Are Canned or Frozen Vegetables Better for You?

Are Canned or Frozen Vegetables Better for You?

When choosing between frozen vegetables and canned vegetables, both types of vegetables offer convenience when it comes to preparation and getting veggies that are out of season at affordable prices. However, one of these options is a much wiser choice than the other when it comes to healthy eating and nutritional benefits.

The Benefits of Canned Vegetables

There aren't as many benefits of canned vegetables as there are of frozen, and those that there are can be largely found with frozen vegetables regardless. Canned vegetables make it possible for you to get out-of-season veggies at cheap prices and they make it easier for you to prepare dishes, as no washing, slicing or dicing is usually required. Canned veggies also, unlike frozen veggies, are typically pre-cooked, which means you can literally eat them out of the can if you'd like. However, the veggies being pre-cooked is actually why there's one large disadvantage of canned veggies.

The Disadvantages of Canned Vegetables

Canned vegetables, unlike pure frozen vegetables, are typically pre-cooked. During this cooking process, the vegetables are heated, and once they are heated, they lose a significant amount of their vitamins and nutrients. If you choose canned, you're getting far less nutritional benefit.

In addition to the loss of nutrients, canned vegetables are typically preserved in a liquid or other salt-heavy preservation process. These additives can make your vegetables far less healthy. The worst culprit is salt, which can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.

The Benefits of Frozen Vegetables

Frozen vegetables, like canned, are convenient and often require no washing or chopping and peeling. While not edible out of the bag, they are typically easy to defrost and enjoy raw or then cook yourself. While taking the time to cook the frozen veggies may seem like a large disadvantage over canned veggies, the fact is that frozen veggies retain all of the vitamins and nutrients of the vegetables at their optimal, fresh-from-the-fields moment. In fact, frozen veggies can be more nutritious than fresh veggies if you factor in the fact that fresh veggies must be plucked early so that they don't spoil on the way to the store or market and thus miss out on the optimal moment of nutrients and flavor.

Most frozen veggies don't have any additives, either, which means that they're both optimally nutritious and don't add any unnecessary extras. Just check the back of the bag and make sure that only vegetables are listed among the ingredients and that there's no salt or other preservatives.

The Disadvantages of Frozen Vegetables

There really are few disadvantages of frozen veggies. Some prefer the taste of fresh veggies, but by and large, frozen veggies at least tend to outperform the taste of their canned counterparts. Their one disadvantage over canned veggies may be that they take extra time to prepare, but they still take less time to prepare than fresh veggies.

When looking for a quick and easy way to get your veggie intake, reach for the frozen vegetables instead of the canned ones. You'll be getting optimal nutrition without any additives--nutrition that's as good, if not better, even than the fresh variety.