Diet Quality and Nutrient Intake Research

Teacher and Kids

New research published online in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides insight into the role of canned fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet.

The study analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2001-2010, which includes information on the eating habits of 41,800 American children and adults. According to the research, those who ate canned fruits and vegetables had greater overall fruit and vegetable consumption, better diet quality and increased nutrient intake compared to kids and adults who did not eat canned fruits and vegetables.

Adults

  • Ate 17 percent more total vegetables
  • Ate 19 percent more total fruits
  • Had a diet lower in overall dietary fat
  • Consumed 7 percent more dietary fiber and 5 percent more potassium
  • Had overall better diet quality
  • Had similar sodium and added sugar intakes
  • Had comparable body weight and body mass indexes.

Children

  • Ate 22 percent more total vegetables
  • Ate 14 percent more total fruits
  • Had a diet lower in overall dietary fat
  • Consumed 3.7 percent more protein; 7.7 percent more fiber; 5.8 percent more potassium; 5 percent more calcium; and 11.3 percent more vitamin A
  • Had the same sodium and added sugar intakes
  • Had comparable body weight and body mass indexes.

These findings are particularly important when you consider that, according to the recent Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Report, Americans are not meeting dietary goals for vitamins A, D, E, and C, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. What’s more, they aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables, which are important sources of these shortfall nutrients. Many canned foods are top sources of these key nutrients, including vitamin D (salmon, tuna), potassium (canned tomato products, beans, spinach), fiber (beans, pumpkin), and iron (canned coconut milk, sardines, chili with beans).

Adult Nutrition

Adult Nutrition

Adults who eat canned fruits and vegetables not only eat more fruits and vegetables than those who do not eat canned varieties, but they also have an increased intake of some essential nutrients, including fiber and potassium.

Kids Nutrition

Kids Nutrition

Kids who ate canned fruits and vegetables had greater overall fruit and vegetable consumption, better diet quality and increased nutrient intake compared to children who did not eat canned fruits and vegetables.