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Health & Fit The Healthiest Frozen Meals You Can Buy, According to a Registered Dietitian

01:35  28 september  2020
01:35  28 september  2020 Source:   realsimple.com

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As a registered dietitian , Kelly helps consumers put health and nutrition research into practice. Kelly spends most of her free time cooking, trying new But today, you can find healthier balanced frozen meals that'll save you in a pinch — if you shop smart. What to Look for When Buying Frozen Meals .

11 Best Frozen Pizzas to Buy at the Grocery Store, According to a Dietitian . Frozen pizza gets a bad rap for being extremely processed and loaded with fat—and yes, there are many unhealthy frozen pies—but you can also find plenty of healthy options that you can enjoy as a balanced meal .

Since the onset of the pandemic, many Americans have begun cooking more than ever before. We started strong—the scent of fresh-baked bread, cacio e pepe, coconut curry, and mini pancake cereal (if you know, you know) filled our homes for weeks as we whisked away hours in the kitchen to kill time and feed our families. Around mid-May, however, the exhaustion had justifiably set in. Summertime started, and we pressed pause on the stress baking—we just wanted something simple.

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Fresh bananas: Registered dietician Rebecca Ditkoff ― the founder of Nutrition by RD, a nutrition coaching Tips For Buying Premade Meals . Frozen meals , while convenient Frozen meals can also be supplemented with an additional serving of protein or healthy fats, like avocado slices or nuts.

Healthy frozen burrito are here to rescue you from a breakfast (or lunch or dinner) rut. This Is the #1 Food for Better Sleep, According to a Dietitian . Protein helps give your meal staying power, keeping you fuller longer. Look for a burrito that combines protein with fiber, like beans with meat or

a sandwich sitting on top of a table: Not all heroes wear capes. © Getty Images Not all heroes wear capes. a sandwich sitting on top of a table: Getty Images © Provided by Real Simple Getty Images

Other than pasta, smoothies, and the occasional takeout order, there’s one lifeline many have looked to for fuss-free dinners: frozen meals. We get it—they’re A+ in the convenience department. But when it comes to preservatives, saturated fat, and sodium (and a minimal amount of nutrients and fiber) many frozen meals aren’t doing us any favors. “Although they’re convenient choices, most options will do little to protect your family from illness,” says Margie Saidel, MPH, RD, LDN, the vice president of nutrition and sustainability at Chartwells K-12. Saidel actually deemed frozen meals one of the top three foods that may weaken your immune system.

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Buying frozen foods does not mean that you have to give up on eating a healthy and well-balanced diet. In fact, many frozen foods are actually just as You can supplement these meals by preparing a vegetable- or grain-based side dish to make a well balanced meal . Other healthy side options include

Since not all frozen meals are created equal, it’s important to choose wisely and always check the label for ingredients and nutrition information before throwing one in the cart at your favorite grocery Based on the name alone, you can probably guess this meal doesn’t make the list of heart- healthy foods.

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That being said, frozen meal options have come a long way since the TV dinner days; there are a number of nutritious options on the market that can serve as part of a healthy diet. To break it down, we spoke with Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, and founder of Real Nutrition, about what exactly we should look for—and what we should avoid—in the frozen food aisle.

“For starters, when consuming frozen foods, you should always read the ingredient and nutrition labels,” Shapiro says. “For complete meals, I recommend products with less than 600 calories per meal, depending on your needs and goals. Sodium should be under 600 milligrams as well. Saturated fat should always stay under 7 percent of your total daily value. And always keep added sugar at a minimum—aim for as low as possible here, ideally under 10 grams. If your meal includes a packet of sweet sauce, like teriyaki or barbecue, this is likely going to be a sugar bomb.”

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The Healthiest Cheeses You Can Buy , According to a Registered Dietitian . You can feel good about adding any of these delicious options to your next sandwich. Consider adding these healthiest cheeses to meal or snack to make them more satisfying, delicious, and nutrient-dense.

"Preparing meals at home will always be healthier and cheaper in the long run than eating meals outside of the house," says Ashley Reaver, RD, a registered Reaver loves frozen produce picks for their nutrition and their long lifespan. You can utilize your freezer to extend the life of other foods, like

When it comes to the nutrients we want see, Shapiro recommends looking for an adequate about of fiber, as this will ensure you're consuming whole grains, fruits, and veggies. “Ideally no less than 5 grams of fiber per meal,” she says. “And finally, remember the freezer is a natural preservative, so look for products without preservatives (especially artificial colors and items like BHT).

