I’ve highlighted the 25 most common products from the article The 67 Worst Frozen Foods in America). My guess: Several of these frozen foods are in your kitchen (and they are killing your efforts to lose body fat).
AND NOW FOR AMERICA’S WORST FROZEN FOODS…
Broken down into categories, these are the popular products that you very well may have in your freezer right this moment. Ditch ’em and don’t look back!
1. FROZEN SMOOTHIE PACKS
You might think you’re being waistline-friendly by picking up pre-made smoothie packs, but you could be sabotaging your weight-loss efforts. “Many prepared smoothie packs utilize yogurt made with added sugars and colorings,” says nutritionist Kayleen St. John, RD, at New York City’s Natural Gourmet Institute. “Sometimes the fruit itself is even sweetened with added sugar.”
Eat This! Tip St. John suggests buying unsweetened frozen fruit chunks and blending them into smoothies with green tea or almond milk. For added convenience, freeze unsweetened coconut milk in ice cube trays the night before, so you can just toss them into your blender for an icy, refreshing drink.
2. LOW-CALORIE FROZEN PREPARED ENTREES
Just because they’re touted as portion controlled and low calorie, doesn’t mean you should stock up on these. “Many frozen prepared entrees pack a surprising amount of sugar,” says St. John. “Be especially cautious of the meals with sweet sauces — think teriyaki or sweet-and-sour.”
Eat This! Tip: Instead of opting for pre-made, purchase frozen meal ingredients separately. “Buy frozen plain quinoa, frozen edamame, and frozen broccoli, and add you own sauces and flavorings so you know all the ingredients,” suggests St. John.
3. FROZEN MACARONI AND CHEESE
“Macaroni and cheese can potentially be healthy, but the frozen varieties tend to be laden with calories and fat, plus loads of preservatives to help keep it fresh,” says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition partner of The American Macular Degeneration Foundation.
Eat This! Tip: “If you’re craving macaroni and cheese, make a fresh batch using real cheese, and you can even mix in some fresh cauliflower or butternut squash,” suggests Amidor. This will give your meal an added nutrient boost from the veggies, and the fiber will leave you feeling fuller. Brands like Annie’s now offer organic vegan shells and creamy sauce, free of artificial flavors and preservatives. Love mac ‘n cheese?
4. FROZEN BURGERS
Thinking you’ll nestle a lean frozen burger patty in a lettuce wrap and top it with spinach and a scoop of guacamole? Sounds healthy in theory, but in practice, “One hamburger patty can enable you to ingest more than half of the daily recommended maximum for saturated fat and cholesterol,” says Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, a plant-based dietitian and author of The Vegiterranean Diet and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. “As well as chronic-disease-enhancing steroids and carcinogens created upon cooking.”
Eat This! Tip: “There are myriad options in the freezer section for all sorts of nutritious veggie burgers, some made with beans, grains, nuts, soy foods, and/or vegetables,” says Hever. Just make sure that your veggie burger alternatives aren’t loaded with sodium, fillers, and unfamiliar ingredients. Still want to stick with meat? Buy grass fed.
5. CHICKEN NUGGETS
You know they’re not kale smoothies, just how bad could they be? Pretty bad. Though often presented as “all natural” and “gluten free,” don’t be fooled. “Many varieties of this breaded and fried food not only contain fat but specifically trans fat,” says Amidor. “They tend to be high in calories, filled with preservatives and artificial fillers.”
Eat This! Tip: “You can make your own baked nuggets using a touch of honey and almond flour, which keeps those nuggets nice and crunchy,” offers Amidor.
6. FROZEN FRENCH FRIES
Hoping these are better than fast food? Probably not. “Potatoes are a healthy vegetable, but the way they’re processed they end up being high in calories, salt, and fat,” says Amidor. And sweet potato fries don’t get a free pass: “Many people think since they will cook at home without a fryer, they won’t be “fried.” However, these products are already pre-fried, drenched in oil, then frozen to preserve them,” says nutritionist Lisa Hayim, MS, RD.
