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Questions & Answers about Tuna & Canned Foods


Questions about Tuna

QUESTION:  Is canned tuna safe to eat? 
ANSWER:  Yes.  The American Heart Association recommends that Americans eat fish two times a week to get the Omega-3 fatty acids they need. Fatty fish like canned tuna and salmon are good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. These recommendations also follow the EPA and FDA guidelines for safe fish consumption. There is absolutely no scientifically based evidence that supports the notion that canned tuna is not safe. 
Several varieties of fish, including tuna, are excellent sources of protein, B vitamins, selenium and Omega 3 fatty acids. These nutrients play a key role in helping your body build red blood cells, reduce the risk of heart disease and macular degeneration, and promote brain growth -- especially in children.

QUESTION:  Why is tuna a healthy food?
ANSWER:  Organizations like the USDA, the American Heart Association and the American Dietetic Association are touting the health benefits of fish more than ever before.  Tuna is a great source of lean protein – it’s low in saturated and trans fats and lower in calories than other proteins.  And the Omega-3 fatty acids in canned tuna have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, blood clots and stroke, fight disease including certain cancers, and help relieve depression.

QUESTION:  How many servings of tuna should I eat each week?
ANSWER:  The American Heart Association advises adults and children aged 2 years and over to eat at least 2 servings of fish a week, but most Americans eat less than half that amount.  And the Omega-3 fatty acids in canned tuna have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, blood clots and stroke, fight disease including certain types of cancer, and help relieve depression.

Questions about Canned Foods

QUESTION:  Isn’t it true that fresh fruits and vegetables are better for you than canned?   
ANSWER:  The Dietary Guidelines do not make a distinction between fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables – all forms count.

That’s because the same essential nutrients found in fresh fruits and vegetables are also in canned. And, compared to fresh and frozen, canned are a convenient and affordable way to get these nutrients. In addition, several university studies have confirmed that canned fruits and vegetables provide as much dietary fiber and nutrients when prepared in a meal. Many of Del Monte’s products deliver the nutritional benefits recommended in the Dietary Guidelines and, compared to fresh and frozen varieties, provide a convenient and affordable source for consumers to obtain these important nutrients. 


QUESTION: Do canned foods provide the nutrition that my family needs?
ANSWER:  Yes, a study conducted by the University of Illinois showed that canned fruits and vegetables generally provide as much dietary fiber and nutrients as their cooked fresh and frozen counterparts. In addition, a nutrition study conducted by the University of Massachusetts found that recipes using canned ingredients are similar in nutritional and taste value to those made with fresh or frozen items when prepared in a meal. Importantly, the Guidelines do not make a distinction between fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables.

QUESTION:  Are important nutrients lost during the canning process?
ANSWER:  For some foods, the commercial cooking process increases the availability of certain important nutrients. A study by Cornell University scientists shows that canned corn may be healthier than corn on the cob.  The study shows that heat processing of sweet corn increases total antioxidant activity and the level of lutein – a naturally occurring phytochemical that may help to fight disease and preserve eyesight.  Additional research indicates that heat from cooking or canning makes the lycopene -- an important carotenoid, which may help protect against prostate cancer and heart disease -- found in tomatoes more available to your body. As a result, processed tomato products such as canned tomatoes and sauces are among the best food sources of lycopene.

QUESTION:  Are canned foods filled with sodium? 
ANSWER:  Many Del Monte vegetables are seasoned with table salt -- only for flavor.  The average serving of Del Monte vegetables has only 1/6th teaspoon of salt or 1/3rd teaspoon for a cup of vegetables. Several vegetable products are also available in low-salt and no-salt alternatives for those watching their salt intake.  

QUESTION:  Are canned foods filled with preservatives.
ANSWER:  The vast majority of Del Monte products are preservative free and nearly 90% are all natural.

QUESTION:  Are canned foods are highly processed?
ANSWER:  In regards to processing, Del Monte products are “thermally” processed.  The commercial cooking process is essentially equivalent to home canning process. Del Monte harvests most of its fruit and vegetable products immediately at the peak of ripeness to retain nutrients and flavor. The products are then cooked naturally without preservatives or other additives. Nearly 90% of Del Monte’s fruit and vegetable products are all natural.

Additional Nutrition Questions

QUESTION:  Why is Lycopene so important for you?
ANSWER:  Lycopene is a carotenoid that is found primarily in tomatoes. It is the pigment that gives the brilliant red color to tomatoes, watermelon and red grapefruit. Research is beginning to show promise that lycopene may have a role in preventing heart disease and certain types of cancer like prostate cancer. Canned tomatoes and tomato products are excellent sources of lycopene because the heat from cooking or canning makes the lycopene more available to your body

QUESTION:  Why do you use High Fructose Corn Syrup in your products?
ANSWER:  High Fructose Corn Syrup is a sweetener that is made from corn that has virtually the same sweetening power as sugar, provides the same amount of calories as table sugar and is used by our bodies just like table sugar. In the food industry, High Fructose Corn Syrup does more than just sweeten a product—it helps retain moisture and food structure. It also allows flavors to blend and increases the shelf life of a product.

QUESTION:  What is sucralose and why do you use it?
ANSWER:  Sucralose (Splenda) is made from regular table sugar, but is altered to create a very sweet (600 times as sweet) sugar replacement that has no caloric value. That’s because sucralose is not broken down for energy in your body—it is excreted without adding any calories. It has no effect on insulin levels or on blood sugar levels, so it is safe for individuals with diabetes.
Del Monte® uses sucralose in select products to help consumers include fruit in their diet while watching their calorie and carbohydrate intakes.

QUESTION:  If I drain the cans of fruit and vegetables, will it change the nutritional content much?
ANSWER:  By draining the fruit and vegetables you will likely lose some of the sugar from the fruit and some of the salt from the vegetables. You may also lose some of the vitamin and mineral content as the food has been cooked in those liquids, but the amount would be minimal.

QUESTION:  Is the nutritional information on your cans based on the nutritional content before or after processing?
ANSWER:  The nutritional information on the products is based on the nutritional content after processing


Del Monte® and StarKist® Tuna brands are empowering Americans to live a healthy life with the Just One More for Healthy Living™ campaign.  Launched in 2006, Just One More for Healthy Living™ encourages consumers to take simple steps each day that will yield significant results towards a healthy lifestyle -- by adding just one more serving of fruits, vegetables and tomatoes daily, and one more serving weekly of tuna. 

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