Fresh or canned: these are the healthiest legumes you can buy at the 'super'

Spaniards tend to fall short of fiber in our daily diet. This is one of the conclusions reached by the National Diet Intake Survey (Enide) carried out by the Ministry of Health together with the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (Aesan). While the ideal is that every day we consume at least 25 grams of this substance, in Spain we take between 17 and 21.

The advice of the experts to solve this lack of fiber is known to all: we must eat more vegetables and, among them, legumes. This type of food has an abundant content of fiber, but not only stand out for it: legumes are the main source of vegetable proteins that exist, they contain hardly any fat, but they do have a great contribution of vitamins and minerals.

Chickpeas, lentils, beans … All these foods star in a large number of traditional recipes in Spain; in fact, we always associate legumes with the diet of our grandparents. We, however, consume them less frequently because they require foresight and time in the kitchen. In this sense, legumes of boat They can be a perfect ally of our weekly diet.

Pot legumes

Although pot beans have many advantages, there are many myths surrounding them. One of them is that they can be dangerous: however, as explained in this EL ESPAÑOL article, this is false. The reason they were thought to be harmful is that some have the additive E-385 or EDTA, whose function is to prevent some microorganisms from contaminating the product.

However, the amounts of this component are measured so that they do not produce any effect in the body. Gemma del Caño, Food Safety expert, explains in her blog that for this additive to be dangerous it would be necessary to consume “more than 30 kilos of legumes in a pot a day”. Therefore, consuming this product has many more benefits than avoiding it. But are fresh legumes better?

In reality, canned legumes are fresh legumes that have been soaked in water, salt, additives and cooked in the very pot in which we buy them. For this reason, the differences that may exist between them and the fresh ones that we can prepare at home are not too marked. This is confirmed by Report on Legumes, Nutrition and Health prepared between the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN) and Aesan.

The main difference

Anyway, it is true that legumes of boat they contain more sodium than dried legumes that we can cook in water at home. This is due to the salt they put in the cooking water in the food industry. Now, this excess sodium can be easily corrected if we remove the liquid in which they come and rinse them in water. This canning liquid is called government liquid And, although we almost always remove it, it can be consumed.

In fact, the government fluid is not simply water, salt and additives. After cooking the vegetables in it, many of the micronutrients they contain pass into this medium And, therefore, it is very interesting from a nutritional point of view to cook with it. If we take advantage of this liquid in the kitchen, the canned legumes provide the same nutrient content as the dry ones that we cook at home in a stew.

In conclusion, the differences between fresh and canned legumes are very small. The fresh ones can be considered somewhat better if we do not abuse the salt when cooking them and if we usually throw the government liquid down the drain when we use the boat ones. Anyway, the most important thing is to eat legumes And, therefore, if the boat tickets allow us to do it more often, we should buy them.


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