Hungry for some healthy freezer foods right now? These are the best (and worst) ones you can buy, according to an RD.
Especially right now when trips to the grocery store are less frequent, it makes a lot of sense to stock up on frozen food items. They can last in the freezer for literally months and can be used on an as-needed basis, making it easy to supplement your fresh and pantry picks at mealtime.
When it comes to the best foods to buy fresh and what’s better picked up from the frozen section, registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD is here to help in the latest episode of You Versus Food.
“The frozen food section is just like the rest of the grocery store, just colder!” Beckerman says. And despite some healthy eaters throwing the freezer section some major nutritional side-eye, she emphasizes that frozen food can absolutely be healthy. “The actual act of freezing foods does not make foods healthy or unhealthy. If your food was nutritious before it was frozen, chances are it’s going to be as, if not more, nutritious after,” she says.
While some foods hold their nutritional value better over time while frozen, Beckerman says there are some food items that are better bought fresh instead. Milk and cheese are both on her “better fresh” list, since freezing can affect their consistency. She also says to avoid frozen fruits and veggies with a high water content (such as cucumbers and celery), because freezing can make them lose their crispness.
As always, Beckerman says to read the ingredients list and look at the nutritional panel for packaged foods as not all frozen foods are created equal. While some have evolved into healthy meal choices, others still resemble the TV dinners of the ’90s in their high sodium content.
Now that you know what foods to avoid buying frozen, watch the episode above for more intel on the best foods to buy fresh—including a few of Beckerman’s personal faves.