An average male requires 2500 calories per day and an average female requires 2000 calories per day.
Every person can choose to consume fresh food every day or consume processed food like canned vegetables, frozen peas, canned potatoes, frozen parathas, etc.
It is a commonly heard sentence that fresh foods are better for health when compared to processed foods. In fact, there is evidence showing that excess of ultra-processed food can be detrimental to health.
But many people continue to use processed foods due to many reasons, including it being tastier and more convenient to eat. All urban areas and now increasingly rural areas are consuming more refined carbohydrates when compared to natural foods.
Some people only consume processed foods at parties and get-togethers. Within the processed food category, there are canned and frozen foods, but do you know which one is better for you?
Knowing which is better for you will help you purchase the healthier option when you do buy them. As vegetables are a very necessary part of a healthy human diet, let’s dive into it.
Canned Vegetables Or Frozen Vegetables
Both frozen and canned vegetables undergo processing just hours after harvesting them. This is done to preserve nutrients. They are always plucked at the peak of their ripeness. Fresh vegetables can be plucked at an unripe stage, too.
What makes a difference in frozen and canned vegetables is the processing. Frozen vegetables are blanched, which means they are cooked in hot water. This can affect their nutritional value by reducing it. This is done to deactivate certain enzymes in the vegetables that degrade the color and texture of the vegetable when frozen. Canned vegetables tend to have less nutritional value when compared to frozen vegetables.
Especially canned vegetables with added sugar and sodium tend to be more harmful. In canned vegetables, most of the nutrients are present in the liquid. So, if you are one to drain the liquid, you are missing out on nutrients.
Vegetables are at their most nutritional point right when they are harvested. As the soil enriches the plant, once you pluck the vegetable, its nutritional value starts reducing. When freshly picked vegetables are stored on shelves for too long, they start losing nutritional content.
Refrigerating vegetables can slow down the process of the vegetable losing its nutrition. But the amount of nutrition a vegetable loses changes according to the vegetable.
When speaking about the canning process, a lot of heat is used on the metal. This can cause a lot of loss in nutrition, much more than while freezing vegetables.
The benefit of canned foods is that the sterilization process is done to it. Although it has more nutrient loss, you can be assured there will be no microorganisms in it. It will be stable for many years.
It is better to eat a salad every day, even if it is from canned or frozen vegetables, than to not eat any salad. Diversity is important when it comes to diet. Hence, mixing up frozen, canned, and fresh food is a good option.
The problem with canned vegetables is the immense amount of sodium that is added to it. Draining brine from canned vegetables will reduce sodium but also nutrients.
Frozen and Canned Potatoes
As mentioned earlier, all vegetables behave differently on being canned and frozen. Let us take an example of a specific vegetable. Beta carotene is the precursor for vitamin A. Vitamin A is beneficial in preventing certain kinds of cancers. Sweet potatoes contain Beta carotene. It was found that the Beta carotene levels in sweet potatoes changed with and without cooking them.
Vegetables with high beta carotene levels still have good levels after being canned or frozen.
According to the USDA nutrient data records, the beta carotene levels in frozen sweet potatoes after cooking is 0.124. The beta carotene levels in canned sweet potatoes after draining the liquid is 0.055 and with the liquid is 0.045.
Processed (Frozen And Canned) Tomatoes
It was found that processed tomatoes contain more levels of Lycopene when compared to fresh tomatoes.
When it comes to consumption of canned, frozen, or fresh food, a variety of all three is the best way to go. But when it comes to whether canned or frozen food is better, frozen is certainly better. But, if you have an option of not having vegetables to having canned vegetables, opting for canned vegetables is the better option.
Thus, we can conclude that it comes down to personal circumstances. Also, if you want food immediately, you would prefer canned food as you don’t have to heat it. Canned food is also an advantage when you are traveling. Now that you know the answer to the question, go and pick the right food.