Canned goods are convenient because they are typically readily available and they last a long time on your shelves at home! Picking the right canned goods for a healthy diet can be a bit more challenging than just grabbing and going. Here are some common labels on canned goods that can help you make smart decisions about what you’re buying!
- Unsalted or No Salt Added: These terms mean that during the processing, there was no additional salt added into the foods – be careful, this doesn’t mean there is no sodium in your food!
- Reduced Sodium: This term means that the amount of sodium has been reduced by a percentage from the regular canned good.
- Canned in Water: This term means that the canned goods preservation fluid is water – usually the healthiest option
- Canned in Oil: This term means that the canned goods preservation fluid is oil – typically olive oil
- Canned in Juice: This term means that the canned goods preservation fluid is juice – typically referring to fruit and is canned in its own juice or similar – watch out for sugar levels.
- Canned in Heavy Syrup: This term means that the canned good preservation fluid is a syrup and is likely high in added sugars.
The average healthy adult should aim to consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium and less than 25-36 grams of added sugar per day to maintain a reasonably healthy eating pattern. Watching what you’re selecting in canned goods can go a long way to helping keep your sodium and added sugars in check! The best way to make sure you know what you’re getting in your diet is to read your nutrition labels!
Here is an example of Unsalted/Reduced Sodium/Full Sodium nutrition label for canned beans – see the difference!