Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

About The Buzz: Eating Canned Fruits and Veggies Leads to Higher Quality Diet?

TheBUZZ Eating Canned Fruits and Veggies Leads to Higher Quality Diet?

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Children and adults who regularly include canned fruits and vegetables in their diets have higher nutrient intake and overall higher quality diets.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Increased consumption of nutrient-dense foods (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or fat-free milk products, lean proteins, eggs, beans and peas, and nuts and seeds) and limiting foods high in sodium, solid fats, and added sugars are essential for a high-quality diet. In order to provide your body with adequate dietary intake of important nutrients, including vitamins A, C, E and K, choline, magnesium, potassium and dietary fiber, it’s essential for children and adults alike to incorporate fruits and veggies into their diets on a daily basis.

The recommended intake for fruits and veggies is based on age, sex and physical activity level, ranging from 1 to 3 cups/day for veggies and 1 to 2 cups/day for fruits. It’s important to stress that all forms of fruits and veggies count towards this recommendation; fruits and veggies may be canned, fresh, frozen, 100% juice, dried or dehydrated. In order to follow these recommendations, we suggest a simple principle: fill half your plate with fruits and veggies during each meal and snack.

THE RESEARCH

A recent study explored the impact of canned fruits and canned veggies on diet quality in children and adults from 2001-2010. Researchers wanted to determine if those who consumed canned produce had higher quality diets than those who do not. In total, 17,344 children (ages 2-18 years) and 24,807 adults ages 19 and older participated. Based on dietary intake, a score was used to measure overall diet quality per 1,000 calories.

According to the research, those who ate canned fruits and vegetables had greater overall fruit and vegetable consumption, better diet quality, and increased nutrient intake compared to children and adults who did not eat canned fruits and vegetables.

Children   Adults
  • Ate 22% more total vegetables
  • Ate 14% more total fruit
  • Had a diet lower in overall dietary fat
  • Consumed 3.7% more protein; 7.7% more fiber; 5.8% more potassium; 5% more calcium; and 11.3% more vitamin A
  • Had the same sodium and added sugar intakes
  • Had comparable body weight and body mass indexes
 
  • Ate 17% more total vegetables
  • Ate 19% more total fruit
  • Had a diet lower in overall dietary fat
  • Consumed 7% more dietary fiber and 5% more potassium
  • Had overall better diet quality
  • Had similar sodium and added sugar intakes
  • Had comparable body weight and body mass indexes

The most commonly consumed canned items were string beans, corn, peaches, fruit cocktail, pineapple, tomatoes (including sauce), green peas, pears and olives.

OUR ADVICE

This study demonstrates that canned fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with better overall diet quality in both children and adults, as well as increased consumption of all forms of fruits and vegetables. The evidence is clear – eating canned fruits and vegetables is an affordable and easy way to include more fruits and veggies in your diet!

For more information about this study and other diet quality research related to canned fruit and vegetables, visit Mealtime.org.

Check out some other articles below on the benefits of canned produce …
The Benefits of Canned Produce
Are Canned Fruits and Vegetables Good For You?
Canned Vegetables: Nutrition, Selection & Storage
Canned Foods Help Overcome Picky Eating
5 Facts About Canned Foods
Frozen and Canned Fruits and Vegetables VS Fresh
Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Canned Fruits and Vegetables

 

Freedman, MR, Fulgoni VL. Canned Vegetable and Fruit Consumption Is Associated with Changes in Nutrient Intake and Higher Diet Quality in Children and Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2010. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2015. View

Other Stories