Fresh Foods vs Processed Foods

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Nearly every food processing or preparation method reduces the amount of nutrients in the food.  Foods exposed to high levels of heat lose the most nutrients while foods consumed fresh and as soon after harvest as possible retain the most nutrients.

Below is a chart showing the typical nutrient losses of various vitamins and minerals based on the processing/preparation method used.   This chart was taken from the USDA Table of Nutrient Retention Factors which can be downloaded at http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12354500/Data/retn/retn06.pdf.

 

Nutrient Loss Chart
Photo courtesy of NutritionData.com

 

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