Dealing with Sodium Content in Canned Vegetables

Salt has long been used for cooking as it can make dishes tastier. The problem is too much sodium consumption isn’t good for health although this mineral is essential to our body. Many of us eat salt more than the daily recommended intake, which eventually can trigger health issues like hypertension. Hypertension is known as a silent killer because many people don’t realize that they have it. It’s true that high blood pressure can be treated with medications like sodium channel blockers, but it’s much better to prevent than cure.

Canned vegetables contain high levels of sodium

The fact that canned foods generally pack large amounts of sodium should be a cause for concern because it directly affects our health. Why do these foods have to be loaded with that much salt? As we know, salt is a preservative, but that’s not the sole purpose of salt addition to canned foods. During the manufacturing process, the bacteria present in the food needs to be eliminated, so that the food doesn’t decay. It requires boiling at a very high temperature. Unfortunately, the intensive process comes at a loss of the food’s flavor. It could taste very bland in the end. So to make up for it, the company would simply add salt before the food gets packaged.

Removing the excess sodium in canned vegetables

Canned vegetables usually contain water. To remove the added salt, just drain the water with a colander. And then place it under the kitchen sink. Rinse the veggies for at least 2 minutes, so that remaining sodium gets even lower than before. But what if the vegetables taste plain again? The original flavor will return as soon as the sodium is rinsed away. This shouldn’t be a big deal. You can treat the vegetables like fresh and add them to your cooking. Use spices like garlic, onions, coriander, galangal, and others to make a mouth-watering veggie dish.

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Fresh or canned vegetables?

There’s a popular belief that canned vegetables are a watered-down version of fresh vegetables. Is it true? No, not really. The purpose of canning is to make the veggies last longer. As for the nutrients, most aren’t really affected by the cooking process. However, some vitamins especially like the Vitamin B and C can be quite damaged considering they’re more prone to temperature changes, in this case high heat exposure. All in all, canned vegetables can still be an option for those who want to meet the needs for fiber and other nutrients contained in this type of food. Just remember to rinse them over and over again to eliminate most of the salt.

Advantages of a low sodium diet

Canned vegetables can still be part of your low sodium diet as long as the sodium content is cut down through rinsing. Also, combine them with fresh veggies because they don’t contain much sodium. Sodium is still necessary, but not in large quantities. We’re not advised to consume more than 2,300 mg daily. Eating too much of this mineral will upset your body’s natural balance.

A low sodium diet should consist of vegetables and fruits. Any fresh fruits are good, such as apples, oranges, bananas, kiwis, melons, strawberries, grapefruits, etc. The same goes for vegetables as they’re naturally low in sodium. You can choose basically any vegetables, such as spinach, kale, lettuce, and collard greens.

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