For decades, frozen foods found on the cold shelves of grocery stores have been the quick, affordable, and, more often than not, tasty options to pop in the microwave or oven, taking the place of cooking a meal from scratch on busy, or lazy days. Because the frozen dinner is already being prepared, it’s sometimes not aware to consumers what exactly they’re eating, and in certain cases, just how bad it can be for them, as many frozen foods are jam-packed with saturated fats, sodium, and sugars that can lead to unwanted weight gain or other health risks. This is why we decided to make a list of the frozen foods to leave on grocery shelves.
“Now, more healthy frozen meals with robust nutrition are starting to hit the market, however, many frozen meals contain lots of sodium, calories, and fat,” says Amanda A.. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN, who serves on the advisory board for Fitter Living. “On the other end of the spectrum, some ‘healthy’ frozen meals may be lower in calories, but they may contain various ingredients, additives, or just lack a great nutrition profile compared to a meal you could make yourself.”
Here are some of the least healthy frozen foods to leave on the grocery store shelves next time you’re shopping. And for healthier meals, be sure to check out our list of 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make.
Per 1 serving: 350 calories, 16 g fat (6 g saturated), 1,320 mg sodium, 39 g carbs (3 g fiber, 15 g sugar) 11 g protein
Unlike other steak meals, a Salisbury steak is an American dish, made from a combination of ground beef and other ingredients. Therefore, it might not be too surprising for consumers to see that the first ingredient listed for Banquet’s version of the meal is mechanically separated chicken. It also might not surprise them that pork and water are listed above ground beef as well, but what is surprising is that just the steak alone has an additional 22 ingredients that go into it.
“You’re going to see a lot of chemicals and additives where you think, ‘Huh, if I was going to make [this] in my kitchen I wouldn’t use any of those things, and I don’t even know what many of those things are,” says Nicole Buerkens, PhD, CNS.
In addition to the hefty list of ingredients, the meal as a whole contains 1,320 milligrams of sodium—more than half of the daily amount based on a 2,000 calorie diet. So maybe you should steer clear of this meal, along with these 25 Foods High in Sodium You Should Watch Out For.
Per 1 serving: 780 calories, 39 g fat (7 g saturated,
With a heaping portion of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn, the Hungry-Man Boneless Fried Chicken meal advertises itself as containing 26 grams of protein—but what it doesn’t mention on the front of the box is that it also contains 39 grams of fat.
“[That’s] literally half of what an average grown adult should have in a day,” says registered dietitian Talia…