You may have heard the debate. Which one is better? Fresh or frozen fruits and veggies? Many would likely debate that fresh always trumps frozen fruits and frozen vegetables in terms of nutritional value and taste. However, how do we know this is true? Today in this article, we are going to delve into the science behind it and get to the bottom of the fresh VS frozen debate. However, before we get to it, first allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Tony Stephan, and I’m a dietitian business coach. I help RDs make more IMPACT and more INCOME through nutrition coaching. However, before becoming a dietitian business coach, I was an RD nutrition coach. I served thousands of nutrition coaching clients over a time span of 12 years. My successful nutrition coaching business is what led me to where I am today. Now let’s talk about the difference between fresh fruits and veggies VS frozen fruits and veggies.
What’s The Hype Around Fruits & Veggies?
Ultimately all fruits and veggies are full of vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables, whether frozen or fresh, are an important part of a balanced diet (as we all know). However, unfortunately only 1 in 10 adults are getting the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.
Challenges To Eating The Recommended Amounts Of Fruits And Veggies
For some people, getting the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables can be a challenge for various reasons.
Depending on where you live, fresh fruits and vegetables may not always be readily available. Ultimately, fresh fruits and vegetables also have a shorter shelf life compared to frozen. Due to challenges like these, there has been growth in the frozen fruit and vegetable market.
Frozen fruits and vegetables provide people a convenient option to fit fruits and veggies into their meals. However, the question is which is healthier? Frozen or fresh? Both are pretty much harvested and treated in the same ways up until the point of them being kept frozen or fresh. What does that component do to the nutritional value of the fruits and vegetables? That’s what we’ll answer next.
Fresh VS Frozen Fruits And Veggies
In an ideal world, everyone would be able to grow their own fruits and vegetables in own their backyard or be able to stop by their local farmers’ market and get the freshest local produce at all times of the year. However, this is not always possible and is not the case for most people.
Fresh Fruits And Veggies
Most people depend on a grocery store to get their produce. In order for produce to be found at your grocery store, they must be picked at their peak ripeness, and this could lead to them not having their highest nutritional value whenever you actually get them at the store or not. Whenever fruits and vegetables are picked too early, they lose their ability to develop all the vitamins and minerals they should potentially develop. So in the end, for fresh fruits and veggies, it really depends on what level of ripeness they were picked at which often varies.
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
Frozen fruits and veggies are picked at their ripest point, which means they are typically at their highest nutritional value. Vegetables and fruits are treated a little differently when it comes to the frozen process.
The typical process for frozen vegetables, after being harvested, they are usually washed, blanched, cut, frozen, and packaged. They will typically lose their nutritional value within the blanching process, which requires them to be boiled in hot water to kill some of the bacteria. Normally it is the water-soluble vitamins lost in this process, B and C vitamins. However, the fat-soluble vitamins may be enhanced in this process.
Frozen fruits undergo the same process as frozen vegetables except for the blanching process. They are typically treated with ascorbic acid instead, which is a form of vitamin C that helps to prevent spoiling. So fruit loses fewer vitamins than vegetables do in the freezing process.
Bottom Line: Is There Really A Difference?
Overall, the nutritional content will vary more with fresh produce and be more consistent with frozen. It is also more convenient most times to access frozen produce. Frozen produce typically holds onto its nutritional value longer while fresh slowly keep losing theirs after time. However, at the end of the day, do whatever you prefer and work best for you because they are both great options, and if this is the biggest dilemma you are facing nutritionally it is a good dilemma to be in.
If you’re a dietitian looking to start your own nutrition coaching side hustle, you’re in the right place. I’m proud to be a part of the movement of dietitian entrepreneurs who are making more IMPACT and more INCOME! In the Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, we teach our students how to set their dietitian nutrition coaching business up for success.
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