Canned vegetables vs frozen ones
When we talk about vegetables, probably nothing is better than the fresh ones.
But realistically speaking from the convenience point of view we are more attracted to the canned and frozen ones.
Canned vegetables are made via heat. Heat is necessary to kill micro-organisms, prevent other chemical reactions and reduce the oxidation that will cause rancidity.
The heat will not only change flavor and color, it would take a toll on nutrients as well. According to some studies, up to 50% of the nutrients are lost during the canning process.
Vitamins, especially water-soluble vitamins like C and the B vitamins, are heat-sensitive and some leach into cooking water in the factory.
Frozen vegetables are the safe alternative striking the balance between safety and nutrition. They are made by plunging briefly the vegetables into boiling water followed by rapid cooling.
The preferred method of cooking vegetables is steaming to limit the nutrients and vitamin loss.
Sodium and Potassium Effects
– To counterbalance the taste loss due to heating and refinement, manufacturers will add extra salt.
– Salt also aid in preservation.
– People get 75 per cent of their salt from processed food, 10-15 per cent from food itself and 10-15 percent is added by consumers.
– The majority of people exceed the recommended salt intake (6 grams per day)
– Processing vegetables = potassium loss. Potassium is a mineral important to keep the sodium’s damage at bay.
– Sodium plays an important roll on blood pressure.
-With potassium lost via processing and the extra salt (Sodium) added to improve taste, we have an imbalance in the system. Hence high blood pressure which can lead to heart disease and stroke.
– According to some studies salt had no impact on blood pressure for people who had not been diagnosed with hypertension.
How to become a shopping expert
– Buy food from around the produce area: fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits, fish, meat and diary
– Choose frozen veggetables over canned, except tomatoes. The heat from cooking tomatoes actually helps to release lycopene, which is the main beneficial nutrient found in tomatoes.
– Choose real whole grain related products; check the label: it should not have an endless list of components
– Avoid everything that lists ‘partially hydrogenated oil’
– Choose a small piece of true cheese over a larger serving of processed cheese; I don’t even fancy the ‘light’ variety of cheese, because to make it light -as in less fat- the food manufacturers will compensate with other ingredients, moving it far from the natural form
– When looking for a good fruit juice, target the 100% fruit variety; it may have a mixture of natural juices, very often including apple and grape ones, along with natural flavours to compensate the loss during pasteurization, vitamin C and citric acid to maintain a shelf-stable pH. Of course the freshly-squeezed home-made juice is always the best