It’s long been thought that when it comes to any food, fresh trumps all. The fresher you can get it, the better it will be for you. The issue is that fresh food can often be a lot more expensive, meaning people end up going without fresh fruits and vegetables altogether under the belief that they can’t afford ‘healthy’ food.
Yet, that might not be the case. Obviously, a fresh vegetable has more taste and can be used in more dishes than frozen vegetables, but for the majority of meals, frozen vegetables might actually be a better option.
The issue with preserving fruits and vegetables in either cans or by freezing seems to be that this adds a level of processing and therefore, people think that they’re similar to processed foods. In actuality, most frozen produce undergoes minimal processing, being vine-ripened before blanched in hot water and then frozen. This blanching doesn’t affect the nutritional content much, but it is what gives the vegetables their slightly dampened taste. However, the freezing method does also preserve a lot of the nutrients present initially after being picked.
Canned No More
When it comes to canned foods, the produce is once again ripened on the vine opposed to in transit, but the vegetables do go through a lot more processing. Many canned fruits and vegetables you’ll notice come with added salt and sugar as well as a variety of other unnecessary ingredients. The actual can itself can lead to some health risks, too. Some cans are lined with bisphenol-A, better known as BPA, which has been linked to an increase risk of cancer. This BPA can then leak into your food thanks to the acidity of the ingredients in the food (such as tomatoes) alongside heat from sterilization.
So, at the end of the day, fresh might not be any better than frozen, but both seem to be better than canned. If you do have to opt for canned food for whatever reason, then make sure to thoroughly scan the label for any unwanted additives and ingredients before choosing the right option. You’ll want to locate the option with the least amount of salt, sugar, and syrup, all of which can be found in abundance with canned foods. Yet, if frozen food suits your budget a lot easier than fresh, then there’s no reason not to head to the freezer aisle on your next shop.