Frozen foods are food products that have been frozen at temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius and can be stored frozen for a minimum of six weeks and longer. Prior to being frozen, most of these foods have already been prepared and are ready-to-eat. It is said that it is not advisable to refreeze frozen food. However, there has been no factual explanation as to why frozen food cannot be refrozen, especially if the food has just been exposed to less cooler temperatures for less than an hour.
Nutrition in Frozen Foods
Nowadays, frozen foods are said to contain almost the same nutrients as fresh foods. The reason for this claim is that frozen foods (fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy) are those that have been freshly picked and are frozen immediately, without having been stored at normal temperatures for days. Since these foods were frozen fresh, most of the nutrients that were present at the time it was picked are not lost, as the food was immediately frozen. In the absence of fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen fruits and vegetables are the second best option.
Distinguishing Between ‘Bad’ and ‘Good’ Frozen Food
When shopping for frozen foods, check for the food’s nutrition label. As much as possible, choose one with healthier options. For instance, avoid vegetables that have been prepared in buttery sauces to limit your intake of fat. Choose to buy plain fish fillets or plain meats rather than those that have been breaded or those that come with sauces. Choose those that have the words ‘lean’ or ‘light’ as this would mean that the product contains less fat.
The Best Picks in the Frozen Food Section
1. Frozen fruit juice – Check the label for the words 100% unsweetened and ‘real’ fruit juice. These products are generally less expensive and healthier.
2. Frozen fruits and frozen vegetables.
3. Frozen waffles and frozen yogurt – Look for the word ‘low-fat’ in the label of the product. Avoid those that contain hydrogenated fat.
4. Frozen pizza crust – By making your own pizza, you can control the amount of fat and carbohydrates that your body takes in. For pizza toppings, you can use lean meat and vegetables.
5. Ready-to-Eat Meals – These are also referred to as ‘TV dinners.’ These frozen foods are particularly popular because of their convenience. When possible, choose TV dinners that are low in fat content. Check for words like hydrogenated fat and avoid this as well as products high in sodium.