Eat This! Tip: You can reap the benefits of potatoes by roasting slices in the oven with a touch of olive oil and salt and pepper. “You can also make your own baked sweet potato fries, which taste darn delicious,” says Amidor.
7. FROZEN FISH FILETS
Throw these back. “Buying fish frozen is a great way to always have a good source of protein in the house. They last long, and can be flavored the way you want them,” says Hayim. But avoid anything breaded, or with labels like “beer battered”, or “crispy,” which pack on extra calories, fat, and sodium.
Eat This! Tip: “Opt for either the fresh fish section or grilled filets,” suggests Hayim. Frozen shrimp without any additives is also a good bet.
8. FROZEN CHICKEN POT PIE
With labels boasting of “white meat” and “veggies from the garden,” coupled with pre-portioned sizes, it’s easy to be tricked into thinking frozen chicken pot pies are a healthy freezer-aisle find. “These frozen fat bombs are loaded with almost half their calories from fat and half a day’s worth of sodium,” says Hever. “Not to mention the steroids, hormones, and cholesterol naturally found in chicken.”
Eat This! Tip: “Instead, try a non-dairy, vegetable-filled pie from companies like Amy’s. They also have a Shepherd’s Pie and Tamale Pie,” says Hever.
1. BOB EVANS’ SAUSAGE, EGG & CHEESE BURRITO
(1 burrito, 68 g) 350 calories, 21 g fat (6 g saturated), 810 mg sodium, 0 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 13 g protein
This has twice the fat as a Jimmy Dean Delights Turkey Sausage Breakfast Bowl; reach for that instead.
2. EVOL EGG & POTATO BURRITO
(1 burrito, 170 g) 330 calories, 13 g fat (5 g saturated), 340 mg sodium, 43 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 11 g protein
Evol makes some decent burritos, but this isn’t one of them. It features more potatoes than eggs.
3. LEAN POCKETS SAUSAGE, EGG & CHEESE
(1 piece, 127 g) 270 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated), 380 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 11 g protein
More than 150 of these calories are carbohydrates, which is not how you want to start your day.
4. PILLSBURY APPLE TOASTER STRUDEL
(1 pastry, 54 g) 180 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 180 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein
This has half the protein and fiber of a version by Amy’s.
5. KELLOGG’S EGGO NUTRI-GRAIN WHOLE WHEAT WAFFLES
(2 waffles, 70 g) 170 calories, 6 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 400 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein
There are better fiber-rich waffles to be had.
6. KELLOGG’S SPECIAL K FLATBREAD BREAKFAST SANDWICH SAUSAGE EGG & CHEESE
(1 sandwich, 116 g) 240 calories, 11 g fat (4 g saturated), 820 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 14 g protein
The ingredients list is a novel.
7. KELLOGG’S EGGO BLUEBERRY WAFFLES
(2 waffles, 70 g), 180 calories, 6 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 370 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrates
Blueberries are the 11th ingredient on the list.
FROZEN SIDES, SNACKS, AND APPETIZERS
1. ORE-IDA TATER TOTS
(86 g) 160 calories, 8 g (1.5 g saturated), 420 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrates
You’re not in middle school anymore. Eat Ore-Ida Steak Fries instead.
2. MARKET PANTRY MAC & CHEESE BITES
(4 pieces, 90 g) 240 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated), 660 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates
If cheese is what you crave, there are far less fatty and starchy ways to get your fix.
3. ORE-IDA SWEET POTATO STRAIGHT FRIES
(22 fries, 84 g) 160 calories, 8 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 160 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein
A raw sweet potato has more fiber and vitamin A than a raw russet potato, but once the food industry starts plowing fat into the produce, all bets are off.
4. HEBREW NATIONAL BEEF FRANKS IN A BLANKET
(5 pieces, 81 g) 300 calories, 24 g fat (8 g saturated, 3 g trans), 680 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrates, 8 g protein
You shouldn’t consume this much trans fat in an entire day, let alone from a snack.
