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Canned Food and Paleo- Is There a Match?

on August 16, 2013 | In: Food and Drink, News, Nutritional Approach, Nutritional Tips | 5 Comments

There can be… but the caveat is that it should be for those ‘in a pinch’ occasions.

Please don’t go stocking your pantry with canned tomato paste, coconut milk and chicken broth.

All place a far second to True Paleo foods (fresh tomato, fresh coconut an homemade pastured chicken broth) rendering a much cleaner and far less processed product.

So when do the ‘in a pinch’ times come into play?   Well, when you’re in a pinch!  Any situation where you have to decide between two or more not very good options, sometimes the canned choice is the ‘least worse’ of the lot.

For example- you’re in the middle of nowhere and have been gone far longer than you thought you’d be.  You come across a hole-in-the-wall grocer and the best protein option you can find is a can of tuna.   Not great to eat regularly, but if the only other choice is Oscar Mayer Bologna, the tuna is definitely less offensive.

In the big scheme of things, eating a can of tuna now and then is not going to put you at risk of Mercury poisoning, nor will the sodium content in a single serving cause your blood pressure to skyrocket.

Relying on canned items, though, as a day to day part of your diet is not what Paleo is all about.  I continue to be more surprised and bothered by how many “Paleo” recipes suggest using canned tomato paste (high in sodium and added white sugar), canned coconut milk (often contains the stabilizer guar gum, derived from a bean and very high in anti nutrients)…even some that are using bottled soy sauce (huh?), but claim that since it’s just a little, it’s not a big deal.

Well, it may be that some who eat a little bit of soy sauce don’t feel sick right away, but that doesn’t make it Paleo!

Right, now back to the topic…

Take home message- if you have no better options, eating something out of a can on occasion can  be Paleo OK, as long as what’s inside is Paleo in the first place!


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  • cvictorg August 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    This is a very elitist column. So let’s get real.

    Coconuts are NOT paleo!! Did paleo man/woman living in Africa 100,000+ years ago have access to them??

    Are blenders paleo??

    Is chicken paleo??

    Why not get off of your high horse and live in reality for a change.

    There is NOTHING wrong with using canned fruits, frozen veggies or OMG canned coconut milk.

    • admin August 16, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks for your comment!

      Not sure where the elitist comment comes from; the purpose of my blog is to educate those who opt to visit the site to learn more about how to emulate the food groups of Paleo man with foods readily available to us in modern day markets and grocery stores.

      I have no issue with occasionally using canned fruit (as long as it is natural with nothing added) in a pinch or frozen veggies; never have made any comment to infer that.

      The problem with canned coconut milk is that it often contains stabilizers like guar gum which, since it’s a bean derivative, can wreak havoc with many people’s GI tract.

  • Salixisme August 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I think the message with canned goods is READ THE LABELS… I have found a brand of canned coconut milk that is nothing but coconut and water. I have found a brand of canned tomatoes that is nothing but tomatoes and tomato juice… the tomato paste I buy is nothing but tomatoes… no added salt,sugar or anything!

    The good canned stuff DOES exist out there but you have to seek it out. often it may not be organic (I have actually found that the so called organic versions can be worse for additives than the non-organic!), but you do the best you can..

    You cannot just grab a can off the shelf and hope for the best.

    Sure I would prefer to use fresh, but I work for a living… I work long hours and have a commute on top… sometimes canned goods are more convenient.

    And the Paleo friendly ones DO exist – if I can find them others can to…. it just takes a bit of effort!

  • sir August 17, 2013 at 7:11 am

    what do you recommend we can add to it to make it more palatable?

    • admin August 17, 2013 at 10:24 am

      To make what more palatable?

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