Canned food could play key role in meeting nutrition recommendations

David Bellm

January 29, 2014

2 Min Read
Canned food could play key role in meeting nutrition recommendations

The Canned Food Alliance (CFA) welcomes and supports thetimely recommendations aimed at increasing the nutritional content in schoolmeals within calorie needs in this week's report from the Institute of Medicine(IOM). Among the recommendations in its 2009 report School Meals: BuildingBlocks for Healthy Children, the IOM calls for increasing the amount andvariety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, along with reducing saturatedfat and sodium.


"Aligning school meals with the Dietary Guidelines forAmericans and improving the healthfulness of school meals is a critical step inaddressing the dietary needs for all children. It is noteworthy that the IOMReport considers that canned, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables allprovide options and variety for planning nutritious meals," said RichTavoletti, executive director of the CFA.


As these recommendations move to the U.S. Department ofAgriculture to be incorporated as regulations, school districts should considercanned foods as viable options:


--  According to a University of Californiaat Davis study,all forms of

      fruits andvegetables - canned, fresh and frozen - are nutritionally

      similar and contribute important nutrientsthat comprise a healthy


  --  Canned fruits and vegetables are picked andpacked at their peak of

      freshness,locking in nutrients until they are consumed. Thus, canned

      foods have an extendedshelf life of at least two-years, making them

      affordable tobuy in bulk and reduce waste.

  --  Schools can choose from over 1,500 types ofcanned foods available

      today, includingmore products than ever before, that are packed as

      no-salt addedand reduced sodium options.

  --  The canning process does not require the useof preservatives; precise

      heating in thecanning process and vacuum sealing maintain the

      quality, safetyand integrity of the product.

  --  In some cases, nutrients in canned fruits andveggies are greater than

      in their freshand frozen counterparts.  For instance,the body's

      ability to usethe heart-healthy antioxidant lycopene found in canned

      tomatoes isincreased because of the heat from the canning process.

  --  Canned fruits and vegetables do notcontribute significantly to

      American's sugarand sodium intake.  In fact, all cannedfruits and

      fruit juicescontribute less than two percent of added sugars in most

      American'sdiets, and vegetables contribute less than one percent of

      sodium,according to "Food Sources of Added Sweeteners in the Diets of

      Americans,"Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2004.


  --  The majority of canned food is packed inrecyclable steel cans. Based

      on SteelRecycling Institute data, steel cans are the most recycled

      food andbeverage containers and contain a minimum of 25 percent

      recycled content.


SOURCE: Canned Food Alliance






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