Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.
Frozen fruits and vegetables have come a long way over the years. The processes used to flash-freeze many of the foods we buy can help retain freshness and nutrition, but how do frozen foods really compare to fresh produce?
A study was done at the University of Georgia that compared fresh and frozen produce, examining how many nutrients remained after purchase. Fresh and frozen produce was purchased at several stores over a two-year period. The fresh produce was tested for vitamin and mineral content when first purchased and again after five days to mimic what most people do when they shop: buy enough groceries for a week.
What they found
They discovered that when fresh produce is stored for days in the refrigerator, it loses lots of vitamins. Mineral loss was not as significant.
Fresh produce is a living plant, and even in a chilly refrigerator it will lose its nutritional content as it degrades over time. However, the same produce kept for days in frozen form was no different nutritionally from produce that had just been brought home from the store.
When produce is frozen, it’s akin to pushing the pause button. Freezing stops the degradation process and the accompanying loss of nutrients. Since the food remains frozen until it's ready to eat, there is no loss of vitamins and minerals while the food is in our homes.
It’s also important to remember that the produce you purchase at the grocery store wasn’t picked that morning, so it has already lost some of its nutrients.
The bottom line: frozen produce loses fewer nutrients than fresh produce that has been in your fridge for a week. Purchasing frozen produce can also save you money since you won’t be tossing spoiled food.