CFA Applauds Dietary Guidelines

The Canned Food Alliance applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture's recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans with its emphasis on making smarter food choices for better health. Canned foods are an accessible solution to help Americans meet the USDA's guidelines.

The canned food industry offers more than 1,500 varieties of delicious and nutritious foods, including fruits and vegetables picked and packed at their peak of freshness; beans that are high in fiber and antioxidants; meats and seafood that provide a source of convenient, affordable protein; and low-sodium soups and broths to enhance nutrition at mealtimes. These options make it easier for families to incorporate nutrition into their lives without having to worry about complex preparation, seasonal availability or waste from spoiled food. 

Focus on Fruits and Vegetables

- The 2010 Dietary Guidelines specifically advocate increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables. From peaches, pears and cherries to tomatoes, pumpkin and corn, canned fruits and vegetables retain their nutrients, are shelf-stable helping to reduce waste from spoilage and are an affordable and convenient way to add positive nutrition to meals. Some canned foods even have higher levels of nutrients and antioxidants than their fresh counterparts, such as a greater amount of Vitamin A in canned pumpkin, higher levels of lycopene in canned tomatoes and lutein in canned corn.

Filling Up on Fiber

- The 2010 Dietary Guidelines also emphasize the importance of increasing fiber intake, as 9 out of 10 Americans are falling short on daily fiber needs. Adding beans, legumes and lentils to the diet, in addition to fruits, vegetables and high-fiber whole grains, can help close the fiber gap. The canning process takes the work out of preparing dried beans and legumes, making it more convenient to add these fiber-rich foods to the diet.

Shaking the Sodium and Sugar

- To provide consumers with additional options, there are more low-sodium, no-salt added and no-sugar-added canned foods than ever before.

Safety and Sustainability

- Convenient, tamper-resistant cans deliver great-tasting foods ranging from single-serve to family-sized portions. Steel cans provide protection from outside contaminants, such as oxygen, water and light, helping to keep nutrients in and impurities out. Furthermore, steel food cans are the most recycled food package.

The Canned Food Alliance's "Just Add One" initiative provides a simple way home cooks can begin to put the 2010 Dietary Guidelines immediately into action. The campaign provides recipes and tips for boosting the nutrition in tried-and-true recipes by adding one canned food product.