Why You Should Leave Canned Berries Off Your Shopping List

Person buying canned food
Person buying canned food - Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

When you're grocery shopping, it's easy to reach for convenient foods that save you time and effort. Canned berries might seem like a good idea: They're ready to eat, easy to store, last a long time, and seem like a hassle-free way to get your fruit fix. However, when you delve deeper into what you're actually getting with canned berries, you might want to think twice before adding them to your cart. The primary concern is their nutritional content. While berries in their natural state are nutritional powerhouses packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, the canning process can reduce these benefits. Most notably, the heat required to can berries significantly diminishes their vitamin C content. It also changes the berries' natural texture, making them softer and less appealing.

Another significant drawback is the addition of sugars and syrups in canned berries. These additives enhance taste and preservation, but at the cost of turning a nutritious snack into a less nutritious one. Regular consumption of these added sugars can contribute to a variety of health issues, including weight gain and an increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes. Furthermore, the texture of canned berries is often inferior to fresh ones. The vibrant, fresh flavor of berries is also compromised, often overshadowed by the sweetness of added syrups and the cooked taste of the fruits.

Read more: 16 Worst Canned Foods You Can Buy

Exploring Better Alternatives

Frozen berries
Frozen berries - Scott-cartwright/Getty Images

Acknowledging the downsides of canned berries naturally leads us to seek better alternatives. Fortunately, there are options that maintain nutritional integrity and also offer convenience and great taste. Fresh and frozen berries stand out as the superior choices for health-conscious consumers.

Fresh berries are unbeatable in terms of taste and nutritional value. They provide a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants without the need for added sugars. Therefore, incorporating fresh berries into your diet means enjoying the full spectrum of their health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and lower inflammation. While fresh berries do have a shorter shelf life, planning your grocery shopping to include them regularly ensures you always have a nutritious snack on hand.

Frozen berries are an excellent alternative, especially outside the peak season for fresh berries. They are picked and frozen at their nutritional peak. Unlike canned berries, frozen varieties do not require added sugars or preservatives. Therefore, frozen berries offer the convenience of canned without compromising on nutritional benefits. They can be easily added to smoothies, oatmeal, or baked goods, providing a burst of natural sweetness and nutrients. These alternatives not only support a healthier lifestyle but also deliver the authentic, delicious taste of berries as nature intended.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.