These Canned Foods Are Destroying Your Health — Avoid Them at All Costs

Canned foods certainly have their place in the kitchen. But not every canned food is good for you. Plenty of these preserved goods seem convenient and tasty but are horrible for your body. The following canned foods are destroying your health, especially one tomato-based meal (page 10).

1. Libby’s Corned Beef Hash

corned beef hash with two eggs in a skillet

Canned corned beef hash sounds like a convenient breakfast, but we don’t recommend it. | iStock.com

  • Sodium: 2,460 milligrams
  • Saturated fat: 22 grams
  • Calories: 840

Corned beef hash is a breakfast staple. Thanks to companies like Libby’s you don’t even have to make this blend of beef, spices, and potatoes. However, the calories, saturated fat, and sodium packed in one 15-ounce can are atrocious. Considering the American Heart Association advises you only consume a max of 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, we suggest skipping this can of death.

Next: The cocktail you enjoyed as a kid

2. Del Monte Fruit Cocktail

Fruit Cocktail

High-fructose corn syrup is a main ingredient. | Del Monta India via Youtube

  • Sugar: 73.5 grams
  • Calories: 350

As a kid, you may have thought this canned food tasted better than fresh fruit. Why? Because its contents are swimming in high-fructose corn syrup. Del Monte’s Fruit Cocktail looks innocent at 100 calories and 21 grams of sugar per serving. But there are actually 3.5 servings in one of those little cans. No one eats just a third of a can of fruit cocktail, so you may as well eat a candy bar.

Next: The most famous baked beans

3. Bush’s Honey Baked Beans

Bush's Honey Baked Beans

Regular beans are full of protein — not these though. | Bush’s Beans via Youtube

  • Sugar: 50 grams
  • Calories: 600

Who doesn’t love a baked bean dish at a barbecue? Unfortunately, baked beans are one of the least nutritious ways to consume an otherwise high-protein, healthy food. And Bush’s Honey Baked Beans certainly aren’t doing you any favors. In one can, you’ll get a ton of calories and sugar. A homemade recipe can alleviate both concerns.

Next: A sweet caloric nightmare

4. Lucky Leaf Lemon Crème Filling & Topping

a slice of lemon meringue pie on a blue plate

Lemon pie is delicious. This lemon filling, however, is horrifying. | iStock.com

  • Sugar: 140 grams
  • Calories: 800

There’s nothing healthy about a lemon pie. But it’ll be even more of a caloric nightmare if you use filling from a can. Lucky Leaf’s Lemon Crème Filling & Topping outdoes itself in this department. One can contains almost 800 calories and 140 grams of sugar. And the second ingredient is high-fructose corn syrup.

Next: Everybody loves bacon, right?

5. Progresso Loaded Potato With Bacon soup

baked potato soup with bacon in a bowl

Cream-based soups like this are almost always bad for your health. | iStock.com/Azurita

  • Sodium: 1,600 milligrams
  • Total fat: 20 grams
  • Calories: 340

One can of Progresso’s Loaded Potato soup contains 340 calories, which is reasonable. But its 20 grams of fat, including 5 grams of saturated fat, is cause for concern. Like all cans of soup, the sodium content is outrageous at 1,600 milligrams. Making your own potato soup is 10 times more healthy and delicious.

Next: Fond memories of this food won’t make us eat them.

6. Pillsbury Grands! Refrigerated Biscuits

 Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits

The problem is you never eat just one of these flaky biscuits. | Quick Cookie via Youtube

  • Sodium: 470 milligrams (in one biscuit)
  • Total fat: 6 grams
  • Sugar: 4 grams
  • Calories: 170

We all can recall the popping sound of the can as these tasty biscuits were opened. These buttery pastries are so delicious, but they’re full of unhealthy ingredients. In just one Southern Homestyle biscuit, you get 170 calories and 6 grams of fat. There’s even 4 grams of sugar and 470 grams of sodium in a single serving. And we all know eating just one of these addicting pastries is nearly impossible.

Next: Truly sloppy and full of bad ingredients

7. Hunt’s Manwich Bold Sloppy Joe Sauce

Sloppy Joe sandwiches in a row

Remember this favorite food as a kid? | iStock.com

  • Sugar: 13 grams
  • Calories: 70

A dinner staple that defined childhood: the Sloppy Joe. At first glance, Hunt’s Manwich Bold Sloppy Joe Sauce. isn’t the worst offender. With only 70 calories and 0 grams of fat per serving, you may be tempted to pile it on your bread. But a serving is only a quarter cup, and each serving has 13 grams of sugar. It’s worth making a homemade version.

Next: You’ll recognize this childhood favorite from 20 years ago.

