Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables make healthy eating easier

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Sometimes eating well can pose a challenge. If fresh produce is too expensive or perishable, there are alternatives.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are key parts of a healthy diet. But they’re perishable, they’re only available from local sources in season and may be too expensive, depending on the circumstances of your budget. Don’t give up on keeping a variety of fruit and vegetables in your diet, though. All fruits and vegetables — whether fresh, frozen, or canned — are good for you!

Keep these tips in mind for buying fruit and vegetables, no matter what form:

Fresh produce

Look for seasonal choices. Produce that’s in season in your local area will taste fresher and may be less expensive than food trucked in from other regions or countries.
Uses: Serve sliced veggies with a light dip; make fruit salad for dessert; toss vegetables with olive oil and bake on a sheet pan.

Frozen

Avoid added sugar. Choose frozen fruits that are 100% fruit, without added sugar.
Watch for excess fat and sodium. Choose plain frozen vegetables instead of ones with butter or cheese.
Uses: Mix vegetables into stews or casseroles; blend fruit with yogurt for a smoothie; mix berries into baked goods.

Canned

Avoid added sugar in canned fruit. Choose items labeled “packed in 100% fruit juice,” not in light or heavy syrup.
Compare sodium levels. Choose items labeled “no salt added” or “reduced sodium.”
Drain and rinse canned food to wash away some of the added sodium or sugar.
Uses: Serve fruit over yogurt or oatmeal; add corn, tomatoes and beans to broth for a filling soup.

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