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why u should take frozen meals !!! take this tip and live happy

They may be labelled as ‘lean’ or ‘lite’, but when it comes to choosing a healthy frozen meal, what should you look for? Nutritionist Liz Munn investigates.

Healthy-style frozen meals are a quick, easy alternative to takeaways or fossicking in a near-empty fridge after a long day at work. They fill a large section of most supermarket freezers, and if you choose carefully, they can be a healthy option.

While cooking from scratch is the best way to know exactly what you’re eating – you can use plenty of veges and wholegrains, and control the amount of fat and salt you add – there’s nothing wrong with frozen rather than fresh. In fact, frozen vegetables can have more vitamins and minerals than fresh, especially if the fresh vege has been stored for a long time or not treated kindly on its journey to your table.

Healthy-style frozen meals are generally kilojoule-controlled and low-fat, but to make the healthiest choices, you need to look for meals that also keep the sodium down and the fibre and vegetable contents up.

Show us the veg

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We know we need three plus serves of vegetables a day, and even if you manage one to two serves of veges during the day, you need another two or three at dinner.

Note: Products with the Heart Tick have 3g or more fibre per serve. Increase fibre content by adding vegetables.

Unfortunately, many frozen healthy-style meals don’t stack up well in the vege stakes. There are a few meals that contain two or three serves of veges, but most offer only one serve – or less.

The good news is you can easily boost the vegetable content by also keeping some frozen vegetables on hand. Tossing together a quick salad or fresh vegetables are great options, too.

Watch the salt

A low-sodium HFG meal has less than 500mg sodium per serve. While we did find one frozen meal with sodium levels this low, we also discovered some with around 600-700mg sodium. By choosing the lower sodium option and adding more veges yourself, you can keep the sodium down while still enjoying the convenience of a ready meal.

An everyday meal?

You could eat frozen meals every day but you may risk missing out on a variety of foods and a balance of all the food groups, which is an essential part of a healthy diet. So while these meals can be part of a healthy diet, it is important to make sure you are getting all the foods you need each day. Choose wholegrain breads and cereals, reduced-fat dairy, lean protein foods and at least five serves of vegetables and fruit over the day.

Frozen meal safety

It’s important to handle frozen foods safely:

  • When shopping avoid any packages that look soggy or as if they’ve melted and then been refrozen.
  • Buy frozen food last and get it home quickly – an insulated shopping bag is a good idea, especially in warm weather.
  • Place frozen foods in the freezer as soon as you get home – and make sure your freezer is the correct temperature (-18°C) and isn’t overloaded.
  • Heat carefully following the packet directions and ensure the food is piping hot right through.

 

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