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Hazards of canned food

January 11, 2013

CANNED foods are very dangerous and harmful for health, but it has become a fashion to use them. Nowadays, almost any food can be found in a can.

With so many options available, how can you trust what you are eating? More importantly, are canned foods good for you? Few people know that many canned foods contain high levels of sodium.

The salt helps preserve the food, but can elevate blood pressure, cause you to retain water and increase calcium loss. Vitamin C is also destroyed during the cooking and canning process. Other nutrients, including vitamin A, and potassium, survive the canning process well.

Sulfites are sulfur-based compounds added to food as preservatives. They are found in canned vegetables. About one out of 100 people is sensitive to sulfites and reactions can be deadly.

The reaction manifests itself in respiratory problems (signs of a bad reaction of shortness of breath or wheezing). A recent study found that almost all of the canned vegetables, tuna, juice and soups that were tested contained some level of bisphenol A (BPA). BPA worries health practitioners because of its possible link to serious health problems.

BPA is an industrial compound, but food manufacturers use it to protect food from metal corrosion and bacteria. BPA may affect neural development in fetuses.

BPA is also linked to endocrine disorders, heart disease and cancer. Canned foods have high amounts of BPA that some study groups find unacceptable.

In a study’s random sampling of 50 cans from the US and Canada, researchers found BPA in 46 of the 50 food products. The highest level was found in a can of green beans.

In other countries the use of canned food is minimised or restricted but, unfortunately, Pakistan always promotes or enhances those things which are harmful.

Here we adopt those things which other countries try to stop. It is the duty of health practitioners to advise people about the disadvantages of canned food through active communication.

Health practitioners play their role at their community level for the awareness of different disorders and diseases produced by canned food and advise them to avoid the use of canned food.

DR SIDRA SARWAR                 Lahore