Convenient and Healthy: Finding Diet-Friendly Frozen Foods
October 18, 2011
Although it gets a bad rap, the supermarket’s freezer section is actually brimming with time-saving, nutritious food choices - as long as you know what to look for on the label. By learning about healthy frozen foods, you can stock up on diet-friendly options to have on hand when you do not have time to cook.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are often more nutritious than fresh produce because they are frozen shortly after harvesting, preserving nutrients.
- Vegetables:Look for plain frozen vegetables without added butter, cheese or sauce. Heat them in the microwave for a quick side dish or tasty addition to your favorite soup or casserole.
- Fruits: Look for products without added syrup or sugar. Add frozen fruit to yogurt, smoothies and cereal or eat them straight from the freezer as a snack.
Although they typically do not taste like a fresh, homemade dish, frozen meals can be helpful for those times when you do not have the time or energy to cook. Choose products with no more than 3.5 grams of fat per 100 calories and 600 mg of sodium or less. Make sure the frozen entrée has at least 4 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein to keep you satisfied. Reliable brand options include Kashi, Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice and Smart Ones.
Choose 100 percent whole grain varieties. The first ingredient listed on the label should be whole wheat flour
Choose a pizza product with a thin, whole wheat crust if possible. Avoid high-fat toppings like pepperoni and sausage. Opt for vegetable toppings or get a plain pizza and top it with your own favorite vegetables at home.
Choose pre-portioned novelty ice creams with 150 calories or less, like Skinny Cow or Weight Watchers varieties. Sugar-free or 100 percent fruit popsicles are also good options.
There are several options for vegetarian burgers, patties and sausages. Choose varieties with 300 mg of sodium or less per serving.