Is your fridge half-full with frozen food because they are easy to cook and tastes good?
Consuming frozen food is trending today due to the busy schedule people follow. As they have no time to cook their meals, they prefer eating ready-to-eat items. But here comes the doubt if frozen foods are healthy or unhealthy.
Frozen foods include uncooked vegetables, ready-to-eat main dishes, fried bite-sized appetisers, meats, and other items. They differ depending on their manufacturing, keeping, conservation, and others. One can ingest them for numerous reasons, including availability, convenience, flavour, and more.
We all know that frozen food cannot compare to a freshly prepared nutritious meal. It has always been controversial regarding its impact on a person's medical condition. So, how terrible is frozen food, and why avoid that section when shopping, is what we will discuss in this blog.
1. Are Frozen Foods Healthy?
2. Does Freezing Change Food's Nutritional Value?
3. How Do Frozen Foods Impact Health?
4. Dietitian’s Recommendations
5. The Final Say
Frozen dishes have recently acquired appeal. Everything is accessible all year, be it seasonal fruits and vegetables or ready-to-cook items. While frozen meals are handy, the question is if they are safe to eat.
Frozen foods are nutritionally deficient. Because these items are not seasonal and are stored frozen for an extended period, their nutritional value diminishes with time. While they may have a specific flavour and scent, they will not contain the same number of nutrients as their fresh version.
It is OK to consume frozen meals occasionally, but doing so frequently might put you in danger of various health problems, like weight gain, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Generally, a healthy diet comprises few or no processed items, like ready meals, and plenty of whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, pulses, nuts and seeds, fish, and meat.
The process of freezing does not make food healthy or unhealthy—the nutritional value of frozen food is what matters. Frigid fruits and vegetables can be as nutrient-dense as fresh equivalents, while frozen items like pizzas, snacks, and entrees might be less nutrient-dense than frozen fruits and vegetables. If your food is nutritious before freezing, it will be the same after getting soft.
The nutritional content of the food at the moment it is frozen decides whether it is healthy or detrimental, not the process of freezing it. Although frozen pizzas and dinners may be as nutrient-dense as their fresh counterparts, frozen fruits and vegetables may be more nutrient-dense than similar meals. Here, certain nutrients are lost while preparing, cooking, and freezing meals in ways that allow them to be kept and consumed for longer.
Freezing does not affect a food's calorie count and fibre or mineral content. The freezing procedure can affect a few vitamins like folate and vitamin C, but most of the food's nutritional value remains after freezing.
Freezing also does not affect the quantity of fat, protein, carbs, or sugar in a product. However, the fluid content might alter, which is visible when you defrost your food.
The battle between frozen and fresh goods is heavily uneven. Though nothing can beat fresh food in terms of health, frozen food is healthier than its out-of-season 'fresh' competitors, plucked before they are ready. These are then transported vast distances and kept in warehouses before being distributed.
The length of time a product is frozen impacts flavour and texture more than nutritional value, which is often unaffected by the technique. While the calorie and macronutrient figures will not change, several vitamins are available in higher quantities in frozen meals than in fresh foods, especially if you eat the latter one after being refrigerated.
Frozen foods are nutritionally deficient. Because these items are not seasonal and are stored frozen for an extended period, their nutritional value diminishes with time. This is how frozen meals affect your health in the following ways:
Starch helps to preserve frozen foods, which eventually turn to glucose, and frozen foods include salt, which causes high blood pressure and chronic sickness. This starch contributes to the flavour and texture of the dish. Prior to digestion, starch converts into sugar. If your blood sugar levels rise after eating this, you are at risk of getting diabetes.
Frozen foods are heavy in trans fats and high in salt, which raises cholesterol levels in the body. While consuming frozen foods daily (including ready-to-eat frozen dinners), your risk of heart disease rises.
Trans fats, linked to heart disease and blocked arteries, can be found in packaged or frozen food products. This lipid reduces good cholesterol while increasing bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body. All of this aggravates heart disease. So, one must be careful while eating such food.
Frozen meals are heavy in calories, which is poor for your health. Regular consumption of frozen meals can contribute to weight gain and obesity over time.
Frozen foods have an extremely high-fat content. These meals are high in calories because the proportion of fats to carbs and proteins is inadequate. Items like frying bite-sized frozen treats are harmful and fattening. But frozen veggies and fruits do not offer this risk.
Preservatives used in frozen food can cause cancer, which is not for infrequent consumption, but consistent use of frozen meals may raise the danger. Corn syrup, added to many frozen meals, can cause various illnesses.
Frozen meals, which contain a significant salt level, raise blood pressure. Excess sodium or salt consumption increases the risk of other medical disorders like stroke and heart disease. According to studies, frozen meals with a high salt content might elevate blood pressure.
Frozen food producers add preservatives and components to the items to ensure their safety and edibility for longer. And because these preservatives offer little advantages to our bodies, we are better off avoiding them entirely.
One must carefully monitor the frequency and quantity of frozen meals consumed. Frozen foods lack nutrition, minerals, and vitamins and are not seasonal. Freshly prepared meals, fruits and vegetables are always preferable.
-Dietitian Lavina Chauhan
The Final Say
To summarise, nothing beats a home-cooked dinner. We consume a lot of nutrients when we eat fresh dairy, veggies, and more. These nutrients frequently degrade when treated to convert into frozen meals. Following a diet of freshly prepared meals takes time. It is, nonetheless, valuable to our health and lifespan.
1. Are frozen fruits healthy?
Because most frozen fruits and veggies are frozen shortly after harvesting, they are allowed to ripen fully, which means they are chock full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and freezing "locks in" many of their nutrients.
2. Does freezing food destroys nutrients?
Though the freezing process does not destroy nutrients, in meat and poultry products, there is little change in nutrient value during freezer storage.
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