Monday, October 16, 2006
Medical Reports: Frozen Facts
For most of us, it is as close as we get to a guilt free meal. With little time for lunch, we buy a frozen entree because it's fast and affordable. But not all frozen food is good for us, even if it says so on the box. We found to make a smart choice you need to know the Frozen Facts.
WSVN -- It's the sound heard around almost every office at lunchtime.
For the working world, frozen is the fast food of choice.
Katrina Limbaugh: "A lot of times we're so busy, that you're kind of working through lunch, so it's something that I can run over to the freezer, and, like three minutes, it's ready for me."
Katrina Limbaugh is a Lean Cuisine queen.
For her, the frozen meals are a healthy choice over the drive-thru.
Katrina Limbaugh: "You kind of assume that it's something that is healthy for me. You don't take into consideration any of the content, just the name."
But don't be fooled by the name.
Dieticians warn that not all frozen meals are created equally.
Sonia Angel: "Basically, you have to look at the nutrition label and total calories, the total fat and sodium in that meal because that's what's going to be critical from one brand to another."
When it comes to sodium, you want choose a meal with less than 600 grams.
When it comes to counting calories, the magic number is 400.
Sonia Angel: "I think a good amount is between 300 and 400 calories per serving."
And finally, don't get saturated with saturated fats.
Most experts recommend three grams or less.
Sonia Angel: "There are new frozen meals that offer more protein and fiber, and that's great because when you're trying to lose weight, protein and fiber make you feel fuller."
Just keep in mind you might have to make up for what's missing.
Sonia Angel: "I don't think there are enough veggies to cover for one meal so I usually recommend that the patient supplement these meals with a fresh salad and maybe a piece of fruit."
Katrina's convinced she needs to be more thorough.
From now on, her selection will not only be based on what looks good but by looking at the label.
Katrina Limbaugh: "It's something that I'll be more conscious of in the future."
Belkys Nerey: "Dieticians also point out that many of these frozen meals are now being made with more food. This is a good option for men who usually require more daily calories."