Which is More Nutritious: Canned or Frozen Fruits & Veggies? The answer may surprise you
Fruits and vegetables are essential food for a healthy diet and a key part of a fit lifestyle. Many Alaskans think canned or frozen vegetables and fruits are not as healthy as fresh ones, but did you know these foods actually provide just as many benefits and nutrition as fresh ones? There are several reasons why including canned and frozen foods in your family’s daily diet can be beneficial.
During winter time in Alaska fresh produce can be hard to come by, especially for those living in smaller communities and villages in the state. Even in communities where fresh fruits and vegetables are available they can be costly and might not fit into your monthly grocery budget. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are a great replacement because they are more readily available and provide a cheaper way to purchase these same foods.
Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables have a much longer shelf life than fresh ones. In general, fresh produce have a shorter shelf life because they are more likely to spoil in your fridge before you get around to preparing them for a meal. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are a great way to stock your pantry for ready to go healthy meals and snacks. You can stock up on canned and frozen items during your next trip to the grocery store, and know that your food will be safe to eat for many meals to come.
Worried about sodium levels in canned foods? Reading the nutrition label on the can is a good way to check how much sodium is added to the canned food. Another good way is to look for the low sodium versions which are often marked on the front label, or rinse canned vegetables in water before cooking or eating them.
Similarly, when buying canned fruits it’s important to check the label because you want to make sure the fruit has no added sugar in it. Often canned fruits are packed in a sugary liquid. Too much sugar can have negative health effects, and it’s important for children to learn to eat canned fruits without added sugar. When you’re at the grocery store make sure to check the labels and ingredient lists before making your purchase, so that you know you are buying a canned item that is healthy and filled only with fruit, not added sugar.
When buying canned foods, never use cans that are:
- Rusted cans
- Cans that are bulging in any way
- Foods with foul odors
- Cans that are badly dented
Here’s another tip for handling frozen fruits and vegetables. Always re-seal your bag of frozen food after opening it in order to avoid freezer-burn and the build-up of ice. This will help keep the quality of the frozen food good over several uses.
Many fruits and vegetables come in fresh, frozen and canned options. Being informed about the nutrition content in each of these options helps you make informed healthy choices for you and your family. Remember, every bite matters!