Easy enough, right? Here are Shapiro’s top recommendations for frozen meals that deliver both health benefits and uber-convenience.

Daily Harvest Flatbreads

Think frozen pizza wasn’t going to make the list? Not possible.These ‘pizzas’ from Daily Harvest are not only delicious—they are also vegan, organic, and free from soy, gluten, added sugar, fillers, and thickeners,” says Shapiro.  The crusts are grain-free, made from cauliflower, sweet potato, and cassava. Pop them in the oven for 18 minutes and you have lunch or dinner without any cleanup. Plus, the herbs, spices, and veggies used are delicious—and the variety of flavors to choose from means you'll never get bored. “Sustainably sourced and small farm-friendly, this product does a body, the environment, and the world good.” Read our full review of Daily Harvest’s Flatbreads here.

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A registered dietitian shares her eight favorite healthy condiments to buy , touching on the health benefits. Plus, links to buy them to you can stock up. Kessler says an avocado oil-based one is a good bet because it ups the amount of healthy fats you ’re getting, which will make your meal even

The healthiest type of bread to eat is actually sprouted grain bread, according to a RD. Here's how to make sure what you 're buying is actually nutritious: The first ingredient should be a 100 percent This Is the Healthiest Type of Bread, According to a Registered Dietitian . this link is to an external

a plate of food with a slice of cake on a table: daily-harvest-flatbread © Provided by Real Simple daily-harvest-flatbread

Whole Catch Frozen Shrimp from Whole Foods

When I can't find wild caught, responsibly farmed is the next best thing,” explains Shapiro. “Keep frozen shrimp in the freezer for a healthy protein-packed meal that cooks up in a flash. It is also low in calories, contains no additional ingredients, and is a great source of iodine, which can prevent thyroid dysfunction.”

a plastic container with food in it: whole catch shrimp © Provided by Real Simple whole catch shrimp

Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi

Nope, not dreaming—this cult-favorite "pasta" is a real winner. “It’s made from five ingredients, and it is dairy-free, gluten-free, high in fiber, lower in calories than traditional gnocchi, made mostly from cauliflower, and it actually tastes delicious,” says Shapiro. “Whether you’re cutting back on refined carbs or trying to find fun ways to sneak veggies into your or your family's diet, give this a try.” Stock these in your freezer for an easy and healthy one-pot dish, any time.

a box filled with different types of food: trader joes cauliflower gnocchi © Provided by Real Simple trader joes cauliflower gnocchi

Dr. Praeger's Veggie Burgers

Veggie burgers are a great grab-and-go meal, but not when they’re filled with processed ingredients. Dr. Praeger's Veggie Burgers are easy to cook, taste great, and are fantastic on a salad or on a whole wheat bun topped with cheese or avocado. According to Shapiro, these are “non-GMO, full of veggies you can actually see, gluten-free, and delicious.” What more can you ask for?

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a sandwich sitting on top of a table: DrPraegers_VeggieBurgers © Provided by Real Simple DrPraegers_VeggieBurgers

Green Giant Harvest Bowls

“Filled with veggies and whole grains (including quinoa and brown rice), this bowl allows for a hefty dose of nutrition and fiber that anyone can cook up,” Shapiro says. They're vegetarian, so they can make for a seamless Meatless Monday meal, or you can treat 'em like a side dish and top one with your protein of choice. “This quick dish will satisfy the hungriest of bellies with the healthiest of ingredients."

a close up of many different types of food: product-harvest-protein-bowls_california-style © Provided by Real Simple product-harvest-protein-bowls_california-style

The BBQ Chicken Pizza at This Chain Is Getting a Healthy Upgrade .
A plant-based version of the the BBQ Chicken Pizza at California Pizza Kitchen is now available—and it's even healthier than the original.The protein on the pie is made with a chicken substitute derived from soy and wheat, and it contains fewer calories and cholesterol than its real chicken counterpart. In addition to the plant-powered chicken, the new six-slice pizza comes with BBQ sauce, smoked Gouda, red onions, and fresh cilantro atop an original CPK crust. (Related: 100 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.

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