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Shop smarter: Tips on buying healthier frozen foods

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UPDATED: 9.18.14

CONTACT: April Agne

205-975-7908 | email

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We all know that it’s healthier to cook homemade meals. However, with a busy schedule, even people who enjoy cooking may find themselves in a time crunch from time to time. Frozen foods can be convenient in these moments, and while many frozen foods can be high in calories, fat, and sodium, not all frozen foods have to be off limits. If you are careful and check the nutrition labels, you can find frozen foods that are healthier and part of a balance diet.

 

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The American Diabetes Association recommends choosing frozen meals that have:

  • 500 calories or less per serving
  • 3 grams of saturated fat or less per serving
  • 600mg of sodium or less per serving

 

It is also important to look at the serving size listed on the nutrition label. If you think you will eat more than the serving size listed on the nutrition label, you need to take into account those extra calories.  You should also check to make sure that the amount of carbohydrates fits into your diet.


Here we have listed some of worst and best choices to help you navigate the many options at the grocery store:

 

Pizza: DiGiorno Original Rising Crust Pizza: with one slice of this pizza you have eaten 320 calories which is almost a third of your daily calorie intake. Newman’s Own Margarita Pizza is a much better option with 280 calories for 1/3 of the pizza.

 

Meal: Stouffers Mac and Cheese contains 370 calories, 16 g fat 820 mg of sodium. A healthier meal is Healthy Choice Four Cheese Ravioli and Chicken Marinara which contains 270 calories, 6g fat and 600 mg sodium.

 

Breakfast: For one Jimmy Dean Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit Sandwich  you are consuming 410 calories and 28 grams of fat and 830 mg of sodium. Instead, try MorningStar Farms Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich. This sandwich has 220 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 670 mg of sodium, making it a much healthier option.

 

Dessert: Ben & Jerry’s FroYo Phish Food is frozen yogurt but do not be fooled. This dessert packs 240 calories in one serving (1/2 cup). Instead, try Haagen-Dazs Low-fat Frozen Yogurt in coffee, vanilla raspberry swirl, or vanilla. All flavors have between 150-180 calories and less sugar than the frozen yogurt from Ben & Jerry’s.