Best Canned Food Storage Choices

Best Canned Foods For Emergency

A University food science study confirms many canned food storage items are packed with nutrition. Yet there has been a mis-perception, even among health professionals, that canned products don't stack up nutritionally.

Here we list these nutritional foods that would make the best canned food choices for your emergency food supply.

On this website, we highly recommend stocking-up a good variety of "survival food types" for your emergency food storage list, such as: freeze-dried, dehydrated, garden foods, and canned foods.

Many people that are striving to stock-up on emergency preparedness foods cannot afford to buy the recommended amounts of "Commercial Survival Foods" for their food storage needs. Buckets, and #10 cans of freeze-dried and dehydrated emergency food storage items may NOT be an option for some people's budget.

We found this study to be, not only interesting and informative, but also a large plus to those that would like to feel better nutritionally” about adding canned food storage products to their survival foods list. Remember, even if you can only add a few canned food items at a time... something is ALWAYS better than nothing!

Read more on what we suggest for the different types of "survival foods" on our
Survival Food List Page.

About The Canned Food Study -

Canned food storage nutrition

Study let's a little-know secret out of the can

In 1995, the University of Illinois Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition released a comparative analysis of a variety of canned, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. This study let a little-known secret out of the can... canned fruits and vegetables are as nutritious as their fresh and frozen counterparts.

In response to queries from health professionals and the media, the University of Illinois expanded and updated this study in 1997. The later study, provides nutritional analyses of about 35 canned fruits and vegetables, as well as poultry and fish.

Feel nutritionally confident using canned foods

Results of this nutrition study show that, more than ever, dietitians, nutritionists and food service professionals can feel confident recommending delicious, healthy meals prepared with canned ingredients.

What Are The Best Canned Food Storage Items
For Emergency Preparedness?

List of Foods Analyzed -

applesauce, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, grapefruit, mandarin oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, purple plums, strawberries, sweet bing cherries, tomatoes (stewed and whole)

Canned Vegetables:

asparagus, beets, carrots, corn, green beans, mushrooms, peas, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes, ripe olives, and white potatoes

black, black-eyed peas, garbanzo, navy, pinto, red kidney and white kidney

Canned Poultry and Fish:
breast of chicken, chunk light tuna, and pink salmon

Below we will list the “high-lights” of the study findings that we feel are the most important and informational in regards to how canned foods compare for nutritional value, and therefore, why you should consider adding them to your variety of emergency food storage types.

Top of Page

Highlights - How Canned Food Storage Compares Nutritionally

Vitamin A

Many canned fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin A, which is essential for the activity of mucus-forming cells in the body, as well as for night and color vision. Since little of the vitamin is lost during the canning process, canned products have similar levels of vitamin A to their fresh and frozen counterparts.


Canned Tomatoes Excellent Choice Survival Food

Vitamin A is present in many fruits and vegetables as carotene’s antioxidants that provide protection for the body s cells. Apricots, carrots, peaches, pumpkin, spinach and sweet potatoes all are high in carotene’s.

Tomatoes, in particular, are a favorite for canned food storage, they contain an important carotenoid called lycopene, which appears to be effective in preventing certain cancers. In fact, some analyses show lycopene is more effective when it is consumed after it is heated or canned.

Dietary Fiber

Many fruits and vegetables are important sources of dietary fiber. Blackberries, blueberries, cherries and strawberries, as well as apples, carrots, beans and peas, provide this vital food component in the form of cellulose and pectins.

The canning process does not affect fiber content, making them comparable to fresh and frozen. In fact, the heating process appears to make the fiber more soluble and, therefore, more useful to the body.

Potassium and Folate

Canned Beans Great Nutrition Survival Food

Consumers can always count on beans for a great canned food storage item, they pack a powerful nutritional punch. Not only an excellent source of protein and iron, beans also are excellent sources of thiamin, dietary fiber and potassium which is important for regulating blood pressure and kidney function. They are also a good source of folic acid, which recent studies indicate plays a critical role during pregnancy.

The USDA nutrient database shows beans can provide 20 to 40 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for folate. All of these nutrients hold up well in the canning process, making them similar to dried varieties that are cooked from scratch.

Vitamin C

Apricots, asparagus, oranges, grapefruits, pineapple, strawberries, spinach and tomatoes all are significant sources of vitamin C. Although small amounts of vitamin C are lost during heat treatment, most of what is lost ends up in the liquid in which the product is packed. The vitamin C retained after canning remains stable during the one- to two-year shelf life of the canned product.

Canned Tuna Good Protein & Calcium


Canned poultry and fish considered protein foods are comparable to their fresh-cooked counterparts in nutritional value, since protein is not affected by heat treatment. This makes the canned varieties convenient alternatives to fresh-cooked, since they require much less preparation time.


The canning process actually is responsible for higher calcium levels in canned fish than in freshly cooked.


Thiamin, one of the B-complex vitamins, is obtained by eating meats or legumes. Although this vitamin is not particularly stable when heated, it survives the canning process well, making canned meats and beans comparable to their freshly cooked counterparts.

Top of Page

Advantages of Using Canned Food Storage Items -

  • Canned foods are convenient - particularly when used as recipe ingredients. Canned foods are quick, delicious alternatives to fresh foods, when prepared for the table. However, the big advantage in using canned varieties is easy preparation and year-round availability.
  • Nutrients Sealed In - Once the product is canned, it usually maintains its nutrient levels, even after one to two years of storage. This is particularly important, since canned products are harvested at the peak of ripeness and usually canned only a few hours after they are picked, sealing in the nutrients.
  • Safety Packed In - In addition to being nutritionally comparable to their fresh and frozen counterparts, canned products are one of the safest forms of food, according to the University of Illinois study. Canned products are heated and vacuum-sealed, destroying microorganisms that cause food borne illnesses, while locking in both flavor and nutrients.

SAFETY NOTES - Regarding Using Canned Food Storage

  • Always use your oldest cans first, or FIFO, meaning: First-In, First-Out.
  • Before opening, discard any badly dented, bulging, rusty, or leaky cans or jars that have broken seals.
  • Discard contents (do not taste) if there is a strange odor or appearance.
  • Discard any can that spurts when opening.

Shopping The Recommended Stores Below
Helps To Support This Website...
Thank You for your purchase!


Top of Page

Home >> Emergency Food Supply >> Best Canned Food Storage