There’s little doubt that fresh fruit and vegetables from roadside stands, farmers' markets and your favorite grocery store are a great addition to every household's lineup of healthy food options. But experts caution that while fresh foods are always a treat for the senses, be careful to avoid making the assumption that that in-season produce is more “fresh” and, therefore, nutritionally superior, to fruits and vegetables that are canned or frozen.
True? Or not? "Fresh fruits and vegetables are better than canned or frozen produce."
Registered Dietitian Brenda Roche Wolford says...
"Nutritionally, canned fruits and vegetables have relatively the same amount of nutrients as fresh foods," noted Roche Wolford. "But canned foods allow people to have access to fruits and vegetables year round and they are generally more affordable, even out of season. In order to avoid excess salt, choose reduced-sodium canned foods or rinse the canned food in water to remove excess sodium. To avoid extra sugar, rinse canned fruit or purchase fruit packed in water or its own juice."
Wendy Dahl, PhD, RD, FDC says...
"Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables tend to have the same nutrients as they did when they were fresh. This is because they were frozen or canned within a few hours of harvest. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables tend to cost less and have much longer shelf life than fresh and as a result, less wastage."
Use these simple ideas to incorporate blueberries and green beans into your meals:
Check out our new Consuming Evidence video, featuring Registered Dietitian Carolyn O'Neil, that asks the question: Which is best: Fresh, Frozen or Canned?
Best Food Facts covered this topic during the True? Or Not? Your Food Questions, Expert Answers webinar. Check out the webinar slides here.
What color are your favorite fruits and vegetables?