You’ve probably never thought about this before, but it’s pretty amazing how many foods we’ve preserved in a can over the years. The usual suspects, such as tuna fish, beans, and soup, probably come to mind first and foremost. But if you peruse your local grocery store aisles, there are hundreds of cans left and right. You might have even popped open a can of food to add to a meal today and didn’t even think twice about it.
Canned foods certainly have their place. When certain veggies are out of season (or are way too expensive to buy fresh — let’s be real) then grabbing the preserved option is a great alternative. The same goes with fruit. Who doesn’t love having ripe peaches stored in their cabinets in the middle of the winter? But not every canned food is a dream come true. In all reality, there are plenty that sound convenient and tasty but are truly horrible for your health. You need to avoid these seven whenever possible.
1. Libby’s Corned Beef Hash
Corned beef hash has been a breakfast staple for decades. Thanks to companies, such as Libby’s, you don’t even have to make it from scratch — you can dump it right out of a can and have it ready in just minutes. This mixture of beef, spices, and potatoes isn’t exactly the perfect health food, however. In one 15-ounce can of Libby’s, you can expect to eat 840 calories, 22 grams of saturated fat, and 2,460 milligrams of sodium.
Considering the American Heart Association recommends you only take in 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day tops, we highly suggest skipping this horrifying can of death.
2. Hormel Chili With Beans
Canned chili is a great go-to when you’re starving and in need of a protein-filled meal. But we can’t exactly recommend you try Hormel’s Chili With Beans after taking a look at the nutrition facts. One can holds over 500 calories, 5 grams of saturated fat, and nearly 2,000 milligrams of sodium.
Even if you can get past these atrocities, there’s another number that’s sort of confusing — and that’s the 10 grams of sugar. Do you throw sugar in your homemade chili recipe? Yeah, we didn’t think so. Why there’s anything sweet in this food is really beyond us. Just say no.
3. Del Monte Fruit Cocktail
You probably remember having this canned food as a kid. If you recall it tasting so much better than fresh fruit, it’s because its contents were swimming in a high-fructose corn syrup bath. At first glance, Del Monte’s Fruit Cocktail looks innocent — 100 calories isn’t bad, and 21 grams of sugar isn’t too much of a nightmare. But once you realize there are actually 3.5 servings in one of these little cans, those numbers are much, much worse. No one eats just a third of a can of fruit cocktail, which means you’ll most likely be taking in 63 grams of sugar in one sitting. You might as well just reach for a candy bar.
4. Bush’s Honey Baked Beans
Beans are known for their high protein content, and who doesn’t love a good baked bean dish at their picnics and barbecues? Unfortunately, baked beans are one of the least nutritious ways to consume an otherwise healthy food. And Bush’s Honey Baked Beans certainly aren’t doing your health any favors.
In one of these cans, you’re getting nearly 600 calories and over 50 grams of sugar. Even if you’re not eating the whole can yourself, you probably wouldn’t suspect this food to be so gut-busting. Do yourself a favor, and control the sugar content with your own recipe.
5. Lucky Leaf Lemon Crème Filling & Topping
There’s really nothing healthy about a lemon pie. But when it comes to pies that are also made from fillings in a can, you know you’re in for a sickeningly sweet caloric nightmare. Lucky Leaf’s Lemon Crème Filling & Topping really outdoes itself in the horrible-for-your-health department. One can of the stuff contains almost 800 calories and 140 grams of sugar. And the second ingredient is high-fructose corn syrup.
It’s a good thing pies are meant to be shared. Otherwise you’d feel pretty awful after eating a can of this stuff.
6. Progresso Loaded Potato With Bacon soup
In all honesty, we really could put just about any cream-based canned soup on this list and find a reason as to why it’s bad for your health. But we’re calling particular attention to the disaster that is Progresso’s Loaded Potato soup. One can of this soup contains 340 calories, which is reasonable for a meal. But the 20 grams of fat and 5 grams of saturated fat you’ll also be eating is really cause for concern. And like all cans of soup, the sodium content is outrageous at 1,600 milligrams.
We can guarantee making your own potato soup would be 10 times more healthy and delicious.
7. Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli
Who needs real Italian food when you can just pop open a can of Chef Boyardee? There’s a reason no one’s ever asked themselves that question (at least, we hope they haven’t). The chef’s recipes are nice to have on hand for when you want something conveniently saucy and cheesy, but we really have nothing good to say about the Beef Ravioli.
One can has 11 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 1,140 milligrams of sodium. There’s also a horrifying surprise of 9 grams of sugar in there. Do you add several tablespoons of sugar to your beef raviolis at home? We didn’t think so.