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5 reasons to limit your consumption of canned foods


Canned foods are advantageous in that it takes a shorter time to prepare especially if one has a busy schedule. It also has a longer shelf life compared to fresh foods.
Despite these advantages, using canned foods should not become a habit because it comes with its own disadvantages.

1 High amounts of sodium
The high amount of sodium in some canned foods can cause hypertension. Not all canned foods are high in sodium. However, canned foods that are low in sodium are not easy to come by in supermarkets. This sodium is put in canned foods in order to preserve them. High sodium in foods are detrimental to our health because they are prerequisites for hypertension and other diseases of the cardiovascular system.

studies have shown that diets that are low in sodium are one of the major steps towards decreasing high blood pressure (1, 2). 

2 Some canned foods contain sulfites as a preservative
When buying canned foods, sulfites may not be seen as a single ingredient. It is often in combination with other elements to form compounds. An example is sodium sulfite and potassium bisulfite. 

Little amounts of sulfites are tolerable, although some people have been found to be alergic to sulfites (3)There are some people who are allergic to sulfites. This allergy can manifest as difficulty in breathing after eating foods that contain sulfites.

Eventhough there is a daily reccommended intake of sulfites some products have exceeded by up to 17%, especially with wine (4).

3 Some canned foods have a lot of sugar and artificial sweeteners
Sugar is added to some canned foods to improve its taste, make it more palatable and enjoyable. Unfortunately, sugars are some of the artificial products that cause major damages to our health. 

Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can lead to obesity and metabolic syndrome. They can further increase satiety leading to high caloric consumption and eventual weight gain (5).

It is better to buy canned foods that contain water without sugar or to buy canned foods that are stored in their own water.

4 Some canned foods have lost their nutrients
Before some fruits and vegetables are canned, they are cooked. The cooking and canning process of foods results in the destruction of some nutrients found in the food. Vitamin C for example does not survive the cooking and canning process of foods. This therefore results in foods that have a lower nutritional content than those in their fresh and frozen state.

5 Bisphenol popularly known as BPA 
The interior of the cans that carry canned food is usually coated with a thin film of plastic in order to keep the foods fresh and prevent the leaching of the metals of the can into the foods. This plastic coating contains BPA which is very harmful to our health.

The findings of one study suggest that BPA may have an effect on ovarian steroidogenesis and is recommending that more studies should be conducted (6). Our ovarian steroids are needed for normal uterine functioning, healthy pregnancy and mammary gland formation. 

A study conducted on rats has revealed that early exposure to BPA is associated with increased storage of fats and increased risk for developing obesity (7).

Taking small doses at irregular intervals may not be harmful. But if consuming canned foods becomes a regular and daily lifetime habit, then it may become a threat. 
When the amount of BPA consumed reaches a threshold level, it will be a risk factor for so many diseases, such as obesity and reproductive problems. 


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