Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

How do you like your produce? Fresh, frozen, or canned?

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Myth 23: Frozen and canned vegetables and fruit are not as nutritious as fresh.
What Dietitians of Canada says:
“Nothing beats the taste of fresh produce in season. But frozen and canned produce can be just as nutritious since it’s usually picked and packed at the peak of ripeness when nutrient levels are highest… It allows Canadians to enjoy a variety of vegetables and fruit year-round and is a practical choice for people living in remote areas. It’s also sometimes more affordable than fresh produce. And cooking with frozen or canned produce can save you time in the kitchen! Read the labels: The healthiest choices are products that contain no added sugar, fat or salt.”
What I say:
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing your produce and DC makes a lot of valid points here. I don’t have any issues with most frozen produce (as they’ve started selling frozen mixed vegetables in sauce I’m a little hesitant to say all frozen produce is a good choice). However, canned can be a little more tricky to navigate. If you’re buying canned vegetables or beans that have added sodium, you should rinse them before using. When buying canned fruit choose ones packed in water or fruit juice, avoid syrup. Also, even though BPA is now banned in reusable plastic water bottles, it’s still used in the lining of many cans. If you’re concerned about BPA, and buying canned foods, you should look for manufacturers who don’t use BPA in their can linings. Also, you should be aware that BPA is also in the lining of pop cans – as if you needed more reasons to avoid pop! The high heat used in the canning process may also destroy some of the heat-sensitive vitamins in foods. While canned vegetables and fruit can be a nutritious, and affordable, option I would be inclined to choose fresh or frozen over canned for these reasons. If your choice is either canned or none then absolutely go for the canned.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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