It is so easy to use canned legumes or other canned vegetables for preparing a dish. Since they’ve been basically pre-cooked, all you need to do is pop the lid, pour the beans or lentils into the pan, and mix it with the other ingredients. You don’t have to bother with soaking or sprouting them anymore.
Storage is another problem you no longer have to worry about with canned beans. They can stay in your cupboard for as long the stated expiration date, and that could be several months. No need for airtight containers or refrigeration.
All that convenience however comes at a price. The canned beans you’ll be eating won’t be as safe as the raw and fresh kind. These risks are actually brought about by the canning process. Read on and learn the negative effects of canned legumes (and be sure to also check out recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice).
Canned Legumes Risks:
As discussed in the article about canned fruits, the current practice now for canning is to coat the inner side of food and beverage cans with a thin layer of epoxy resin. One of the major chemical components of this material is bisphenol A (BPA). The plastic is supposed to prevent the metal material of the can from contaminating the food. While this may have been effective, the BPA in the plastic leeches into the food instead. This chemical has been used for making plastics for quite some time but its dangers to human health are only recently being investigated.
One of the stated health risks of BPA is that it is a hormone disruptor. This probably stems from the fact that the substance can resemble natural hormones in the body. Some of its early uses in fact were to enhance growth in livestock animals and as estrogen replacement for women. Other possible dangers of BPA being studied are:
- Heart problems
- Behavioral changes
Manufacturers of canned food for infants and producers of infant food-related products were some of those that changed their methods and used BPA-free plastics or stopped using plastic altogether. The substance is said to be particularly dangerous to babies and young children. It’s still highly likely however that most types of canned goods still have BPA plastic inside the cans.
Sulfites are often used as a food preservative. In the canning process it can be one of several materials used to keep the food from spoiling. Unfortunately there are people who are sensitive to sulfites and can have mild to adverse allergic reactions when exposed. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, around 1 out of 100 people can be sulfite-sensitive. Look for the following ingredients on a can of beans label. If it mentions the following, then it has sulfites:
- Sulfur dioxide
- Potassium bisulfate
- Potassium metabisulfite
- Sodium sulfite
Another commonly used preservative that’s frequently high in canned goods is salt. Based on one study that surveyed the sodium content of processed foods, canned fruits and veggies have lower sodium compared to canned sauces and processed meats. This relative amount however may still be too high for someone who has to strictly go on a low-sodium diet. If it’s not possible to avoid eating canned beans, the most you can do is to thoroughly rinse the beans once they’re out of the can.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of any regular wheat products and why you should avoid them to succeed in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the grains and legumes on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
• GMO Corn
• Soy Nuts
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the negative effects of canned legumes, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the negative effects of canned legumes.