Frozen Dinners

Are Frozen Dinners Healthy?

When you come home from a long day, preparing a meal from scratch can be the last thing you feel like doing. You know you should be eating well, but a frozen meal that takes a few minutes in a microwave and leaves you with a full stomach can seem far more desirable.

You may feel a little guilty about choosing a microwave meal, given that we’re taught that “fresh is best,” but are they really all that bad?

What kind of microwave meal can make all the difference, as you can ffiind out below.

High Fat, High Salt

Most people think that the frozen meals you heat in the microwave are full of fat and salt. In many cases, that’s true. Manufacturers pile in the additives and seasoning to ensure their food tastes decent after being frozen then heated quickly.

It’s worth thinking about what else makes food high in fat and salt. It’s your food choices. If you purchase a microwave meal that contains fried chicken, a dessert treat, processed sauces, and dressings, you won’t class that as the definition of eating healthy. But you wouldn’t if you made that from scratch either. Frozen dinners can be healthy, but only if you choose the right ingredients.

Nutritional Content

Some people think that heating a meal in the microwave from frozen plays with its nutritional content. Freezing food will not alter the food’s fibre content, its calorie count, or its nutritional value. Some nutrients might suffer (such as vitamin C), but the majority will work the same.

If you have found a microwave meal with healthy ingredients that are also low in fat and salt, then you can safely assume it’s no better or worse for you than if you were preparing it from scratch.

Finding the Best Frozen Dinner

Sometimes, you just can’t beat the convenience of a microwave meal, and that’s okay. Not everyone has time or patience to prepare dinner from scratch every night of the week. However, if you are conscious of your need to start eating well, then all it takes is a little understanding about what to look for.

Try to find meals that boast plain, unseasoned, and undressed vegetables and proteins. It might seem boring to opt for these, but you can add sauces yourself that can be more to your liking. You can then control your additional fat, salt, and sugar intake.

It’s also worth applying the same principles of regular food to microwave meals. You can safely assume that a pizza is not going to be a healthy frozen dinner, nor will a snack roll or fried chicken. A grilled chicken and steamed vegetable one, however, will be worth a closer look. You can also purchase frozen meals from local businesses who have cooked meals in bulk from real, wholesome ingredients and sell to the public.

Not all frozen dinners are going to be healthy, but not all of them will be unhealthy either. Pay attention to the fat, sugar, and salt intake as that can offer a fair idea of a meal’s nutritional value.

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