Choosing the Best Frozen Foods

Choosing the Best Frozen Foods
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Frozen foods can be convenient and easy when you’re in a hurry.  Frozen fruits and vegetables can even be just as healthy as fresh.  Here are a few tips on how to choose the best frozen items at your grocery store.

Frozen Potatoes

What to look for:

  • Potatoes listed first on the ingredients.
  • Vegetable oil or canola oil, not partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients.
  • Below 1g saturated fat.
  • Less than 300mg of sodium per serving.

Preparation:  Don’t fry them.  That adds more calories and saturated fat than what’s listed on the nutrition label.  Baking them is a healthier way to prepare them that will still give you the fries you crave.

Frozen Fruits & Vegetables

What to look for:

  • Only the fruit or vegetable in the ingredients.
  • No added salt or sugar.

Did you know:  One cup of frozen spinach has four times more potassium than raw.

Frozen Waffles & Pancakes

What to look for:

  • Whole-wheat flour, bran, whole grains.
  • 90 calories or less per waffle or pancake
  • Zero saturated fat
  • At least 1 gram of fiber
  • Less than 5g of sugar

Preparation:  Swap the syrup for fresh berries or bananas or use a light syrup.

Frozen Breakfast Sandwiches

What to look for:

  • Lean turkey sausage as an ingredient instead of bacon
  • Egg whites instead of whole eggs
  • Whole-grain breads (or at least made with whole grains)

Did you know:  A drive-thru breakfast biscuit can contain more than 400 calories and 12g of saturated fat.

Frozen Pizza

What to look for:

  • Thin-crust (generally lower in calories)
  • 350 calories or less/slice
  • 6g or less of saturated fat
  • 400mg or less sodium
  • No partially hydrogenated oils

Frozen Entrees

What to look for:

  • Vegetables, beans, whole grains listed first in the ingredients
  • 500 or less calories
  • At least 5g of fiber.
  • 600mg or less of sodium

Remember:  Check the serving size.  Some meals contain more than one serving.

Healthy Tip:  Frozen meals are great portion control.  However, some just don’t fill you up and you’re hungry later.  Add a healthy side, like fresh fruit or a salad.

 

Lisa Lewis, author of Healthy Happy Cooking, available in the First Place 4 Health online store.