Is fresh produce better than frozen produce?


You may think it's common sense that frozen fruits and vegetables are not as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, but I am happy to report that this is not true! Think about it, fresh produce is often picked, boxed, transported over long distances, and then left to sit on store shelves for up to several weeks. The time lapse between picking fresh produce and purchasing it at a store can often cause a loss of some nutritional value as it's exposed to light and air. Both taste and texture may also be diminished.

Meanwhile, before getting to the freezer, frozen fruits and vegetables are picked, quickly blanched (cooked for a short time in boiling water or steamed), and immediately frozen and packaged, generally when nutrient levels are at their highest. So frozen fruits and vegetables are processed at their peak, in terms of freshness and nutrition. This means that the vitamins and nutrients are preserved until the next time the package is open.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the International Food Information Council (IFIC) both report that nutrients in produce are generally NOT lost during freezing (and canning), and they provide the same essential nutrients and health benefits as fresh. Another bonus of going frozen: it’s often less expensive. Though fresh fruits and veggies may be more visually appealing and taste better, they don’t last as long in your fridge and may not be the most nutritious.

At the end of the day, any fruits and vegetables are better than none at all. Just remember:

  • Buy fresh produce in season and buy local when possible
  • Buy non-seasonal produce frozen (if possible)
  • Even using canned fruits and veggies without added salt or sugar is also a good choice

Here are some great ways to include fruits and veggies in your daily routine:

  • Keep a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter and in the office
  • Have some cut-up vegetables in the refrigerator at all times for easy snacking
  • Add fresh or frozen fruit to your breakfast in cereal, oatmeal or yogurt
  • Choose fruit for dessert (frozen grapes anyone?!)
  • Add a mix of frozen vegetables when you prepare soups, sauces and casseroles

Heather Bauer, RD CDN
Heather Bauer, RD CDN




December 17, 2013

Made my day also. Thanks


September 30, 2013

Good morning, I just want to know, if I take for instance a fresh pineapple and cut it into pieces and freeze it, is it healthy or does the freezing process brake up the cells in the pineapple and it looses it nutritional value?


September 23, 2013

How do I freeze fruit. Should I add something with the fruit to keep it from turning brown?


April 08, 2013

Excellent news! This will make life so much easier.


March 14, 2013

Great just made my day.

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