By Foodism Team
Are Frozen Meals Healthy?
Fresh isn’t always best - or the most convenient - yet many folks give a thumbs-down to frozen fare. Foodism shares with you how with a tad care you can pick up frozen meals that could be a permanent solution to your concerns like – lack of time and energy, food waste, portion control or obtaining adequate nutrients.
Had a long day at work and feeling mentally and physically exhausted with absolutely no energy to cook a meal? Although your taste buds are craving for Chicken Mughlai Kebab are you fagged out at the very thought of all the chopping, marinating et al that the dish mandates? Relax just pick up a frozen version of the dish from the grocery, micro-wave it for 2-3 minutes and voila it’s ready to be devoured!
The sceptics among you may raise their eye-brows and question the nutritious quotient of frozen food. Well just sample this before you embark on a tirade - According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, people who regularly eat frozen meals have higher daily intakes of important nutrients such as protein, fibre and potassium… shocked, eh?
Unfortunately since times immemorial frozen food has a bad rap from dieticians and consumers alike. Primarily because earlier these were overloaded with sodium and fat for better taste and longer shelf life; however the tides have been turning over the past few years and this no longer holds true thanks to growing awareness and innovations in the frozen foods industry.
Guidelines for selecting frozen foods
Check the nutrition facts and ingredient labels of your frozen food for the following –
- Fruit and vegetable content
- Nutrient content (opt for those that provide - potassium, calcium, vitamins A and D, and iron)
- Fibre (select those with at least 5g)
- Sodium (opt for those that provide less than 30% of your daily recommended sodium)
- Saturated fat (aim for those with less than 5g)
- Trans-fats (choose those with no trans fats)
Benefits of healthy frozen meals
- Contains more nutrients as the fruits, vegetables, and other items are harvested at their peak ripeness and flash-frozen within hours of harvesting; vis-à-vis their fresh counterparts that travel miles before reaching your grocery store
- Saves time and effort as heating up a meal out of your freezer takes less than ten minutes
- Buying frozen foods facilitates less wastage at all levels – consumer, supermarket and the entire supply chain
- As frozen meals generally come in single-serving sizes, they facilitate portion control
A 2013 University of Georgia study looked at the level of nutrients in fresh and frozen food at the time of purchase and five days later. While both frozen and fresh food were nutritionally similar on the day they were purchased; the fresh had less vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate than the frozen post being kept for five days in the refrigerator.
Some myths about frozen food
- Frozen food is high in sodium
- Refreezing previously-frozen food is bad
- Frozen food expires
- Frozen food is more expensive
- All frozen food is highly processed
So are you placing an order online for frozen veg lollipops?