Is There A Nutritional Difference Between Frozen And Fresh Chicken?

There's a lot of necessary pressure these days to eat as healthily as possible to prevent problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So some shoppers steer clear of frozen food options in an effort to keep things fully fresh. This maneuver is wholly unnecessary, though, since frozen chicken is every bit the nutritional superstar as its fresh counterpart. Sometimes, in fact, it's even more so!

This is because commercial chicken is frozen quickly after "harvest." The timeliness effectively preserves valuable nutrients, and also keeps the chicken's texture and freshness at peak levels, per Livestrong. This is a stark contrast from that fresh chicken you bought that languished first at the grocery store, then on your refrigerator shelf for who knows how long. As a result, the flash-frozen chicken is nutritionally nearly identical to that of fresh chicken. This is definitely one of those rare cases where it's a win/win all around!

Frozen chicken has better longevity

The lifespan of the average frozen chicken is 365 days, a huge difference from fresh chicken, which only has 14 to 16 days before it turns, per Tyson Foods. Keeping frozen products on hand is also a big win for people who are trying to be healthy, as they're less likely to turn to unhealthy take-out if the freezer is stocked with options.

Consumers who are concerned about sodium levels should shop carefully for frozen chicken, however. Some brands do inject chicken with saline as a preservative. This can cause salt levels to go up, according to Livestrong. This practice also occurs with fresh chicken to make it look juicier and plumper, says Premier Foods Group, so check those labels, as well.

The takeaway? Don't worry at all about being a "convenience shopper" when frozen chicken is the food in question. It's better to defrost some juicy grilled fillets than to order a pizza, no matter how you cut it.