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Fresh Vs. Frozen Seafood: Which is the better choice for health?

A bowl of Ceviche with raw seafood and vegetables

All hail, seafood!

Seafood is an excellent source of nutrients.

From vitamins that strengthen the immune system to healthy fats that reduce health risks, these can all be found in different types of seafood. 

There are several kinds of seafood and different ways to prepare them. Some seafood like salmon and tuna can be eaten raw while shellfish such as squid and scallops can be grilled. 

As an archipelago with more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines takes pride in its rich resources of seafood. It’s no wonder that seafood has become a staple in our meals. 

While any seafood dish is a good inclusion to a healthy diet, there’s a lot of difference if your seafood is fresh or frozen/packaged. 

Frozen seafoods on ice

Oh no! 

Frozen and packaged seafoods are sold everywhere. You will find them in big freezers or stalls covered in ice. 

Additives are sometimes added in frozen and packaged seafoods to preserve them in good condition. Although not all frozen and packaged seafoods have additives, many fishmongers follow this general practice.

While the additives in packaged seafood are also briefly mentioned on their packaging, some people tend to ignore the labels written at the back of the covers. Still, there are ways that can help you avoid them.

A fish covered in ice

Take note. 

Here are what you should know when buying frozen and packaged seafood:

  • A lot of sodium is used in some frozen or pre-packaged seafoods to preserve them.
  • A substance such as Sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) is used in some seafoods like scallops, shrimp and flaky filet-type fish to make them appear firmer and fresher and weigh heavier. 
  • Artificial coloring is used on some seafoods such as salmon to give off that fresh and ‘natural’ pink glow. 
  • Carbon monoxide is sprayed on some fishes to kill parasites or to enhance the color of seafoods like tuna. 

Though not all seafoods have additives, frozen seafoods tend to have additives to maintain their quality. Good thing, there are also policies that regulate the use of additives in our food, especially in some frozen and packaged seafoods. 

A bowl of tuna and vegetable salad

The healthier choice…

In general, seafood is a healthy choice whether fresh or frozen. But, fresh seafood is healthier since frozen ones may have additives. 

Without a doubt, fresh seafood looks and tastes better. They don’t need thawing which can ruin the seafood’s quality if done improperly. They also taste more flavorful when they are fresh since their natural flavor only lasts a few days. 

Even restaurants often source the ingredients for their dishes at local markets where the produce is freshly picked, and the seafoods are the freshest. This is how they can be assured of the quality of the ingredients and the dish that they serve.

Similarly, many Filipinos often enjoy choosing the freshest seafood to eat at a dampa. You know that it’s some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever get since you can see it fresh right before it’s cooked, and it definitely shows in the quality of the meal served to you.

A bowl of Poke salad with raw tuna and vegetables

Thinking about fresh seafood? 

Whether you are eating at your home, the best place to buy fresh seafood will always be the palengke where they are sourced daily. 

If you have no time to go to the palengke, or you are unsure how to hand-pick the freshest seafood, then let Safe Select save you from all the hassle.

With Safe Select – Metro Manila’s #1 premium online palengke you can have the freshest seafood delivered straight from the palengke to your doorstep. 

Go ahead and check our guaranteed fresh selections for your seafood needs.

References:

https://thehealthyfish.com/common-additives-watch-seafood-packaging/amp/ 

https://spoonuniversity.com/healthier/this-common-preservative-in-frozen-shrimp-can-have-some-nasty-side-effects 

https://holidaybays.com/what-is-the-importance-of-buying-fresh-seafood/ 

https://www.todaysfarmedfish.org/tff-articles/eat-more-seafood-it-s-safer-than-you-think