Study Reveals Whether Frozen Vegetables Lose Nutritional Value Compared to Fresh Ones

Study Reveals Whether Frozen Vegetables Lose Nutritional Value Compared to Fresh Ones

A study looks at the impact of choosing frozen over fresh produce and the results are surprising.

The cost of living crisis is having a significant impact on how people spend their money, leading many to adjust their weekly supermarket shopping budgets. This reduced budget can have an impact on the quality of produce that you are able to afford. 

One growing trend is opting for frozen produce, which tends to be cheaper than fresh. However, there are questions about whether or not this frozen food has the same nutritional values. This prompted the University of Australia to carry out a study to analyze the properties of frozen fruits and vegetables compared to fresh

The study revealed that nutrient levels begin to decline from the moment produce is harvested. However, because frozen vegetables are frozen immediately after harvest, they may retain higher levels of certain nutrients like vitamins C and E compared to their fresh counterparts. Minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium remain at similar levels in both frozen and fresh produce.

The trend of consuming less fruit and vegetables is concerning because they are fundamental to a healthy and balanced diet, providing a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day (400g). According to the CDC, the percentage of Americans who consume 5 portions per day is quite low. In 2019, only about 10% of U.S. adults met these recommendations, and if recent trends are accurate, the figure is likely to be even less. 

For those struggling to buy fresh produce, there are alternatives that can help maintain and achieve a balanced diet. Frozen or canned fruit and vegetables offer economical and convenient options, with studies showing that their nutrient values are often similar, and in some cases superior, to fresh produce.

To maximize fresh produce consumption, consider buying in season, don't overlook "ugly" fruits and vegetables, which supermarkets often sell at lower prices without compromising their nutritional value. To reduce waste, plan meals and shopping trips carefully, and utilize apps and websites to exchange or collect fresh produce for free. Additionally, growing your own herbs and vegetables in pots can significantly reduce costs in the long term.