CAN CAN & AEROSOL NEWS

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1 Some of the good things that come in cans What essential nutrients are in which canned foods? How canned foods compare with fresh food Independent government analyses Canned foods and our national Dietary Guidelines The Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating Some of the good things that come in cans In the convenient can you can find the foods that offer protein, fat, and carbohydrate with the necessary energy they produce as well asmicronutrients, vitamins and minerals. Calcium Found in all canned meats and fish as well as baked beans, salad mixes and the other pulses. The nutritional value of protein is not affected by heat treatment, making the canned varieties convenient alternatives to fresh cooked since they require much less preparation time. Found in canned milk of course and in some canned fish, where the small bones are cooked enough to soften them so that they are eaten with the fish. Often canned fish provides more calcium than freshcooked fish. Carbohydrate These starches and sugars, essential for energy, are present in rice, pasta, and fruits found in a wide range of canned foods. Dietary fibre Vitamins s and oils Fruit, vegetables, legumes (beans and pulses), and cereals are all good sources of the fibre essential to our health and wellbeing. The dietary fibre in these products is not affected by the heat process of canning. Canned fruits, vegetables and legumes are excellent sources of Vitamins. Among the fruit and vegetables that contain Vitamin C are apricots, asparagus, pineapples and tomatoes. Vitamin A, present as carotenes, include B-carotene that is found in carrots., one of the Bcomplex vitamins, is found in canned meat and legumes. s are at low levels in most canned foods. Canned, oil-rich fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines are great providers of omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which can help protect against heart disease and the development of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Fish packed in vegetable oil provides an additional source of monunsaturated fats and the polyunsaturates which are critical for the normal growth and development of healthy children. 1

2 Folate Minerals Antioxidants Canned and fresh fruit and juices, legumes and green vegetables contain folic acid known to play an essential role in prenatal care and pregnancy. Folate also helps regulate blood pressure and kidney function. Vital minerals are retained during the canning process including the zinc and iron found in canned meats and the magnesium found in fish, meat and legumes. Fruits, vegetables and legumes are all sources of the potassium which together with sodium is needed to regulate fluid retention and positively influence blood pressure and kidney function. These are biologically active compounds, naturally occurring in plant-based foods, some of which have the potential to combat harmful free radicals. Unopposed, free radicals can interact with the DNA in the body s cells, causing changes that have been linked to the processes of ageing and some chronic, egenerative and autoimmune diseases. The body usually deals with free radicals using various enzyme systems and specific vitamins such as the Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin A (as betacarotene) that are found in Australian canned fruits and vegetables. How canned foods compare with fresh foods The canning process itself preserves the food, sealing in the freshness, flavour as well as the nutrients. No preservatives are needed. Anything added to canned food is simply there as a flavour enhancer to suit some people s taste. Salt and sugar are sometimes added but they are not necessary for preservation and a wide range of low or no-sodium and reduced sugar or sugar-free varieties are available if that s what you prefer. The Australian Government Analytical Laboratories (AGAL) have undertaken major nutritional studies on canned food using methods specified by the Australia New Zealand Food Authority. Its findings? There are no practical differences between the nutritional value of fresh and canned foods. AGAL analysed these commonly purchased Australian canned foods. In addition to being nutritionally comparable to their fresh and frozen counterparts, canned foods provide the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients we need at a very competitive cost. 2

3 For examples of nutrient contribution by Australian canned foods to the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI), refer to the charts below. 18 s in Peaches - Adult Males, by 1g Serving Fresh Canned Kilojoules Vitamin C Vitamin A 6 s in Pineapple - Adult Males, by 1g Serving 4 *2 1 Fresh Canned 5 Kilojoules Vitamin A Vitamin C *Note Scale Change 3

4 2 s in Red Kidney Beans - Adult Females, by 6g Serving Calcium Energy Pyridoxine (B6) Niacin Thaimin Iodine Phosphorus * Kilojoules s in Tomatoes - Adult Males, by 1g Serving Fresh Canned Vitamin A Vitamin C *Note Scale Change 9 s in Tuna, Canned in Brine - Adult Female, by 1g Serving Poly Mono Saturated Cholesterol Niacin Retinol Eq v Selenium Phosphorus Calcium Total Energy, Kilojoules 4

5 Canned foods and our national Dietary Guidelines Whether your guide to healthy eating is the Australian Dietary Guidelines or the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, you will find dozens of delicious canned food varieties to help you plan your meals. The Dietary Guidelines for Australians The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) developed the Dietary Guidelines for Australians to provide advice to the general population about healthy food choices, so that their usual diet contributes to a healthy lifestyle. This therefore aims to assist with minimising the risk of diet-related diseases. The Guidelines have been developed specifically for use by healthy adult Australians and apply to the total diet. 1. Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods 2. Eat plenty of breads and cereals (preferably wholegrain), vegetables (including legumes) and fruits 3. Eat a diet low in fat and, in particular, low in saturated fat 4. Maintain a healthy body weight by balancing physical activity an food intake 5. If you drink alcohol, limit your intake 6. Eat only a moderate amount of sugars and foods containing added sugars 7. Choose low-salt foods and use salt sparingly 8. Encourage and support breastfeeding. 5

6 CAn Information series: Guidelines on specific nutrients 1. Eat foods containing calcium. This is particularly important for girls and women. 2. Eat foods containing iron. This applies particularly to girls, women, vegetarians and athletes. Combined with fresh and frozen, canned foods can really help in the management of a healthy, practical meal plan Cereals can include canned spaghetti and the rice and pasta found in canned soups and prepared meals and snacks -rich legumes or pulses come in the guise of baked beans as well as single varieties like red kidney beans and the range of salad mixes Canned meats and seafood can be added to cooked recipes or salads and there are many new flavours of sandwich tuna varieties to have for lunch or as a snack In a can, even milk is always at hand Then there is the vast range of canned fruit and vegetables: The Australian Nutrition Foundation recommends a daily intake of 2-3 serves of fruit and 4-5 serves (at least 2 cups) of vegetables. Cans make this much easier to achieve. There are hundreds of varieties of vitamin- and mineralrich fruit and vegetables to choose from in cans of all sizes - from the big enough for a crowd to the handy pop in the lunch box snack size. For more nutrition information see Healthy Eating Club and Nutrition Australia. 6

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