Frozen Food: the Good, the Bad, and the Surprising

Frozen food is generally less expensive than fresh or canned food and it can last nearly indefinitely, or at least until the food gets freezer burned. Even so, many health-conscious consumers tend to eschew frozen produce and meals because they believe that other options are the smarter choice. However, while frozen food has it share of bad points, it also has a number of good points, and a number of facts may even surprise you.

The Plus Side

As previously mentioned, frozen food is inexpensive and long-lasting. This is a plus because you can buy more food for less money and not even have to worry about it decaying or becoming infected by bacteria (until after you’ve thawed it). If you frequently enjoy fruit, for example, you can buy a large bag of frozen fruit and thaw small quantities of it each day without worrying about the still-frozen fruit decaying before you can eat it.

Frozen produce and meals are also much easier to prepare than fresh meals. Most of the time, all you need to do is thaw the already-cooked food and eat or add the produce to a meal you’re preparing. This saves you a lot of time and effort.

The Down Side

Many, but not all, examples of frozen food are high in sodium. A single frozen meal may have as much as one fourth to one half of your total recommended sodium intake for the day. While ingesting a frozen meal occasionally shouldn’t have a poor effect on your health, eating frozen meals on a regular basis can lead to too much sodium intake. Too much sodium in your diet may contribute to a greater risk of heart disease, kidney disease and high blood pressure. However, not all frozen foods are high in sodium. In fact, you can easily find frozen vegetables and frozen fruit with no additives whatsoever.

You may also find the taste of frozen food disappointing compared to freshly-prepared food. This depends largely on your tastes and the exact frozen food you’re eating; still, a common complaint of frozen foods is that they don’t taste as good as freshly-prepared meals.

What You May Not Have Known

Opting for frozen food over fresh food may not only be cheaper and more convenient, but it may actually be beneficial to your health. You may find frozen meals that are nutritionally well-balanced and low in sodium. However, more healthy than the full-course meals is the frozen bag of fruit and/or vegetables, which are often more healthy for you than even fresh produce.

Fresh fruit and vegetables must be picked long before they ripen in order for for them to last the trip to your grocery store. This means that fresh produce never achieves the ultimate level of nutrition. Frozen produce is grown to the optimal level of ripeness, meaning that the fruit and vegetables have a peak level of vitamins and minerals. They are then flash frozen at that peak moment of nutritional value. When you’re hoping to get maximum nutrition, frozen produce is probably the best choice.


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