As we celebrate National Nutrition Month and National Frozen Food Month it's important to consider the role that frozen foods can play in promoting a healthy diet. Frozen foods are often looked down upon and people may assume that frozen foods are unhealthy or expensive, but the truth is that frozen foods can be both nutritious and affordable.
Frozen foods can be just as healthy as fresh foods. In fact, frozen fruits and vegetables are often just as nutrient-rich as their fresh counterparts, and sometimes even more so. This is because frozen foods are often picked at the peak of ripeness and frozen immediately, which can help to preserve their nutritional value.
Frozen Food is Nutritious
Freezing is a common method of food preservation that has been used for centuries. It involves exposing food to extremely low temperatures, typically below 0°C (32°F), which slows down or halts the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause food spoilage.
When it comes to preserving the nutritional quality of food, freezing is one of the best methods available. Unlike other preservation methods like canning or dehydration, freezing does not involve high heat or exposure to air, which can destroy or degrade many of the nutrients found in food.
In fact, freezing can help to preserve the nutritional quality of food in several ways. For one, it can help to lock in the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are present in fresh food at the time of freezing. This is especially true for fruits and vegetables.
Another way that freezing helps to maintain the nutritional quality of food is by slowing down the natural enzymatic processes that can cause nutrient loss and deterioration over time. This is particularly important for foods like meat, fish, and poultry, which are high in protein and can rapidly degrade if not stored properly.
However, it's worth noting that not all frozen foods are created equal when it comes to nutritional quality. Some frozen foods, particularly those that are heavily processed or contain added sugars, fats, or salt, may not be as healthy as fresh foods or minimally processed frozen foods like fruits and vegetables. For example, your frozen pizza will have no better nutritional value than your fresh pizza from a restaurant.
To ensure that you're getting the most nutritional benefit from frozen foods, it's important to choose options that are minimally processed and free from unhealthy additives. This can include frozen fruits and vegetables, as well as frozen lean proteins like chicken, fish, and tofu.
Frozen Foods Help Combat Childhood Obesity
But what about the concern of childhood obesity? One of the main contributing factors to this issue is the prevalence of processed and fast foods, which are often high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats. By contrast, frozen foods can be a healthier alternative, especially if you choose options that are low in added sugars and sodium and rich in nutrients.
One of the main advantages of frozen foods is their convenience. With frozen meals, parents can quickly and easily prepare a nutritious meal for their kids without having to spend hours in the kitchen. This can be especially helpful for busy parents who work long hours or have other responsibilities, such as caring for young children or elderly relatives.
Here are some tips for incorporating frozen foods into a healthy, cost-effective diet:
- Choose frozen fruits and vegetables that are free from added sugars, sauces, or other unhealthy additives.
- Look for frozen options that are low in sodium and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Use frozen foods as a base for healthy meals, such as adding frozen veggies to a stir-fry or using frozen fruits in smoothies.
- Don't be afraid to try frozen foods that are new to you, such as frozen edamame or mixed berries.
Frozen Foods Are Cost Effective
Feeding a family can be a time-consuming and expensive task, especially when trying to provide healthy, nutritious meals for children. This is where frozen foods can be a lifesaver, helping families to save both time and money while still providing their kids with delicious and healthy meals.
Frozen foods are often more affordable than fresh foods. For example, fresh produce can be expensive, especially if it's out of season. On the other hand, frozen fruits and vegetables are often more cost-effective, and they can be a great option for families on a budget.
Another way that frozen foods can save families time and money is by reducing food waste. Fresh produce and other perishable items can quickly go bad if not used within a few days, leading to wasted food and money.
By contrast, frozen fruits and vegetables can be stored in the freezer for weeks or even months, allowing families to stock up and use them as needed, reducing food waste and saving money on groceries. Some fresh fruits and vegetables can even be put in the freezer for later. Two words – frozen avocados. You can add them to smoothies and burrito bowls without worrying about them going bad the second you turn your back.
Finally, frozen foods can be a great option for picky eaters, allowing parents to offer a variety of healthy foods that their kids will actually enjoy. Frozen fruits and vegetables can be used in smoothies, stir-fries, and other dishes, while frozen lean proteins like chicken and fish can be quickly prepared and served with a side of frozen veggies or a simple salad.
Frozen Food Offers a Lot of Value at Low Costs
Overall, freezing is a safe and effective method of food preservation that can help to maintain the nutritional quality of food over time. By choosing minimally processed frozen foods and incorporating them into a healthy, balanced diet, you can enjoy the many benefits of frozen foods while promoting good health and wellbeing.
Orchard Hospital wants you to live a healthy life and a healthy diet is the foundation of that. However, sometimes we still get sick and it’s important to see a doctor at least once a year to make sure everything is running properly in your body. We’re here to help you! Just schedule an appointment at our clinic using the link below.