It is a fact that frozen food offers practicality and allows more variety in the menu on a daily basis. In fact, with the support of the freezer, many people start to include healthier options in their routine, since it is possible to assemble small portions for daily consumption with agility and organization. For those who want to start the year with the right foot in healthy eating, the question of whether frozen food loses its appeal isnutrients can cross your mind. Read on and learn more about it.
Read also: 6 recipes for freezer lunch boxes!
After all, does frozen food lose nutrients?
Yes, frozen food does suffer nutritional loss, but this loss is minor compared to the benefits of eating a diverse and healthy diet, even if frozen.
In freezing, foods are subjected to low temperatures that can cause some nutritional losses, so they can lose from 5 to 15% nutrients that may involve vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein However, the extreme cold of the refrigerators allows a longer time for food conservation, preventing its deterioration by the action of microorganisms.
"Even with the nutritional loss caused by freezing it is interesting to eat frozen food, because this way we can have a healthy and diversified diet, besides the practicality and organization of the diet", reinforces nutritionist Fabiana Albuquerque, from the Nutrindo Ideais team .
So you don't have to worry anymore if frozen food loses nutrients. In a balance of benefits and harms, the advantages of choosing frozen food are great.
It is worth remembering that many foods also lose nutritional value when cooked, and this happens naturally with many foods that are part of Brazilians' daily lives. Furthermore, the fight against waste is extremely favored with the support of the freezing process.
The nutritionist also reinforces that by always having healthy food available, it is more difficult to "fall into temptation" and, by freezing individual portions, we avoid overconsumption of food.
Main precautions when freezing food
Now that you know that freezing is not a problem, it is time to know how to do it properly, since the refrigerator will not do all the work by itself.
First of all, it is important to point out that not all foods can be frozen, because depending on the composition, they can become crumbly, suffer changes in color, texture, and even taste. This is the case with watermelon, cantaloupe and papaya which have a high water content and suffer more abrupt changes upon freezing.
Here are some tips on how to perform the freezing
- When dispensing food in the freezer, choose to note the expiration date on the packages or jars, this will help not to lose sight of the expiration date;
- Observe the expiration date of each frozen food (note the freezing date on the package. For example, cooked poultry and meats last in the freezer for 3 to 6 months, while grains and cereals last up to 6 months frozen;
- Always keep an eye on the internal temperature of the freezer;
- If you need to transport frozen food, always use a thermal bag to maintain the temperature.
An important point is that just as freezing helps to keep food preserved, it can also make it difficult to check the item to see if it is in proper condition or not. So, here are some tips to identify if the food is fit for consumption after thawing:
- Greenish spots or white regions may indicate mold;
- Altered color of the food;
- Unknown liquid or greatly altered texture;
- Insect identification;
According to National Health Surveillance Agency - ANVISA The food storage area should be clean to prevent contamination and/or proliferation of microorganisms, and the packages or containers should be protected from sunlight, humidity, and excessive heat. In addition, the agency recommends that the food be organized by type.
Other important tips
Did you know that, according to Anvisa, there are foods that must go through a process called bleaching before being frozen?
This is the case for most vegetables. To do this, after thoroughly sanitizing the food, place them in a container of boiling water for about 2 minutes Then put them in a bowl of ice water for another 2 minutes to stop the cooking, after which they are ready to go into the freezer.
In the case of other preparations, as ready-made rice, beans and meats The nutritionist explains that, contrary to popular belief, when waiting for the food to cool down, it will be more exposed to the environment and can be contaminated more easily.
Read also: How to freeze raw cassava and preserve the nutrients?
Source: Fabiana Albuquerque, nutritionist of the Nutrindo Ideais team and expert in sports and functional nutrition.
References: ANVISA. National Health Surveillance Agency. How food should be preserved and stored