5. T.G.I. FRIDAY’S CHICKEN QUESADILLA ROLLS
(2 pieces, 83 g) 230 calories, 10g fat (3 g saturated, 1 g trans), 470 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrates, 9 g protein
Frozen flour tortillas are little trans-fat delivery systems.
6. TYSON CHICKEN BREAST TENDERS
(4 pieces, 80 g) 190 calories, 12 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 420 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrates, 9 g protein
There’s a big difference between “organic,” a regulated term, and “natural,” which means nothing. In this case, that difference is worth an extra dose of fat and sodium.
7. ORE-IDA ONION RINGERS
(3 pieces, 81 g) 180 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated), 160 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein
Each ring harbors more than 3 grams of fat. Fries are almost always the better choice.
FROZEN CHICKEN ENTREES
1. PF CHANG’S ORANGE CHICKEN
(312 g) 430 calories, 18 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 930 mg sodium, 23 g protein
Ch-Chang! This bag has nearly a half-a-day’s sodium.
2. BANQUET CHICKEN BREAST PATTIES
(1 patty, 68 g) 170 calories, 9 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 300 mg sodium, 8 g protein
Banquet’s breading adds excess calories and zero value. It also gets demerits for using BHT, a potentially dangerous preservative.
3. MICHELINA’S TERIYAKI CHICKEN
(1 package, 227 g) 310 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 830 mg sodium, 10 g protein
This zappable dish may save you some time, but it serves up more sodium and less protein than its stovetop rival.
4. APPLEGATE NATURALS GLUTEN FREE CHICKEN BREAST TENDERS
(2 tenders, 84 g) 130 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 350 mg sodium, 11 g protein
“Gluten-free” may distract you from the fact that these nuggets get their extra calories from carbs.
5. CHILI’S CHICKEN FAJITA RICE BOWL
(1 package, 284 g) 370 calories, 10 g fat (3.5 saturated), 960 mg sodium, 20 g protein
Made with more rice than chicken, there’s nothing fun about this party in a bowl.
6. HEALTHY CHOICE PINEAPPLE CHICKEN
(1 entrée, 280 g) 300 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated), 510 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 18 g protein
This bowl contains more sugar than protein — 19 grams of sugar, in fact, more than you’d find in a scoop of Breyers Chocolate Ice Cream.
7. EVOL CHICKEN ENCHILADA BAKE
(1 bowl, 255 g) 380 calories, 13 g fat (6 g saturated), 630 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 21 g protein
Make this kind of simple mistake once a day, and that 100 calories add up to 11 pounds a year.
8. HEALTHY CHOICE CAFÉ STEAMERS SWEET SESAME CHICKEN
(1 meal, 276 g) 280 calories, 7 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 520 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 21 g protein
Packs as much sugar as a two-pack of Twix Peanut Butter.
9. MARIE CALLENDER’S FRESH FLAVOR STEAMER SESAME CHICKEN
(1 meal, 291 g) 400 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 710 mg sodium, 54 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 18 g protein
A chicken dish should not be a festival of fat and carbohydrates.
10. BANQUET SELECT RECIPES CLASSIC FRIED CHICKEN MEAL
(1 entrée, 228 g) 440 calories, 26 g fat (6 g saturated, 1.5 g trans), 1,140 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 22 g protein
Never settle for a frozen dinner with trans fats.
11. LEAN CUISINE SESAME CHICKEN
(1 package, 255 g) 330 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 650 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 16 g protein
There’s nothing lean about breaded chicken tossed with 14 grams of sugar.
What other frozen foods should we add to this list? What weight loss foods are better options?
Picture Credit: MSN.com-What frozen foods are on your weight loss grocery list?
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article “ The 67 Worst Frozen Foods in America “ on MSN.com.
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
8/15/2016 10:35 AM