How Canned Food Can Kill Your Gut Bacteria

Is there a connection between gut bacteria and canned food? Are you putting your gut health on the line by eating canned food? What is the opinion of experts on it?

Here is all that you need to know.

Table Of Content

  1. Introduction
  2. Canned Food and Its Evolution
  3. Canned Food Stages
  4. How Long Do Canned Foods Last?
  5. Benefits of Canned Food
  6. Disadvantages of Canned Food
  7. Gut Bacteria
  8. List of Worst Foods For Gut Health
  9. List of Best Foods For Gut Health
  10. Conclusion


Canned food is not new to us. In fact, very few people know that canning of food started way back in 1809. It was developed by a French researcher called Nicolas Appert for use by the Army. The food supplies for the armed forces would often go bad.

Therefore, Nicolas developed a way of preserving foods by heating them and storing them in sterilized containers.

While it may have been developed for military use, canned foods are a part of our daily lives now. In our day-to-day lives we often pop open a can without thinking much about it.

However, experts are now beginning to question whether canned foods have less nutritional value?

Is canned food bad?

Is Cooking Canned items good in taste?

Can Fermented Foods like yogurt, meat be canned?

Is canned food contaminated?

Are canned vegetables healthy?

Below are some pointers that may help in understanding whether canned foods are harmful for you and your family or does canned foods have health benefits.

Canned Food and Its Evolution

Canned food refers to the storage of food for a longer duration of time in a tight jar or container to keep them fresh for later usage. It is a way to preserve food items from getting spoiled with an instant method of storing it in containers and sterilizing it with heat.

This processing is known as canning of food items.

This technique involves storing the food in jars or containers, and then heating them to a certain temperature and keeping them sealed until use.

Also Read: 5 Mistakes People Make When Trying To Lose Weight

Every Canned Food Item Is Passed Through Various Stages As Mentioned Below

Here is a detailed canning process using which the canned foods are kept safe.

1. Processing

Before canning them into containers, fruits and vegetables are washed properly and are cut into a standard size. Green Beans of the various families are hydrated and blanched, and afterwards filled in different jars with juice or water.

2. Sealing

After washing and blanching, the food is packed in containers and sealed to increase the shelf life until further usage.

3. Heating

Once the food is sealed, it is heated to a certain temperature to kill all the bad bacteria and prevent damage. It is then cooled quickly.

It is often said that the food loses its nutritional value during canning, which is not completely true. Some of the foods which are rich in high nutrients maintain their nutrition even after being canned.

The protein or vitamin levels totally depend upon the nature of the food. The nutrient level for some food may decrease while others could increase in the process of heat up.

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How Long Do Canned Foods Last?

Canned foods, fruits and vegetables can generally last from 1 to 4 years depending upon the heat and temperature they are kept in.

Although the shelf life of canned foods can also be increased by proper fementation and this is why fermented foods are also good for gut bacteria.

Few Benefits of Canned Food

  1. Canned food may contain most of the nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and fats, even after canning.
  2. They are minimally processed so they retain their nutritional value for a long time. Also, research reveals they offer the same value as frozen foods, but at a lower cost.

Disadvantages of Canned Food

While technological advancements have ensured that nutritional loss is minimised, there are some shortcomings too.  The entire operation of canning may cause loss of some essential nutrients. Also, they are packaged with certain preservatives to keep them long-lasting.

Here are few disadvantages of canned food you need to be aware of.

  1. Added preservatives or sodium can have a bad effect on your body causing blood pressure or water retention problems. So, choose your canned foods wisely and eat mindfully.
  2. The container used to fill canned food can be contaminated with BPA or bisphenol. A study reveals it may affect infants and elderly and cause hormonal changes, and impact brain functioning.
  3. Food containing excessive sugar or sodium can create chronic diseases. So, whenever you purchase canned food watch out for sodium and sugar levels and try to avoid items with excess of sugar or sodium in it.
  4. The nanoparticles present in some of the canned containers tend to negatively affect the gut bacteria present in our stomach.

What Is Gut Bacteria and How Do They Affect Your Health?

Our body is full of billions of healthy and happy bacteria. These are mostly present in our intestines. The purpose of these gut bacteria is to help in digestion and help us in many other ways. Our gut flora – as it is also called – is said to have an effect on our overall immunity and body movements.

Gut bacteria are known to have a complex influence on metabolism, nutrition and immune function, as suggested by some studies.

A study at Binghamton University, New York, reveals that the nanoparticles present in some of the canned boxes tend to negatively affect the gut bacteria present in our stomach. 

This is because these nanoparticles change the way your intestines absorb nutrients. These can include problems like indigestion.

Researchers say they found zinc oxide particles in a larger amount than what we are supposed to consume daily.

These particles settle down on the lining of the intestinal tract, causing damage to nutrient-absorbing tissues, thereby leading to a decrease in the absorption of nutrients in the body.

Must Read: 8 Best Health Benefits of Kefir

List of Worst Foods For Gut Health

Gut bacteria and gut health are very important, as they are linked to your overall well-being. They tend to impact your moods, immunity, and internal body matters, such as blood pressure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Here is a list of foods that you should not consume to maintain a good gut health. 

  1. Artificial sweeteners.
  2. Processed and refined foods.
  3. Red meat.
  4. Saturated fats.
  5. Alcohol.

Also Read: How Kefir Can Help Improve Your Gut Health

List of Best Foods For Gut Health

There are a number of foods that help to promote the growth of good bacteria to keep your gut health in line.

Here is the list of good foods to eat for gut heath: 

  1. High fibre foods include beans, pulses, legumes, bananas which you should definitely eat as they have shown a positive effect on gut health. 
  2. Eat garlic and onion as they have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.  
  3. Plant based diets, such as spinach, and green leafy vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins like calcium and magnesium. They are also rich in fibre that helps to boost your immune system and improves your heart ability. 
  4. Have fermented foods like yogurt that has bacteria to convert sugar into food or organic acids. 
  5. Drink lots of water to avoid bad gut.


Gut bacteria are very important for you, your friends as well as for your family. Always make a chart, plan your diet before cooking your meal.

Focus on the pros and cons of canned food and its effect on your body. Try to eliminate food that badly affects your gut bacteria, and eat healthy food which is rich in nutritional ingredients, drink water, and have a good sleep on daily basis.

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