Monday August 26, 2019

The Quicker, the Better? All you need to Know Before Consuming Frozen Food!

Fresh raw fruits and vegetables are usually harvested before reaching the highest nutritional value

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A Food Store. Pixabay

November 17, 2016: Buying a deep freeze and consuming frozen foods can come in handy if you don’t have time to prepare fresh food daily. Fresh fruits and vegetables and also meat and grains are healthy but that doesn’t imply that frozen foods are unhealthy. The phrase “the quicker the better” does not apply here.

Frozen foods were usually avoided because of the belief that fresh food is best. But frozen food has a long shelf life. Not all operators can run their kitchens without using frozen food. Also, properly frozen food can be as fresh as when it is harvested.

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If the food is frozen, it is definitely fresh. Freezing helps in slowing down the deteriorating of food and all the nutrients are locked in the food as the food is frozen immediately after harvesting. The fresh food we usually get is sitting around for days before they are cooked. By the time people receive fresh vegetables and meat, most of the nutrients are lost as products are sensitive to light.

Also, “fresh” raw fruits and vegetables are usually harvested before reaching the highest nutritional value and transported to long distance places. So, they already have less nutritional value during harvesting and they lose more during transportation.

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For freezing, fruits and vegetables with high nutritional value, ripeness, colour, and flavor are used. Freezing helps to retain these qualities. Apart from nutrition and flavor, frozen food gives the following advantages:

  1. Quality and consistency: Frozen products are harvested when they are at the peak of their nutritional value and frozen to maintain the nutrients and flavors. Frozen foods have high standards of quality and have unmatched uniformity and consistency.
  2. Convenience: Now, the process of preparing, storing have improved and advanced techniques are used to create gourmet quality meal. Ethnic meals, which require long preparation time, also require frozen food products. Also, the fresh ingredients of these meals are quite expensive than the frozen ones.
  1. Waste-free: Another advantage of using frozen food is that it allows the chef to use the exact amount of food needed in the dish. The rest can be stored in the refrigerator. Frozen foods allow consumers to prepare only what’s needed and to store the rest. It reduces food waste. It’s good for the environment too.

I. Availability: Frozen foods are available all seasons.

II. Safety: Freezing delays the fungal and other microbial activity in the food. If it’s frozen it’s safe.

If you freeze your own meals at home, you can be assured that you are serving nutritious meals to your family. It is a great time saver as even if you have made a large batch, that you cannot finish, you can always store it for later. Freezing does not harm foods or take away the nutrients; it is how you freeze your foods or what you buy that makes the difference.

Freezing your meals at home can help reduce wastage of food. If one is serving frozen food, he can be sure that it is safe and nutritious for his family. It saves a great deal of time as we can always prepare more in a batch, freeze the remaining and save something to serve later. If done properly, freezing does not harm the food damaging its quality.

 by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

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Study: Friend Circle More Predictive of your Overall Health and Wellness than Fitbit Watches

According to the study published in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers were interested in what the structure of social networks says about the state of health, happiness and stress

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fitbit, health
The study showed a strong correlation between social network structures, heart rate, number of steps and level of activity. Pixabay

To get a better reading on your overall health and wellness, you should be better off looking at the strength and structure of your circle of friends, says a study. According to the study published in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers were interested in what the structure of social networks says about the state of health, happiness and stress.

“What we found was the social network structure provides a significant improvement in predictability of wellness states of an individual over just using the data derived from wearables, like the number of steps or heart rate,” said the study lead author Nitesh V. Chawla, a researcher of Indian origin from University of Notre Dame in the US.

fitbit, health
Fitbit watches have sensors that get information from air temperature and humidity, but also from the physiological response of the individual in that environment. Pixabay

For the study, participants wore Fitbit to capture health behaviour data — such as steps, sleep, heart rate and activity level and completed surveys and self-assessments about their feelings of stress, happiness and positivity.

The research team then analysed the data, using machine learning, alongside an individual’s social network characteristics, including degree, centrality, clustering coefficient and number of triangles.

fitbit, health
According to the study published in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers were interested in what the structure of social networks says about the state of health, happiness and stress. Pixabay

The study showed a strong correlation between social network structures, heart rate, number of steps and level of activity. According to the researchers, social network structure provided significant improvement in predicting one’s health and well-being compared to just looking at health behaviour data from the Fitbit alone.

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For example, when social network structure is combined with the data derived from wearables, the machine learning model achieved a 65 per cent improvement in predicting happiness, 54 per cent improvement in predicting one’s self-assessed health prediction, 55 per cent improvement in predicting positive attitude, and 38 per cent improvement in predicting success.

“This study asserts that without social network information, we only have an incomplete view of an individual’s wellness state, and to be fully predictive or to be able to derive interventions, it is critical to be aware of the social network structural features as well,” Chawla said. (IANS)