New research, presented March 29 via oral presentation at the 2015 Experimental Biology meeting, suggests American adults who eat canned fruits and vegetables not only have better diets and eat more total produce compared to those who do not, but also enjoy a higher intake of fiber and potassium.
The study, presented by Marjorie Freedman, MS, PhD, Associate Professor at San Jose State University, and supported by the Canned Food Alliance, analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2001-2010, which includes information on the eating habits of 24,800 American adults age 18 and older. According to the study, when compared to adults who did not eat canned varieties, adults who ate canned fruits and vegetables at mealtimes:
• Ate 17% more vegetables
• Ate% percent more fruits
• Consumed 7% more dietary fiber and 5 percent more potassium
• Had overall better diet quality
• Had similar sodium and added sugar intakes
"American adults struggle to eat sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables for optimal health," says Freedman. "With this study, when the diets of adults included a variety of fruits and vegetables, including canned forms, their overall intake of these healthful foods increased. Furthermore, sodium and added sugar levels did not increase among those who ate canned produce, which is great news."
In addition to eating more total fruits and vegetables, adults who ate canned varieties also saw an increase in the amount of dietary fiber and potassium in their diet. According to the recent 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Report, which will form the basis of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, both fiber and potassium are "nutrients of concern" for American adults. This means that intake of these nutrients is insufficient enough to be a public health concern. Dietary fiber may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes, and potassium is important in lowering blood pressure and may help reduce the risks of kidney stones and bone loss in adults.
"The results of this analysis show that eating canned fruits and vegetables can help adults increase their intake of key nutrients," says Rich Tavoletti, executive director, Canned Food Alliance. "This is further evidence that all forms of fruits and vegetables – canned, fresh, frozen and dried – are important contributors to a healthy diet."
For more information about the research, including a downloadable fact sheet, as well as solutions for achieving a healthy diet using canned foods, please visit www.mealtime.org/adultnutrition.