x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Is fresh food the best?

We're told fresh is better than frozen, but is it really? Research sheds new light on the accepted wisdom.

For generations, we've been taught that fresh is best when it comes to the food we eat. But now some scientists say that frozen food is not only as good, but may even be better for you.

Overturning the accepted wisdom that frozen meals sacrifice quality for convenience, dietician Kristin Reimers has told National Public Radio in the US that the "fresh" produce we buy in supermarkets may have been lying around for weeks since it left the farm, and that frozen vegetables are "probably more nutrient-rich".

It must be noted that Ms Reimers works for ConAgra Foods, a company that produces frozen and canned foods, and is part of an industry group that is spending $50 million (Dh183.6 million) on a campaign to send out positive messages about their products.

Still, independent studies suggest that frozen fruit and vegetables can be a healthy adjunct to your diet. Frozen meals, however, may include unhealthy extra ingredients and have high calorie counts.

The secret is balance. A healthy diet can allow for plenty of variety, and even nutritionally suspect "comfort foods" can be consumed in moderation. But eating only frozen foods would surely provide cold comfort.