“I think you have to have a healthy diet to be healthy,” Dr. David Stavans, a senior research scientist at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.
“I mean, if you’re not eating fruits and vegetables, then you’re at risk.”
Stavans said that canned fruits and veggies are high in sodium, high in sugar, and high in fat, and that it’s important to get the most bang for your buck by eating healthy food.
He said canned fruit is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and fiber.
Dr. Steven Greenstein, the executive director of the Center on Food Safety, said consumers are not necessarily being told to eat canned fruit.
“There is no evidence that consumption of canned fruits increases the risk of heart disease or stroke,” Greenstein said in a statement.
“In fact, the evidence suggests that they’re actually protective against the development of those diseases.”
Dr. Paul Cimber, a cardiologist and a research fellow at the University of Florida, said the FDA is doing a good job of telling consumers how to eat, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
“We still don’t have any solid evidence to support the notion that canned fruit actually does anything,” Cimberg told reporters.
“It’s not really clear what the effect is on blood pressure.
And it’s not clear what effect it has on cholesterol, so I think consumers are being misled.”
While the FDA and others are pushing for more canned fruit in the market, Cimbert said there are plenty of products that are simply not suitable for children.
“If you’re putting it in a microwave or in a fridge, the risk is just too high,” he said.