Find out if pre-cut vegetables are nutritious.
Q. I have recently started eating a lot more vegetables as snacks and making fruit smoothies for breakfast. To make it as convenient as possible, I chop up veggies and put them into Ziploc bags so that I can just grab a bag from the fridge as I'm going out the door. I also chop my fruit in advance and put it in the freezer so I can pull out a bag and dump it in the blender with some yogurt in the morning. However, a friend told me that as soon as you cut them, fruits and vegetables start losing nutrients and that by the end of the week there may be nothing left. Are my time-saving maneuvers ruining my new eating habits?
A. Not at all!! I love your new eating habits--especially the time saving maneuvers that have allowed you to work more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Don’t change a thing! All processing (including washing, cutting, freezing, and simply storing) can lead to some nutrient losses. But your friend is vastly overstating the problem. The nutrient losses from chopping up your fruits and vegetables ahead of time are relatively minor (especially compared to the nutrients you’d lose by not eating them). Believe me, there is still plenty of nutrition left in them by the end of the week.