If you are cooking for one, always on the run, or just want a break from cooking, frozen dinners come to mind as an easy alternative. But are they healthy? They can be!
The biggest barriers to finding a healthy frozen entrée are salt and saturated fat. Try to stay away from anything with more than 4 grams of saturated fat or 650 mg of sodium. Better yet, look for choices with less than 3 grams of saturated fat and 400 mg of sodium.
Why? Because there is strong evidence that eating less saturated fat and sodium can help people meet their nutritional needs within appropriate calorie levels, as well as help reduce chronic disease risk. Do you know what your personal daily sodium target is? Ask us at your next appointment!
What Else to Look for in a Frozen Dinner
While looking at the sodium and saturated fat is important, you still need to check the package’s Nutrition Facts panel for fiber and protein, and scan the ingredients list for whole grains and vegetables. In order to get more protein, reinforce your meal with a side of fat-free Greek yogurt or sautéed tofu.
Since you’ll need to add some food to turn your entrée into a real meal, you might as well pump up the veggies by mixing in some fresh or frozen veggies or adding a salad .
What Are Some Good Frozen Dinners to Get?
Some brands trim the sodium by relying on flavorful ingredients like ginger, garlic, sundried tomatoes, lemongrass, shiitake mushrooms, toasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, shallots, tahini, and white wine. If you want some ideas about which ones to look at, ask us at your next appointment.