Health experts often advise shoppers to cling to the outer edges of the grocery store - where they can find fresh produce and less-processed foods. But, while fresh food is typically the best option, you don't need to bypass all options in the frozen aisle. EWG (Environmental Working Group)has put together a list of five great options in the frozen food aisle that maximize nutrition, and can save you time and money. Here are the highlights. For the full report click here
1.Organic vegetables such as whole green beans or green peas
Looking for a frozen vegetable that packs great nutritional bang for your buck? Frozen green beans are half the cost of fresh ones and retain more of their vitamin A and C content than other frozen vegetables. Similarly, frozen green peas are one of the cheapest frozen vegetables and retain more of their vitamin C content than fresh peas that have been stored for five days.
2.Organic fruits like strawberries or blackberries
If you're wandering down the frozen aisle looking for a sweet dessert, stop at the frozen fruit - it is hands-down the healthiest frozen dessert on the market. Berries also make a great snack - and they're superior to dehydrated berries, which can lose up to 50 percent of their original vitamin C and 70 percent of their folate content after being exposed to high pressure or temperatures.
3.Additive-free toddler and baby foods
Feeding young ones but don't have time to make your own baby food? Consider looking beyond jarred food. In their frozen aisles, some stores are stocking baby food made from fresh fruits and vegetables. Freezing produce helps slow nutritional losses, and helps prevent the growth of most microbes, making preservatives less necessary. And since frozen fruits and vegetables are often harvested at the peak of the season, there's less need add flavors, or other additives or fillers to improve taste.
4.Sustainable, low-mercury seafood
Frozen seafood is typically cheaper and often of higher quality than fresh fish, which can be in transit on ice for more than a week before reaching the grocery store. Frozen fish also helps you add fish to your diet at a reasonable cost, while avoiding the endocrine-disrupting contaminant found in BPA-coated cans that could be used to package fish. This is a rare case when opting for fatty varieties is a good idea - they are higher in omega-3 fats and are more resilient to freezing.
In the middle of a hectic week, it's hard to beat the convenience of a frozen entree. Most options in this part of the frozen aisle are loaded with additives and are unnecessarily high in sodium, but there are some good finds for that last-minute lunch or dinner. About a quarter of the frozen burritos in EWG's Food Scores score in the green. But some burritos rose to the top because they highlight beans, a health-promoting and environmentally friendly protein, and have fewer ingredient and processing concerns.