The 6 Worst Frozen Dinners To Avoid Right Now – Eat This, Not That
Isn’t it nice to pop a frozen dinner in the microwave or oven for a few minutes and not have anything to clean up? Is your frozen dinner on this worst list?
We consulted two dietitians to help you find the worst frozen dinners you should avoid right now. The experts are Amy Shapiro, registered dietitian and founder of Real Nutrition, a nutrition company in New York, and Molly Hembree, registered dietitian and Kroger dietitian. Both are members of the Eat this, not that! Committee of Medical Experts.
While some frozen dinners can be nutritious, many are still processed meals with little or no nutrition or are so loaded with not-so-good ingredients that it’s just not worth it. Here they are and why these dietitians made their choices.
PER MEAL: 540 calories, 33 g fat (11 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 1510 mg sodium, 45 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 16 g protein
The sodium is what caught Hembree’s attention with this frozen dinner. “That works out to an astonishing 1510 mg of sodium, which actually exceeds most dietitians’ daily sodium recommendations if you have kidney or heart health issues,” she says.
The ideal daily sodium limit is 1,500 milligrams or less, according to the American Heart Association. A Banquet Mega Bowl Chicken Fried Steak frozen dinner puts you beyond that limit. Reducing your sodium intake can improve your heart health and blood pressure.
Shapiro also chose this meal as one of the worst.
“Like other meals, this one contains several preservatives that have been shown to be carcinogenic to the body, excess sodium, inflammatory oils, and processed ingredients,” she notes.
“It’s also high in saturated fat making up 55% of our daily value. But it contains 0.5g of trans fats which have been shown to raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol,” she adds. . “Trans fats have been mostly banned in the United States, so having them in this meal is really an unhealthy marker.”
PER MEAL: 590 calories, 27 g fat (9 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 1150 mg sodium, 61 g carbohydrates (5 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 24 g protein
Second on our list of frozen dinners to skip is another one from Banquet. “This meal not only has more sodium than you need in a day. It also has limited fiber, processed ingredients, and mechanically separated chicken, which means you’re not just getting chicken , but also tendons, veins, bones and other things that you don’t have. I don’t realize you’re eating,” Shapiro says.
She adds that there are “inflammatory oils, processed soy, preservatives, and multiple gummies, making it an unhealthy choice for anyone.”
Fiber is an essential part of your daily diet. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, the daily amount of fiber is 22 to 34 grams per day, depending on your age and gender.
PER MEAL: 820 calories, 39 g fat (12 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 1130 mg sodium, 86 g carbohydrates (5 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 32 g protein
High calories are a red flag in this Hungry-Man frozen dinner. Shapiro points out that she recommends frozen meals under 600 calories.
“It also contains almost a full day’s worth of sodium in one serving. Finally, there are several preservatives including BHT and MSG that can affect your overall health as well as gummies, processed forms of soy, mechanically separated chicken and excess fat per serving in that meal,” she says.
PER MEAL: 480 calories, 23 g fat (10 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 1120 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 36 g protein
It’s perhaps no surprise that a meal of chicken cordon bleu with mac and cheese isn’t a good option, but what makes it unhealthy?
“With 10 grams of saturated fat in a single meal, this product, if eaten regularly, could increase the risk of many chronic diseases,” Hembree says.
The American Heart Association recommends a limit of about 13 grams of saturated fat per day, based on your total daily calorie needs. This meal gets you extremely close to that limit, not leaving much room for other meals and snacks with even a little saturated fat.
PER containing: 300 calories, 8 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 610 mg sodium, 43 g carbohydrate (1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 17 g protein
This is another frozen dinner that is not recommended by experts.
“This product contains a measly 1 gram of fiber per package. A product like this I would expect to have at least 3 grams of fiber and would have liked to see at least a full serving of vegetables in the filling of the sandwich “, says Hembree.
PER MEAL: 250 calories, 8 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 690 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 8 g protein
How many times have you eaten something you thought was good for you, only to find out later that it wasn’t? This cheap frozen dinner may seem deceiving.
“I choose this one because it seems innocent at about 250 calories and is suitable for vegetarians, but it’s full of chemicals, artificial flavors, preservatives including BHT and BHA (banned in some places). ‘other countries) and it’s white flour without a lot of fiber, which means it won’t hold you back for very long and soon you’ll find yourself eating again,” says Shapiro.
Nobody wants to be hungry too soon after a meal.