It’s long been said that best before dates are just a guideline. But what might surprise you is that certain foods can last years after expiring…
Long lasting foods and their benefits
We’ve put together a list of foods that will stay fresh for longer, including cans and pulses, which you can find in our rice, pasta, pulses and grains section.
1. Canned fruit
Canned peaches, pineapples and pears may not have as many nutrients as their fresh counterparts, but they can still give you a much-needed vitamin hit. As for their shelf life, most cans will keep between a year and two years – or longer1.
For a versatile source of plant-based protein, look no further than lentils. These fibre-packed pulses are also great for your digestive system. Lentils, whether dried or canned, can last up to five years and past that if they’re stored well2.
There aren’t many foods that can last for 25 to 30 years, but white rice is one of them. Experts say rice can keep for decades if stored correctly3, which is great news for athletes who regularly eat white rice for a quick energy boost4.
4. Brown pasta
Brown pasta is rich in fibre and a fantastic fuel-booster. But how long does it last? Dried pasta that’s kept in an airtight container or jar will last years and, in most cases, long beyond its best before date5.
Honey is delicious in porridge or on toast. It can also be high in antioxidants, which experts say can reduce the risk of a heart attack6. Studies even claim that honey can last indefinitely due to its high sugar content7.
6. Bouillon powder
Bouillon broths can be a low-fat alternative to canned soup and a great healer if you’re ever feeling under the weather. Like most of the foods on this list, bouillon is also good a year past its expiry date, so long as it’s kept in a dry cupboard8.
7. Tinned vegetables
Bacteria and mould are what cause vegetables to go rotten. But you won’t have this problem with canned veggies, which are boiled to kill all microorganisms when they’re packaged. This means a can of peas can stay good for 3 to 5 years and longer after that9.
8. Canned tuna
Omega 3 fatty oils has been linked to everything from improvements in eye health to helping keep anxiety at bay10. You’ll find them in fine supply in canned fish like tuna, which can keep for between 3 to 5 years if unopened11.
9. Dried beans
Low in fat but high in protein, beans play a key role in a balanced diet. Whether you prefer kidney, pinto or borlotti beans, you’ll find plenty of fibre, iron, potassium and nutrients in every portion12. Dried beans can last two to three years and longer than that – but may lose their flavour if left too long13.
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Last updated: 29 April 2020