Simple • Balanced • Nutrition

Fresh vs Frozen

Fresh vs Frozen

When it comes to healthy eating, we are generally told that fresh is best. So where does this leave frozen foods – veggies, fruits and meals? How are they frozen? Are they as nutritious frozen? All your questions are answered right here.

As food technology has advanced, so too have food processing techniques. This means that much of the fresh food we buy frozen has been harvested at peak ripeness and snap frozen within hours, preserving much of the nutrition unlike techniques of old in which the process would take a lot longer. Studies have now shown that frozen foods are higher in nutrients than fresh foods that have not been stored in the most ideal of conditions after harvest. For example, spinach stored at room temperature can lose up to 100% of its Vitamin C content within 7 days, as its leaves are thin and vulnerable to oxidative damage. On the other hand, frozen spinach which has been snap frozen immediately after harvest will retain its vitamin content until it is cooked. This is not to say that we should not consume fresh produce, rather the way we store our food directly impacts its nutrient content as does the way we cook it. It also means that freezing becomes a convenient option to help extend the life of fresh foods.

This means that for busy people, who need access to nutritious but convenient meal options, frozen foods and meals are smart options nutritionally. Here you have ready access to farm fresh produce without needing to manage seasonal availability and large differences in prices, making it easier to keep your diet (and budget) on track no matter how busy you are.

The way we prepare frozen foods at home is also important to help preserve as much of the natural nutrients as possible. To help maximise the amount of nutrients retained, ideally we need to cook quickly by roasting or stir frying. Some traditional cooking methods like boiling food for relatively long periods of time in water can destroy a significantly proportion of the water soluble vitamins including Vitamins B and C as well as leaving the food dull and soggy as opposed to brightly coloured and crisp. For those who love the convenience of a microwave, the good news is that contrary to popular belief, microwaving is also a great quick and easy cooking option, as it does not destroy the nutrients in food the way that boiled for extended periods can.

So if eating well and optimising your nutrient intake is a goal for you, remember the wide range of frozen food and meal options at your local supermarket that can make healthy eating a whole lot easier. The newly reformulated Lean Cuisine range of frozen breakfasts, lunches, Nutri Bowls and Protein Plus meals combines simple, balanced nutrition with a convenient frozen meal options that offer just as much, if not more nutrition than any meal you would prepare at home. And that is pretty good news isn’t it?

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