When we’re running low on time and need a filling meal in a hurry, frozen meals make a simple solution; there’s nothing easier than popping a pre-packaged TV dinner in the microwave. Of course, nutritionists will tell you that frozen food should be enjoyed in moderation, and that a healthy, balanced diet should include plenty of fresh foods like fruit and vegetables. If you have a busy lifestyle and find that you east quick and convenient frozen foods on a regular basis, here are some tips to help you make smart nutritional choices and ensure you are choosing some of the healthiest meals arriving by freezer van to your local supermarket.
When you choose a frozen meal, opt for those containing at least a half-cup serving of vegetables, fruit or beans. Frozen fruits and vegetables retain the nutrients you need for a balanced meal, and most slimmers find a meal of veggies and lean protein makes the perfect dinner. When shopping for frozen food, look at options like vegetarian lasagne or lean chicken breasts with mixed veggies.
Sodium & Preservatives
Some frozen meal brands add high levels of sodium to enhance the flavour of the food, as well as preservatives to give the frozen meal a longer shelf life. Even if the frozen meal you choose includes healthy ingredients, be sure to check the sodium content, and be aware of the preservatives included, particularly if you have food sensitivities or allergies.
Another benefit of frozen food is that the servings allow for better portion control; many pre-packaged frozen meals come in single-serving sizes, which are smaller than the home cooking portions we usually dish up for ourselves. However, some frozen foods have extra fat content that can cancel out this advantage completely by doubling the amount of calories in the meal. Food manufacturers are required to list the fat content of their frozen meals on the nutritional label; be sure that the frozen meals you choose have a total fat content of less than 30% of calories allowed in your average daily diet.
Frozen food is as popular as ever, and fleets of refrigerated vans can be seen arriving at major supermarket chains daily; consumers who are well-informed on the nutritional value of these convenient ready-packaged meals can easily make frozen food a regular feature of a balanced, healthy eating plan.