At a time when grocery prices are through the roof, more and more people are turning to canned goods to cut down on bills — after all, it’s cheap, convenient and easy to buy in bulk because of its extended shelf-life. But is it healthy? While canned food gets a bad rap for being high in sodium and sometimes sugar, it’s actually a common misconception that long-lasting canned goods are not as healthy or flavorful as fresh or frozen options. In fact, there are tons of nutritionist-recommended tinned, canned and jarred foods on the market that are just as good for you!
“The canning process does preserve some nutrients, making most canned foods just as nutritious as fresh or frozen options,” says
Stefani Sassos, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.O., C.D.N., a registered dietitian and the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Lab. “Canning does typically require heat, which can lead to the breakdown of water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C, but certain nutrients can actually be preserved or enhanced by the process — for example, canning can actually increase the amount of lycopene, an important antioxidant, in tomatoes.”
That said, not all canned foods satisfy our nutritional checklist. Here, our on-staff nutritionists rounded up the best healthy canned foods across a variety of categories — check out our top picks below, plus read more about what to avoid when it comes to canned food, as well as information on sustainable fish and tips on buying organic versus conventional, at the bottom of this guide. Looking for more healthy food ideas? Check out our guides to the best healthy frozen meals, the best meal delivery services and our favorite healthy recipes to try.