Cooking at home has become quite necessary due to the coronavirus pandemic. And lots of us have been trying out new recipes to help overcome the boredom of our every day go-to recipes. At my house we always try to find some nutritional value to what we're preparing, 'try' being the key word here. And I know it's best to use fresh ingredients, but sometimes that's not possible. At times you really do just need canned foods for that special dish you are fixing. And BTW, they are usually affordable, and last a pretty good amount of time, so that puts them at the top of a lot of grocery lists these days.

So, with that in mind, let's take a look at what nutritionists are telling Chow Hound are the best and worst canned foods to use and eat. Feel free to chime in with your favorites in the comment section below. Bon Appétit, y'all.

BEST:

  • Canned Pumpkin. Lots of nutrients and antioxidants, and can be used in a variety of dishes. I use this every year to make pumpkin spice bread during the holidays.
  • Protein sources. Chicken, tuna, sardines, salmon. Make sure you use high quality brands for a quick meal, but be sure to also pay close attention to the sodium content. Try to find water packed when possible.
  • Canned vegetables. Look for low sodium and no salt added varieties. Some nutritionists say corn, green beans and peas are the healthiest choices.
  • Diced tomatoes. We use these a lot for stews, soups, and to add kick to dishes like maque choux, if fresh tomatoes are not available. I like the ones with green chilies added
  • Canned beans and lentils. Great for adding fiber and protein to your diet. Again, try to get low salt varities.

WORST:

  • Baked beans. Lots of saturated fat, sugar, and other additives you don't want to consume regularly
  • Soup. Tons of sodium in most canned soups put these at the top of the list for foods you can make at home that are so much better for you, and cheaper.
  • Canned fruit in syrup. Some options are ok, but the syrup adds a whole lot of sugar to your diet, which "can increase inflammation and contribute to poor gut health."
  • Canned pasta. High in salt, sugar, preservatives, and additives.