Fresh, Canned, or Frozen: Get the Most from Your Fruits and Vegetables

Jul 9, 2023

When it comes to buying fruits and vegetables, many factors play a role in which types consumers choose, including nutritional value. All fruits and vegetables — fresh, frozen, canned, or dried — are good-for-you foods that can be enjoyed at any time. Here are several ideas for getting the most from your fruits and vegetables, no matter what form they take.

Canned Fruits and Vegetables
• For canned fruit, look for descriptions on the label like “packed in its own juices,” “packed in 100% juice,” “unsweetened,” or “no added sugar.” Fruits packed in juices contain less added sugar than fruits packed in syrup.
• If you are cutting back on sodium, look for descriptions such as “no salt added” and “reduced sodium” on the labels of canned vegetables. Rinsing vegetables before eating can also reduce sodium content.
• Use canned fruits and vegetables immediately after opening for maximum flavor and nutritional value.

Frozen Varieties
• When buying frozen vegetables, pass on those with sauces and choose plain vegetables instead. You can season them at home with flavorful herbs and spices.
• Frozen fruits come in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties, so make sure to check the label and choose unsweetened fruit. Frozen fruit bars also make a nutritious snack and are an excellent fluid source; however, read the label ensure they are made with real fruit juice.

Dried Fruits
• Dried fruit contains lots of fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium, and folate, but keep in mind that serving sizes are smaller. Also, some dried fruits may have added sugar. If you are sensitive to sulfites, check the label of dried fruits to make sure they are not preserved with sulfite, which may trigger an allergic reaction.
• Dried fruit is a great portable snack and makes a tasty trail mix along with nuts and seeds. It also can jazz up salads, pancakes, bread recipes, or a bowl of cereal.

There are thousands of varieties of canned and frozen fruits and vegetables on grocery store shelves, which makes it easy to find foods that suit your tastes and fit into a healthy eating plan.

Adapted from resource through Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2023. Prepared by Rachel A. Mischler, RD, CDN. If you wish to speak to Rachel with any questions or nutritional concerns, please contact her at 607-744-0245.

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