The way that vegetables are prepared can affect their nutritional content. Vegetables consumed from a can, rather than fresh or frozen, may have a slightly different nutritional value, based on the conditions of canning and the type of vegetable canned.
Vitamins and Minerals
Canned vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh varieties, offering the same vitamins and minerals. Nutrients are lost when exposed to light and oxygen, but canned vegetables are protected from both these elements.
The sodium content of canned vegetables is much higher than that of fresh or frozen vegetables, because salt is often added during the canning process as a preservative. Look for labels that specify "reduced sodium" if you are concerned about salt intake.
Because antioxidant properties have been shown to lessen over time and when exposed to heat, canned vegetables that are exposed to heat during the canning process and are often eaten months after being canned have lower levels of antioxidants than fresh or frozen vegetables.
The amount of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in vegetables are not significantly affected by canning.
To maintain nutrients in canned vegetables, cook them at the lowest possible temperature in a small portion of water until they are heated through.
- Health Scout: Foods--Fresh vs. Frozen or Canned
- ScienceDirect: Vegetables Antioxidant Losses
- 3 Fat Chicks: Vitamins/Nutrients in Canned, Frozen and Fresh Veggies
canned foods, nutritional information, cooked vegetables
About this Author
Gail Logan is a magazine editor and freelance writer based in Atlanta, AL. She received her B.A. in Journalism from Patrick Henry College. For the past four years, she has written home design, travel and food features for national magazines, including "Coastal Living," "Texas Home and Living," "Log Home Design," and "Country's Best Log Homes." When not writing, she mentors inner-city children.