Canned packed food are widely used all around the world, both for convenience and taste. Canned food is a convenient option because it requires less cooking time and can be maintained easily. But, while opting for these canned foods we all doubt on how healthy they are. Here are some tricks which can help you boost the healthiness of these canned foods and spin them into balanced meals.
1. Pop the Lid off Some Protein
Tuna is the best protein rich option and since protein is a necessary component of any diet opting for tuna will prove wise. It has abundance of omega-3 fatty acids and proteins. What you need to keep in mind while choosing your tuna is that it isn’t an oil spill. Tuna packed in water is the right choice for a healthy diet. Tuna packed in oil contains five times the saturated fat compared to tuna packed in water. While using tuna for your tuna salad you can whip out the fat and calories by replacing hummus for the mayo.
2. Give Your Beans a Bath
While purchasing canned beans check for the products that say low-sodium or no-sodium. If low sodium products are not available you can simply rinse out the salt added in it during the canning process before you start cooking. Same applies for other canned products such as peas, string beans and artichokes since all these contain high amounts of sodium. Controlling your sodium intake is very important for your health.
3. Find Fruit sans Syrup
General assumption is that fruits in any form are healthy for us. But while choosing canned fruits we all need to be a little careful. The syrup in which fruits are marinated adds on extra sugar which citrus fruits, pears and peaches do not require. While purchasing your canned fruits make sure that they are either in water or 100 percent juice. Though some of us think that substituting juice for fruits is a good option, it is always better to opt for fruits even if they are the canned ones. Consuming juice does provide the same amounts of vitamins but cuts down on the fiber intake. Consuming the whole fruit instead of just the juice is more filling and helps in preventing you from overeating.
4. Learn to Love Legumes
Beans are very high in fiber and proteins cut down on fat. Make sure to add beans of all varieties in your daily meal because high fiber food is more filling and can help you consume less calories. You can use canned chick peas, navy, and kidney beans in your soup or salad and add on to their nutrition value. People consuming more chickpeas and other beans have experienced greater weight loss than those maintaining a low calorie diet.
5. Use Reduced Sodium and Low Sodium Soups
When choosing your soups, make sure to check the amount of sodium it has. Excessive intake of salt can increase your blood pressure and raise the risk of heart diseases. A normal person requires not more than 2300 mg of sodium in a day which is just about one teaspoon. The labels stating reduced sodium does not necessarily mean that the products are low on sodium.
Products which have reduced the amount of sodium can still be containing large sodium contents so instead of getting swayed away by such claims look for a product claiming low sodium instead of “reduced”. Don’t forget to check the amount of sodium in the food product or you might end up consuming large amount of it.
6. Use Canned Soup as a Meal Starter
You can opt for canned soups as meal or a starter but the standard serving size recommendation should be kept in mind. You must make sure you do not consume more than half of a can. To make that sure you can simply take out only half the can to heat and store the rest of it. In case you are hungry enough to consume the whole of it just make your half more filling by adding some veggies or a cup of brown rice in it. You can add on to the nutrients by including veggies and whole grains in it.