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TOPIC: Frozen Dinners - Really that bad?

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April 12, 2011 9:13 AM
I hear a lot about not eating to many prepared frozen dinners to be made in the microwave due to preservatives, sodium, etc, etc. Is it really that bad though? Some nights I just can't make myself put together a healthy home cooked meal and have resorted to things like lean cuisine and other brands. The thing is that they are tasty to me so can I eat more? What are the thoughts on these meals being actually healthy or not?
April 12, 2011 9:14 AM
I always try to cook a meal. But sometimes I have to have a frozen dinner.

If it fits your caloric needs and doesn't throw your macros off, no reason you can't eat one .
April 12, 2011 9:16 AM
It isn't the calories from the frozen meals, its the sodium! That's why they are bad. Sometimes I need to fill in a spot for lunch or something with frozen. if i do, I try to plan my other meals to be fresh and low in salt to balance things out...
  3055377
April 12, 2011 9:17 AM
Not the worst thing, but I just dont find them filling. They are high in sodium also. But if they fit you do what ya gotta.
  1971971
April 12, 2011 9:17 AM
QUOTE:

I always try to cook a meal. But sometimes I have to have a frozen dinner.

If it fits your caloric needs and doesn't throw your macros off, no reason you can't eat one .


this. I have a frozen lunch M-F (under 300 cals) and have no problems with it as long as your not making every meal a frozen meal I think you'll be okay.
  6487944
April 12, 2011 9:17 AM
i totally agree... i love presidents choice blue menu, the vh dinners, healthy choice steamers...etc
whenever i figure that the frozen dinner is healthier than what my mom made for dinner that night, i just eat the frozen dinner..
for example : yesterday i had like 600 calories from eating 2 cups of spaghetti without sauce, when i could have had a healthysteamer for 300-400 calories..
  2020394
April 12, 2011 9:18 AM
I days start early and end very late, frozen dinners are my saving grace for lunch but I try to make sure I watch the sodium intake throughout the day, I make sure I eat more veggies (than whats in the frozen dinner) and make sure its' not throwing me over my macros as well.

Everyones schedule is different, so see what fits for you. My personal opinion: better to have a frozen dinner than swing by McD's!!
April 12, 2011 9:18 AM
Check out abc news there was a piece on frozen dinners, Lean Cuisine, Heathly Choice and Smart Ones. The FDA allows a 300% swing on calories and fat, so the nutrional value on the packages is false. Smart ones were by far the worse to eat.
April 12, 2011 9:18 AM
I like the Healthy Choice steamers. They are less in sodium than the regular Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine. I also like the Morningstar Lasagna Crumbles with sausage (not real sausage). Its so good. If I have a frozen meal, I usually have a salad or the green giant simply steam veggies. So I dont feel as guilty.
  5108536
April 12, 2011 9:19 AM
QUOTE:

It isn't the calories from the frozen meals, its the sodium! That's why they are bad. Sometimes I need to fill in a spot for lunch or something with frozen. if i do, I try to plan my other meals to be fresh and low in salt to balance things out...


Its not just the sodium it is the frankin food. They only contain some real food, the chicken is usually only partly chicken and look at the ingredient list, full of additives and chemicals. Better than fast food when in a pinch, but I don't even consider these things food.
Edited by erickirb On April 12, 2011 9:20 AM
April 12, 2011 9:19 AM
Sodium is a killer.

Personally, I would recommend one evening when you are able to make your own "frozen dinners". Just make a big pot or amount of something and toss it in the freezer for reheating. This way, it'll take you no longer to warm up than a frozen dinner. Also, it will be better for you and probably a larger portion too.
  3766339
April 12, 2011 9:20 AM
I cook chicken and dice it, then freeze it so I can throw together something quickly. I do the same with ground beef. I usually do that on the weekend, so it's an easy fix during the week. It's just as quick as a frozen dinner, but without huge amounts of sodium.

And about once every couple of months I made a bunch of chicken enchiladas and add beans and rice, and freeze them in several dishes. Takes about 25 minutes to cook, and I only have to deal with the mess every couple of months.
Edited by gentlebreeze2 On April 12, 2011 9:23 AM
  1837228
April 12, 2011 9:20 AM
I relied very heavily on the frozen dinners to help myself learn portion control. My overeating was so extreme, and I just couldn't stop. If there was anything left in the pan, I had to have more. With the dinners, once it was gone, that was it. And I realized after a while, they are quite sufficient! Especially if you add more of your own veggies. They are high in sodium, but if you drink plenty of water, it all flushes out.
April 12, 2011 9:20 AM
i guess they're okay every once in a while, but i do agree about them having too much sodium, and they have so much other weird stuff in them too. usually those things that advertise being low calorie use salt and synthetic chemicals to make them taste good. plus the fact that you have to microwave them...
April 12, 2011 9:21 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:


I have a frozen lunch M-F (under 300 cals) and have no problems with it as long as your not making every meal a frozen meal I think you'll be okay.



