Canned Foods Linked To Healthier Eating Habits

New research shows people who eat canned foods typically have healthier diets and consume more essential nutrients. Canned foods are also recommended by nutrition experts nationwide as key to getting healthy family meals on the table more often.

The findings, based on an analysis of national eating trends and a survey of leading nutrition experts, revealed that canned foods are not only a staple in healthier diets, they are associated with higher intakes of fruit and vegetables, dairy, lean protein and whole grains, and contribute to an all-around healthier, balanced diet as recommended by the government’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.1

The analysis was conducted for the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) and examined NPD Group’s National Eating Trends™ survey and Nutrient Intake Database. It found that adults and children who frequently eat canned foods (six or more times in two weeks) have better diet quality compared to those who eat canned foods less frequently – one-to-two times over the same period.

This is good news – considering that a review of compliance with previous 2005 Guidelines by United States Department of Agriculture researchers and published in the Journal of Nutrition concluded that “nearly the entire U.S. population consumes a diet that is not on par with recommendations.”2

“I regularly tell my clients that canned foods can help them to eat a more balanced diet. They offer a host of benefits – such as convenience, quality and, of course, nutrition,” said Registered Dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield. “Plus, canned ingredients save people time and help them to prepare healthy, homemade meals for their families.”

1. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010

2. Krebs-Smith et al. Americans Do Not Meet Federal Dietary Recommendations, 2010. J. Nutr. October 1, 2010 vol. 140 no. 10 1832-1838.

About the Research
The CMI analysis of nutritional intake among frequent (6+ items in 14 days) and infrequent (1 to 2 items in 14 days) canned food users utilized data from NPD Group’s National Eating Trends (intake diary panel) and Nutrient Intake databases. The analysis was based on two years of data gathered between February 2011 and February 2013 with a nationally representative sample of 8,198 adults age 18+ and children aged 2 to 17, with 5,316 of participants being classified as frequent (2,584) or infrequent (2,732) canned food users.