8. Nabisco Easy Cheese

Nasbisco Easy Cheese

Most kids recall squirting Easy Cheese directly into their mouths. | Tami Dunn via Youtube

  • Sodium: 430 milligrams
  • Total fat: 6 grams
  • Calories: 100

It’s time to leave this product in the ’80s where it belongs. Nabisco’s Easy Cheese is bright orange, it stays “fresh” for years, and it’s in a can, which all spell trouble. Just 2 tablespoons of this “cheese” is almost 100 calories and 6 grams of fat. Nabisco also adds 430 milligrams of sodium into those measly spoonfuls.

Next: “It’s all gravy” — except for this canned good.

9. Libby’s Country Sausage Gravy

biscuits and gravy

Your tastebuds say yes, but your body says no. | iStock.com

  • Sodium: 300 milligrams
  • Total fat: 6 grams
  • Sugar: 4 grams
  • Calories: 70

Libby’s Country Sausage Gravy is another offensive canned good that doesn’t seem so bad until you delve into the facts. A quarter cup contains 70 calories — not too bad — but you’re also getting 6 grams of fat, 1.5 of which is saturated. The 2 grams of protein is an added bonus, but compared to the nearly 300 milligrams of sodium in one serving, it doesn’t measure up.

Next: A popular cold-weather meal

10. Hormel Chili With Beans

A can of Hormel Chili

Hormel is a classic chili maker. | Eric’s Canned Chili Challenge via Youtube

  • Sodium: 2,000 milligrams
  • Total fat: 5 grams
  • Sugar: 10 grams
  • Calories: 500 calories

Canned chili is a go-to when you need a protein-filled meal. But we don’t recommend Hormel’s Chili With Beans after looking at its nutrition facts. One can has over 500 calories, 5 grams of saturated fat, and nearly 2,000 milligrams of sodium. And you’d think chili doesn’t need sugar, right? Well, a serving of this canned chili has 10 grams of sugar.

Next: Chef Boyardee isn’t focused on your health.

11. Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli

Chef Boyardee Ravioli

A childhood favorite, Chef Boyardee | Great Big Story via Youtube

  • Sodium: 1,260 milligrams
  • Total fat: 12 grams
  • Sugar: 9 grams
  • Calories: 386

Who needs real Italian food when you can just open a can of Chef Boyardee? Well, we really have nothing good to say about the Beef Ravioli. One can has 12 grams of fat, 4.2 grams of saturated fat, and 1,260 milligrams of sodium. There’s also a horrifying surprise of 9 grams of sugar in there.

Next: These four types of canned foods are actually good for you.

1. Lentils

A person scooping lentils from a bulk container.

Skip the long boiling and get to eating some delicious lentils. | David Silverman/Getty Images

If you’ve forgotten about this legume, it’s time to incorporate it into your diet. Lentils are high in protein and fiber, mindbodygreen says, making them the perfect accompaniment when you’re sick of rice or pasta as a side dish. They also aid in digestion, can help reduce your risk of heart disease, and can help lower your cholesterol levels.

If you’re trying to lose weight, lentils should definitely be on your radar too. An entire cup cooked comes to just 230 calories.

Next: A perfect canned option for your meals and heart health.

2. Pumpkin

Pumpkin puree in a glass bowl.

A taste of pumpkin without a trip to the farm. | Sarahdoow/iStock/Getty Images

Let’s be clear: We’re not talking about the sugary pumpkin pie filling in the baking aisle — we’re talking about straight canned pumpkin with nothing added. And this canned food is full of beta-carotene, which can help prevent heart disease and enhance your eye health, Greatist says. It may also surprise you to know that you’ll feel pretty full after eating a dish with pumpkin due to its incredibly high fiber content and decent amount of protein.

Unsure of how to add canned pumpkin to your meals? Try adding it to oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, or you can even toss it into mac and cheese or chili for extra creaminess.

Next: This vegetable often gets forgotten.

3. Artichokes

Fresh artichokes on a wooden table.

You can make seriously impressive use of canned artichokes in spreads, salads, and appetizers. | Dianazh/iStock/Getty Images

This often forgotten vegetable can seem intimidating to cook, no matter how much you’re craving spinach and artichoke dip. And that’s where the canned version comes in. Livestrong.com reports just one medium artichoke contains over 40% of your recommended daily value of fiber, which also can help lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar. This fiber is also unique because it can stimulate the production of good bacteria in your gut.

If you’re stumped on how to use canned artichokes, try throwing them on pizzas, using them in a salad, or even just sautéing them in a pan with olive oil and garlic.

Next: A cheap option to improve bone and heart health.

4. Black or kidney beans

Red beans spread out on a wooden table.

You can quickly warm up beans for soups, side dishes, or chili. | Piyaset/iStock/Getty Images

Beans are cheaper if you buy them dried, but the prep time is undesirable. In that case, feel free to go for the cans of black and kidney beans. All varieties of this legume are high in protein and fiber, and black beans in particular may help to strengthen your bones and heart, says Medical News Today. And Livestrong.com notes kidney beans could aid in cancer prevention.

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