You are bound to have heard it sometime in your life that frozen food is an unhealthy alternative to something fresh. Whether it was from your mother, a friend, or perhaps by a character on your favorite television show, nearly everyone has heard the warnings about frozen food from one source or another. The validity of this popular belief is something that is worth researching for yourself.
As it turns out, it’s more a matter of preference than a question of health. Freezing food does not actually change the nutritional content of the food. Elements like fat, fiber, calorie, and protein content are not changed when food is frozen. The only thing that will really change in
something that is frozen is the water content which is evident when food is thawed and a puddle of water is left behind. 1 Other than that, the nutritional value of the food item isn’t lessened by freezing it.
With all this mind, it really comes down to what you put in the freezer. This is always a
factor in grocery shopping. There are healthy and unhealthy options everywhere. It’s all about
picking and choosing mindfully. It’s not so much about whether you should freeze something or
not, but more about what it is that you are putting in the freezer. Of course, the nutritional value
of a frozen pizza is going to be far less than that of a bag of frozen, plain broccoli. If something
has a lot of sugar or sodium in it, to begin with, then it’s obviously not as healthy as something
that doesn’t. The act of freezing the pizza is not what makes it unhealthy; it’s the general
nutritional content of the pizza, to begin with.
Frozen foods are convenient, long-lasting, and often give you more options in the kitchen
at a more economical cost. So what can you do to make sure you are choosing the right foods to stock up your freezer? As with anything, look at the nutrition facts label. That is where you will get all of your answers to the healthiness of your food. Some tips are to look for foods that are
low in sugar, sodium, and any ingredients that you don’t readily recognize. Make this a habit.
The more you read the nutrition labels, the better you get at recognizing the ingredients that are
better for you. As with anything, it takes a bit of practice but you will come to find that there are
many healthy, frozen food options that go beyond a bag of plain vegetables.
- How to Incorporate Frozen Foods in a Healthy Diet by Shereen Lehman, MS.