While canned goods are perceived unhealthy, there are also some distinct exceptions

By Nadine Halili | Photo by Chris A. Tweten/Unsplash

A cupboard full of canned goods may not look appealing to someone committed to healthy eating. Although most nutrients are retained, the process of canning damages certain nutrients like vitamins C and B while also increasing the risks of exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA), which is associated with heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

While canned goods are perceived unhealthy for these very reasons, there are also some distinct exceptions like pork and beans. Many Filipinos grew up eating pork and beans for breakfast. They’d have it over rice or even as filling in pandesal and some would even eat it for lunch and dinner. But how healthy is it? 

According to North Dakota State University, beans are a good source of protein and fiber, which can improve heart health and manage blood sugar. Compared to dried beans, the canned version is an easier alternative to cook and similar in nutritional value. A can of pork and beans contains more sodium than dried beans but it’s also rich in minerals. 

According to North Dakota State University, beans are a good source of protein and fiber, which can improve heart health and manage blood sugar

Simply adding one cup to your diet provides 46 percent of the daily value (DV) for manganese, 13 percent of the DV for calcium, 17 percent of the DV for selenium and more than 20 percent of the DV for iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and copper. These nutrients help in forming strong bones, DNA, red blood cells as well as improving blood pressure control and promoting immune function. 

While most usually just crack open a can, heat the contents over the stove then serve, there are actually more ways to cook the nutrient-rich viand. One recipe from The English Kitchen highlights the popular English breakfast of adding anything on toast—in this case, baked beans. You can also include leftover pork chops and cook up a nice dish that you could serve at a party just like this stew recipe from The Gracious Pantry. Don’t be afraid to mix things up and add your own flair to the famous canned good according to your taste and diet preferences.

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