AHA!
Love it!!
I was wondering if there was anyone else doing these M-F too! Makes me feel better...Thanks!
April 12, 2011 9:22 AM
Way too many sodium answers.


If you're excercising, and drinking moderate amounts of water I don't think sodium should be much of an issue. It's not affecting your fat loss.

I'm way over on sodium daily, my BP is great, I have no water retention, and no ill effects.
April 12, 2011 9:23 AM
Here's something I read yesterday:

How to choose TV dinner: *Beware of potpies with crust, Hungry Man dinners, and stuffed-crust or extra-cheese pizzas. *Select dinners that are balanced and contain a lean source of protein, such as Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, and Weight Watchers brands. *Choose dinners or entrees with no more than 300-400 calories. *Choose meals with no more than 30% of the calories coming from fat. This would be about 10-14 grams of total fat if the meal contains 300-400 calories. *Select meals with no more than 6 grams of saturated fat. *Aim for a sodium content no higher than 600 milligrams. *Add on a side salad with low calorie dressing, a serving of fruit, and a glass of low-fat milk to round out the meal. This will help you boost the fiber, calcium and nutrient contents of your meal. ~~Sparkspeople

However, I wouldn't totally rely on TV dinners...but in a pinch...it'll do. wink
  5571926
April 12, 2011 9:23 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:


I have a frozen lunch M-F (under 300 cals) and have no problems with it as long as your not making every meal a frozen meal I think you'll be okay.



AHA!
Love it!!
I was wondering if there was anyone else doing these M-F too! Makes me feel better...Thanks!


For weight loss this may be okay, but if your goal is overall health I would advice against eating more than 1-2/week at most. For some reason we (as people) tend to confuse healthy with low cal. These low cal dinners are much less healthy than high fat, high calorie natural nut butters, among other things.
Edited by erickirb On April 12, 2011 9:24 AM
April 12, 2011 9:25 AM
Not just the sodium, watch out for sugars too. each flavor varies... So read the Nutritional Facts carefully.

The higher the sugar, the more it increases your appetite.

(of course, as with everything else keep an eye on saturated fats, mono- and di-glycerides and hydrogenate oil)
  2131607
April 12, 2011 9:25 AM
QUOTE:

Way too many sodium answers.


If you're excercising, and drinking moderate amounts of water I don't think sodium should be much of an issue. It's not affecting your fat loss.

I'm way over on sodium daily, my BP is great, I have no water retention, and no ill effects.


But - look at your pic compared to mine, My BP is under control now, but when I was more overweight, it wasn't, and the sodium and MSG weren't helping. :D
  3055377
April 12, 2011 9:26 AM
im eating a healthy choice Steam right now with added veggies to....I think they are okay to eat, i dont have them everyday, but theres some ppl who do and have lost tons of weight...just do what works for you, now if you wanna be a health nut then maybe just stick with only fresh veggies, fish n chicken :) the Sodium is pretty high on some of them but look at lunch meat 6 slices is well over 500...the steam one im eating is Whole Grain Pasta w/shrimp n veggies and its 570 sodium
  3364858
April 12, 2011 9:27 AM
QUOTE:

I relied very heavily on the frozen dinners to help myself learn portion control. My overeating was so extreme, and I just couldn't stop. If there was anything left in the pan, I had to have more. With the dinners, once it was gone, that was it. And I realized after a while, they are quite sufficient! Especially if you add more of your own veggies. They are high in sodium, but if you drink plenty of water, it all flushes out.


totally agree! i used to always have seconds at dinner nad still not feel fulfilled, but eating the dinners i get full easily and it's not like i want to go and grab another one and heat it up and everything just to eat it when ive already ate.
i find it definately is helping with my portion control.
even if they are high in sodium...i dont eat a lot of high in sodium foods so im good!
theyre so handy, especially if your like me, living at home, and trying to keep track of your calories, and your parents make food but its too high in calories for you... and i cant cook at all, these save the day to switch out for dinner!
  2020394
April 12, 2011 9:28 AM
My day starts at 5am and goes through 11pm at night, for a lunch it definitely gets me by and so do all the other snacks that I have incoporated into my day (veggies/frutis/carbs). Once the semester ends (next month) I can re-asses my diet/ work out schedule since I'll have more free time. So be on the look out for my questions!!

But thanks for the feedback!! I'll take any opinions/suggestions I can take!
April 12, 2011 9:29 AM
everything in moderation!
April 12, 2011 9:30 AM
I visited with a nutritionist a few months ago and she highly recommends AVOIDING frozen dinners if possible. They are full of sodium and preservatives. Whether you are wanting to lose weight or not, its best to eat healthy....when you just can't bring yourself to make something, then choose items with the fewest ingredients, keeping as natural as possible.
  3170016

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