutes or until golden. Serve warm in a small bowl with a scoop of ice cream on top.servings: 12 / prep time: 35 minutes / cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes


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Canned Fruits and Vegetables Tied To Better Nutrition for America’s Kids

Canned Peaches
Photo: Can of sliced peaches display a Healthy Ideas tag at the Giant Food Store in Stowe. Giant food items with the healthy ideas tag meet FDA criteria and are limited in fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar. Photo by Michilea Patterson

PITTSBURGH >> Canned fruits and vegetables play a role in improving children’s overall diet quality according to new research revealed at two leading nutrition conferences this week, the American College of Nutrition (ACN) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ 2014 Food & Nutrition Conference & ExpoT (AND FNCE). The study found that children who ate canned fruits and vegetables had greater overall fruit and vegetable consumption, better diet quality and increased nutrient intake compared to children who did not eat canned fruits and vegetables.

These new data come at a particularly crucial time as U.S. children aged two to 18 years continue to fall short of meeting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans nutrition recommendations. Nine out of ten American children are not eating enough vegetables and six out of ten kids do not eat enough fruit.

The study funded by the Canned Food Alliance analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2001-2010, which includes eating habits of more than 17,000 American children aged two to 18. The NHANES data were based on 24-hour dietary recalls and used to analyze dietary and physiological differences among consumers and non-consumers of canned fruits and vegetables.

In addition to eating more fruits and vegetables, the analysis showed kids who ate canned fruits and vegetables also consumed a diet higher in nutrients necessary for optimal growth and development, including protein, vitamin A, calcium and potassium. They also ate more fiber and less fat.

“As an advocate of healthy eating, I have long promoted the importance of incorporating all forms of fruits and vegetables, including canned varieties, into one’s diet,” researcher Marjorie Freedman, MS, PhD, says. “This study provides additional support to the benefits of serving all types of fruits and vegetables to our kids to ensure they are meeting dietary recommendations and getting the nutrients their growing bodies need.”

According to the study, kids who ate canned fruits and vegetables:

— Consumed 22 percent more total vegetables;

— Ate 14 percent more total fruits;

— Had a diet lower in overall dietary fat;

— Consumed 3.7 percent more protein; 7.7 percent more fiber; 5.8 percent more potassium; five percent more calcium; and 11.3 percent more vitamin A;

— Had the same sodium intake; and,

— Had comparable body weight and body mass indexes.

“Too often, misinformation drowns out the experts who know that when it comes to nutrition, all forms count,” says Rich Tavoletti, Executive Director of the Canned Food Alliance. “This study shows incorporating canned varieties to fill half of a child’s plate with fruits and veggies can result in a diet that is more nutritious overall, which is terrific news for families, schools and institutions looking to take advantage of the convenience, versatility and great taste of canned foods.”

For more information about the research, including a downloadable fact sheet, and solutions for how to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate recommendations using canned foods, please visit www.mealtime.org.

The Mercury is engaged in a year-long effort, Fit for Life, designed to promote healthy living. In addition to articles in the newspaper and on our website, Fit for Life features a blog with recipes, health tips, resources, tips on getting fit without breaking the bank, maps and other tools all available free online. Visit the website at pottsmercfit4life.wordpress.com, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MercFit4Life and follow our efforts on Twitter @MercFit4Life.

About Marjorie Freedman, PhD: Marjorie Freedman, MS, PhD, is an associate professor at San Jose State University. She received her degrees from the University of California at Davis, and has worked in the field of nutrition for almost 30 years. Prior to joining SJSU, Dr. Freedman had experience working in the food industry, for a non-profit educational company, and as a nutrition consultant for private organizations and individuals.

About the Canned Food Alliance: The Canned Food Alliance, a National Strategic Partner of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, is a consortium of steelmakers, can manufacturers, food processors and affiliate members. For more information about canned food research, facts, resources, the canning process, family mealtime solutions, recipes that use canned foods and more, visit Mealtime.org or follow us on Facebook at Canned Food CANnections or on Twitter @CannedFoodFan.

Freedman MR, Fulgoni V. Consumption of Canned Fruits and Vegetables is Associated with Greater Total Vegetable and Fruit Consumption, Better Diet Quality and Increased Nutrient Intake in Children: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2010. Department of Nutrition, Science & Pkg, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA and Nutrition Impact, LLC, Battle Creek, MI 1/8ABSTRACT3/8 2 CDC Vital Signs Report www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/fruit-vegetables/index.html

This article was found on PRNewswire.com.

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