what they are and what you need to know


One of the advantages of preserves is to be good quality, ready-to-use food. Even if taking fresh, recently harvested and minimally processed foods daily represents an undeniable advantage for our health, canned food gives us the possibility of being able to consume foods that require long preparation with a certain frequency.

Preserves can be kept for a long time and therefore allow store foods that should be eaten more frequently such as cereals, fruits and vegetables. Some of these foods are linked to a certain territoriality (there are areas which for pedoclimatic reasons are not very suitable for horticulture) and which have a production seasonal (the sauce of tomatoes grown under the summer sun accompanies us throughout the year thanks to the possibility of keeping it in boxes, tubes, glass jars or bricks).

Canned foods have one duration very long ranging from one to five years. If the canned food has gone through a freeze-drying process, the best-before date may even be ten years. This is another reason why you should stock your pantry with canned foods. We will never run out of staple foods for our diet.

Which ones to keep in the pantry

Below we offer a listing canned foods to have in the pantry:

  • legumes (lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas);
  • tuna, mackerel and salmon;
  • But;
  • anchovy;
  • peeled tomatoes;
  • Olives.


Many wonder if canned foods are bad for you. Are there really any contraindications to the use of canned foods? Let’s see below what are the the inconvenients canned food. Knowing them will allow us to carefully choose the foods to bring to our pantries, adjusting ourselves based on the information that appears in label.

Like all foods with long expiration dates, canned foods may contain preservatives. Natural preservatives include sugar and salt. In some cases, however, certain chemicals (like sulphites) should be avoided. By reading nutrition labels, you can choose the least processed and most natural foods possible (those with the fewest ingredients or, even better, no synthetic ingredients).

Canned foods that do not contain salt are extremely rare. In some cases, it is specified that the food contains a reduced amount of salt because this undoubtedly represents an added value. Indeed, one of the risks associated with frequent consumption of canned foods is precisely that of taking an excessive amount of salt. Based on scientific evidence and in order to prevent hypertension, it is recommended to take no more than 5 grams of sodium chloride (common table salt) per day. Those who feed mainly on industrial foods and consume a large amount of canned foods manage to consume more than 15 grams per day. A handy tip is to separate canned food from water and rinse well under running water.

The case of bisphenol A

the bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used primarily in the production of plastics and resins. It is used, for example, in the manufacture of resins which line certain food and drink cans as well as in the production of films for food use. Bisphenol A is considered an endocrine disruptor. In other words, it is a substance that, due to its structural similarity to estrogen, is capable, once it enters the body, of altering our endocrine balance. Acting during our intrauterine development and in early childhood, it can alter the functioning of our reproductive system, nervous system and immune system.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has spoken out in this regard. The expert group concluded that concentrations Bisphenol A does not appear to pose a risk to human health. However, according to a 2018 European regulation, bisphenol A must not be used in the manufacture of polycarbonate baby bottles and cups or bottles intended for children. For the same reason, it is good to prevent our children from eating food in cans with a plastic coating.

It is also important to know that particularly acidic foods, such as tomato puree, can cause a greater release of bisphenol A. For this reason, it is better to buy tomatoes preserved in glass jars or tetrabric. You can find the words “BPA free” on the packaging

The nutritional value

When we talk about the nutritional value of a food, we are not only referring to its content of carbohydrates, proteins and fats (known in the complex as macronutrients), but we are also referring to the content of micronutrients and among these with mineral salts, vitamins and antioxidants. . Canned foods undergo the process of pasteurization. High temperatures degrade the content of water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and B vitamins. fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). Some secondary metabolites, such as lycopene from tomatoes, are much more bioavailable in canned foods than in fresh foods.

How to store them

The first attention to pay, already at the time of purchase, is to avoid buying jars that have bumps or swelling. Canned foods, even in the box, should be stored in a cool place, away from light and moisture.

It is important to know that once the box is open, and if not all food is eaten, residue should be transferred to an airtight glass container. Never leave food in an open box.


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