Are Frozen Meals Healthy?

March 17 - Writen by new admin

It can be helpful to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, eat less processed foods, and cut down on sugar and fat.

Frozen food has a bad rap

Historically, frozen foods have gotten a “meh” rating from dietitians and consumers alike. Think of the mushy, homogeneously-colored TV dinners from years back for example. Additionally, some frozen food companies load their meals with sodium and fat for better taste and longer shelf life. This also allows them to mask lower-quality ingredients that aren’t as nutritionally sound. 

However, the tides have been turning over the last several years

Take a look at the nutrition facts and ingredient labels for some of the following categories. Your meal does not necessarily have to meet all of the following criteria. These guidelines can be a good place to start when shopping though.

The benefits of healthy frozen meals 

Contains more nutrients

Nowadays, frozen meals are often flash-frozen, which means they’re quickly frozen at a lower temperature. This is important because the cellular integrity of the food is not damaged, which allows all the nutrients to be fully retained and preserved. (PSA: this method of freezing also preserves the structural integrity of the food upon reheating—meaning no more mushy, sloppy, or odd textured frozen foods!) 

Since fruits, vegetables, and other items are harvested at their peak ripeness and flash-frozen within hours of harvesting, in many instances, frozen foods contain more nutrients than their fresh counterparts that have traveled miles in a truck to your grocery store.

In fact, a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that people who regularly ate frozen meals had higher daily intakes of important nutrients such as protein, fiber, and potassium.1

Saves time

Let’s face it, you likely spend 8+ hours of the day working. The rest of the day is spent cleaning, doing laundry, running errands, trying to get exercise in, food shopping, maintaining the house and yard work, taking care of the kids, and doing other things that fuel your passions. It is crucial to be able to save time any chance you get. Heating up a meal out of your freezer will take less than 10 minutes out of your day.

Saves money

For example, 16 ounces of fresh strawberries from Whole Foods currently retails at $4.99 while 16 ounces of frozen strawberries are just $1.99.

Additionally, you are not wasting the average $28.00 per week worth of food that goes bad before you eat it.6

Reduces waste

Buying frozen foods can help you, your supermarket, and the whole supply chain waste less.

Controls portions

Depending on many personal factors, you may need more or less food than what’s provided in one frozen meal. Regardless, because frozen meals come in single-serving sizes, they can help us learn and choose portions wisely. 

Don’t be afraid of frozen food.


References:

  1. Original Article is at https://magazine.baze.com/are-frozen-meals-healthy-a-dietitian-sets-the-record-straight/
  2. EurekAlertAAAS. (2014, October 20). Frozen meal eaters have better intakes of key nutrients for fewer calories than QSR eaters. Retrieved from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-10/kny-fme102014.php
  3. Save The Food. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://savethefood.com/

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