Think fresh is always better for you? Think again! With the rise of microwave dinners in the 1950s to the ready-made, grab-and-go lifestyle of today, frozen food has become a staple in the kitchen for quick dinners and side dishes during a busy week.
Fresh vs. frozen
The main question between fresh and frozen comes from the common argument that “fresh is best” not just for taste, but for nutritional value. This has been debunked, thanks to a study conducted by Dr. Ali Bouzari at the University of California, Davis, where his team evaluated the vitamin content between frozen and fresh foods such as carrots, broccoli, strawberries and more. Dr. Bouzari and his team found no significant differences between fresh and frozen, and noted that the amount of fiber and minerals like zinc, magnesium, iron and calcium stayed the same.
And while more studies need to be conducted, Dr. Bouzari noted that his studies showed frozen broccoli had more riboflavin and frozen blueberries had more vitamin C! Some of this comes down to how their fresh counterparts sit on the shelf (berries tend to be most potent when freshly picked, but when sitting on the shelf lose nutrients quickly), so it comes down to a matter of timing and how the food has been frozen—and when.
Double-check your labels
You’ll also want to be mindful about the freezing process. Frozen fruit and veggies are typically picked at their peak, and flash frozen, or individually quick frozen, to preserve their freshness. This process also helps to avoid those pesky ice crystals that form when your freezer fluctuates in temperature (again, be mindful of how active your freezer is!).
At Jenny Craig, we work with over 40 professional chefs who demand quality ingredients, meaning they are able to capture the fresh tastes you love in a convenient, ready-for-you meal whenever you need it. We also encourage our members to add Fresh & Free Additions, an assortment of non-starchy vegetables, so that they can explore the fresh tastes of the season that can perfectly complement their meal, too!
For more information about our over 100 delicious frozen and pantry ready options, and to learn more about Jenny Craig, call us at 866-706-4042 or find a local neighborhood Jenny Craig center near you.