Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are a healthy choice! All forms of fruits and vegetables count toward your daily goal of 5 or more servings each day. Using canned and frozen produce provides more variety and convenient packaging and requires little preparation, which makes them easy to serve!
Facts About Canned and Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
- Most canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are processed within hours after harvesting, so their flavor is preserved and nutrient losses are minimal. The nutrient content is comparable to fresh.
- Depending on the produce item, canning and freezing may actually preserve the nutrient value and even increase the availability of some nutrients to the body.
- Studies show that recipes prepared with canned foods had similar nutritional values to those prepared with fresh or frozen ingredients.
Benefits of Using Canned and Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
- Canned foods are cooked prior to packaging, so they are recipe-ready.
- Canning locks in the nutrients at their peak of freshness, and, consequently, they have a long shelf life.
- Frozen foods require little preparation – the washing and slicing is already done.
- Including frozen and canned fruits and vegetables in your diet can increase variety, especially when some items may not be widely available as fresh.
- Depending on the time of year and the specific type of produce, purchasing canned and frozen fruits and vegetables can save you money, especially when they are not in season or if you find your fresh produce spoiling before you can eat it.
Remember to Check Sodium and Sugar on the Nutrition Facts Label
- Sodium is usually added to canned foods to preserve them so look for low-sodium, reduced-sodium, or no-salt-added labeled foods. Compare the sodium content on the Nutrition Facts label, and choose the product with the lowest amount.
- Drain and rinse canned veggies to reduce sodium even more.
- Frozen vegetables with sauces and seasonings can have excess salt and added calories.
- Look for fruit that is canned in water, its own juice, or light syrup. If the fruit is canned in light syrup, drain and rinse before use.
- Make sure frozen fruits are 100% frozen fruits – no added sugars.