Fresh vs. Frozen Vegetables – What’s the Difference?

Dr. Sears' Blog: Fresh Versus Frozen Vegetables

Are you someone who is prone to buying fresh vegetables at the start of the week, and three to five days later they are still sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be used? If this sounds like you, you may be someone who would benefit from purchasing frozen vegetables to get more bang for your buck nutritionally speaking. Fresh vegetables are great, don’t get me wrong, but in the course of being picked and transported to the supermarket coupled with sitting in the fridge for a few days, they begin to lose their nutritional value.

A recent report showed that up to 45 percent of nutrients may be lost in fresh vegetables before they are consumed, and that in some cases it may take up to two weeks from the time they are picked to reach our tables (1)! Frozen vegetables are picked when they are at their ripest, and that is when fruits and vegetables typically carry the most nutritional value. From there they are blanched in water to kill any bacteria, sealed and immediately frozen.

A good rule of thumb is to eat fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season and at the ripest to get the most benefits nutritionally. If you have the luxury of picking your own in the summer months or taking advantage of locally grown, this can definitely help too. In winter months when there isn’t as much access to fresh produce or when you know you won’t be able to use your produce quickly, stock up on frozen vegetables so that you can reap all the nutritional benefits.


  1. Frozen vegetables ‘more nutritious than fresh vegetables’ – Accessed: March 5, 2010.

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About Dr. Barry Sears

Dr. Barry Sears is a leading authority on the impact of the diet on hormonal response, genetic expression, and inflammation. A former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Sears has dedicated his research efforts over the past 45 years to the study of lipids. He has published 40 scientific articles and holds 14 U.S. patents in the areas of intravenous drug delivery systems and hormonal regulation for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. He has also written 14 books, including the New York Times #1 best-seller, The Zone, which have sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S. and have been translated into 22 different languages.

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