Five of the best: Tinned foods contain more nutrition than you might imagine

The bones in canned sardines are partially dissolved, releasing more minerals than fresh sardines

Dietitian Helen Bond recommends five of the best foods in a can...


EXAMPLE: Sainsbury's Sardines In Water.

Per 120g can: calories, 175; saturated fat, 3.1g; protein, 19.2g; fibre, trace; sugar, trace; salt, 0.34g

The bones in canned sardines are partially dissolved, releasing more minerals than fresh sardines. A small can supplies more than three-quarters of the daily requirement of calcium, and 3mcg of vitamin D – nearly a third of your recommended daily amount (RDA). Gram for gram, sardines also have as much iron as beef. Plus, a can has 2.9g of heart-healthy omega-3 fats – almost all the weekly recommended intake.


EXAMPLE: Sainsbury's Ratatouille Provençale.

Per half a 390g can: calories, 100; saturated fat, 0.6g; protein, 2g; fibre, 4.9g; sugar, 7.8g; salt, 1.07g

Ratatouille (tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines, peppers and onions) has two of your five-a-day in half a can. Canned tomatoes are a good source of lycopene – an antioxidant that's been associated with lower stroke risk, improved heart health and protection against some cancers.


EXAMPLE: Tesco Sweetcorn In Water.

Half a 200g can: calories, 65; saturated fat, 0.3g; protein, 2.3g; fibre, 2.3g; sugar, 5.5g; salt, trace

Canned corn has more vitamin C than boiled ‘fresh' corn because it tends to be canned as soon as it's picked, whereas cobs sold whole may hang around for longer. Boiling a cob leaches a lot of what's left. It's also a source of sight-protecting lutein and zeaxanthin, more easily absorbed when the kernels have been softened through canning.


EXAMPLE: Sainsbury's Artichoke Halves In Water.

Half a 400g can: calories, 41; saturated fat, 0.1g; protein, 2.3g; fibre, 4.1g; sugar, 0.5g; salt, 0.12g

Half a can supplies 142mcg – more than 70 per cent of the RDA – of folate, which helps make healthy red blood cells. This serving also supplies 10 per cent of the RDA of magnesium, for nerve and muscle function.


EXAMPLE: Tesco Vegetable Chilli.

Half a 400g can: calories, 136; saturated fat, 0.4g; protein, 5.6g; fibre, 5.2g; sugar, 6.2g; salt, 1.8g

Red peppers, onions and tomatoes mixed with red kidney, pinto and black turtle beans. Half a can counts as one of your five-a-day and supplies more than a sixth of daily fibre. Eat with sweet potato for an extra portion of veg; add tofu for more protein.

© Solo dmg media

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