Is it safe to add beans from a can to your anti-cancer pantry? Are some brands better than others?
The answer is “yes, if” and “yes, for sure.”
The problem with most canned foods is a chemical used in the epoxy of the can’s lid and lining —Bisphenol-A. The epoxy prevents the can from corroding and keeps bacteria and dissolved metals from tainting the food inside. A recent study (called “No Silver Lining”) conducted by several US health organizations found 92 percent of the 50 cans tested contained BPA .
And the problem with BPA? According to the study, “hundreds of independent peer-reviewed scientific studies have found negative outcomes resulting from low doses”—including links to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer. The industry takes exception.
BPA belongs to a class of chemicals known as endocrine disrupters, meaning it mimics estrogen, but is far more potent than the body’s own, and thus can promote growth of cancer cells that are estrogen-sensitive. And BPA is everywhere—in many plastics (some baby and water bottles) and many printer inks (certain grocery, bank and gas receipts–the ones that discolor when you rub them). Aargh!
As companies scramble to find solutions and governments argue over regulation, one manufacturer has been using an alternative for more than a decade: Eden Foods. Instead, they use a plant-based resin in the linings and lids of their canned beans—although they admit it does not work for more acidic products, such as tomatoes, which would eat right through the can. (More on tomato choices in future posts)
In fact, beans might even shield you from BPA exposure. They’re full of fiber, which binds carcinogens (including estrogens) in your gut and moves them out your body, and folate, a B vitamin that some studies have suggested is also protective. Soybeans seem particularly helpful.
Consider also their high protein content, and beans become a great choice for your anti-cancer arsenal— in moderation, that is, a cup of cooked beans a day max.
A dietician passed on the tip to me that beans from a can must be rinsed very well since they are usually high in sodium. But it’s a lot simpler to rinse canned beans that soak dry ones! Thanks for the great info!!
Yes, I’ve also heard that you should rinse canned beans under running water until all that foamy stuff is gone. Thanks for commenting.
As long as you plan in advance dried beans are so easy to use.