Gone are the days when people would have waited for the food to get ready. Now, people are more dependent on ready-made and frozen foods. They are easy to prepare, fit nicely in the freezer, and stay fresh for a longer time.
Stuffing your freezer with frozen foods can be handy oftentimes, cost-effective, and even a great way to cut on your expenses. But do you know how long does frozen food last? Or even are they healthy for you? It’s time to reconsider which frozen foods you should avoid in your diet.
Frozen foods – What are we eating?
According to a rough assessment, frozen food last for almost three months. It is important to know that ‘freezing’ doesn’t make the food unhealthy or healthy, it is the quantity of the nutrients that get frozen when we freeze the food for a longer period of time. Here, we are talking about the food, not the frozen vegetables and fruits that we usually buy. For instance, frozen vegetables and fruits will remain fresh. On the other hand, frozen foods such as snacks and pizza – would have fewer nutrients than they could have when they were freshly made.
If the food you bought was nutritious before when it got frozen, it will remain fresh after it’s thawed.
Does freezing affect the nutritious value of the food?
Freezing the food doesn’t affect the fibers, calories, or the minerals present in the food, but it does affect vitamins like Vitamin C and folate. Also, freezing doesn’t affect the proteins, fats, carbohydrates, or sugar present in specific foodstuffs. You might have observed the ‘fluid’ on the food when they are thawed, this is because the water drains from particular foods.
How to choose healthy frozen food from the aisle
Whenever you buy frozen foods, always look for the products that have low-calorie sauces, low sodium content, or without sugar. Looking for the ingredients of every product can be tricky.
If you want to buy frozen food, we recommend you to honor your taste and health. Follow these handy tips.
- Compare labels
To keep the frozen meals fresh for a longer time, many products come with saturated fat, sugar, sodium, and additional calories. These food items often contain less minerals and vitamins that make it stale after some time.
If you’re planning to cut down your cost, try adding nutritious foods to your table such as vegetables.
In the aisle of frozen foods, pizzas, snack rolls, sandwiches, fried chicken dinners, burritos are the ones that are considered to be the worst when they are frozen. When you search for the labels at the grocery store, consider adding meals that are dense in nutrients and vitamins.
- Follow simple meals either frozen or not
When you have made your way to the grocery store, choose vegetables that can be steamed in the microwave.
Avoid filling your cart with food items that contain artificial flavors. If your nutritionist has told you to monitor the amount of fat and sodium in your diet, then you must compare the packaging too to go for products with less fats and sodium.
Similarly, if you are diabetic, you must choose sugar-free products. Also, you need to check the amount of fat and sugar in frozen smoothies and frozen yogurt. They come with a variety of added sweeteners to enhance the taste.
- Skip the breading
Meat, fish, poultry, and seafood offer nutrition even without any extra flavor. If you’re after a low-calorie meal, then avoid fish sticks, breaded chicken, corn dogs, and other breaded frozen foods, and rather opt for shrimps, chicken breasts, fish fillets, etc.
How can you prepare frozen food at home?
You can freeze any food item, including canned served meals, eggs, mayonnaise, dressings, creams, and sauces easily except for the lettuce and raw greens. Frozen veggies generally are cooked without thawing – you can have them steamed. If you leave them for complete thawing, they may get soggy or mushy.
On the other hand, frozen meat typically needs to be completely thawed before cooking. You must take it out of your freezer and keep it in water if you want to cook it.