Frozen Diet Meals: Good or Bad?

While the allure of healthy prepared meals fresh out of a box may be intriguing – are these frozen diet foods actually good for you?

While the allure of healthy prepared meals fresh out of a box may be tempting, are these frozen diet foods actually good for you?

Pros

Frozen diet meals like Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers and Healthy Choice offer a wide range of options – you can find everything from breakfast sandwiches to pizza to Chinese noodle dishes. Those in favor of these packaged meals are all about the ease of use.

Top 5 Pros
•    Portion controlled
•    Ready in minutes
•    A wide variety to choose from
•    Easy to transport and store at work
•    No cooking skills required
Cons

Folks on the opposing side argue that convenience will cost you.

Top 5 Cons

•    Loaded with sodium – most brands have a at least 25-percent of the your daily recommendation

•    Unappetizing odor and fake taste
•    Lots of unrecognizable ingredients, little real food

•    Pricey - $4 a box may not seem like a lot but cost can pile up quickly

•    Not a long-term solution to healthy eating (do you want to rely on these meals forever?)

Bottom Line: What’s more important? Eating real whole foods or taking the effort (and creativity) out of meal prep? If convenience trumps quality, you may want to reconsider how much you value your health.

Tell Us: We feel a taste test coming on. Which brands would you like us to try?

You Might Also Like:

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

Next Up

Diet Ratings: Good or Bad?

Consumer Reports recently released their latest diet ratings with Jenny Craig topping the list. We dug deep to find out how they rated their diets—but based on finding, the real questions is should diet plans be rated at all?

Diet Soda: Good or Bad?

Too much soda can mean lots of empty calories and excess sugar. Diet beverages can be a guilt-free choice. But if you need that fizzy fix, is it better to swig sugar or artificial sweeteners? What about the caffeine and phophorus?

Gluten-Free Diets: Good or Bad?

Seems like everyone is buzzing about gluten free. Gluten-free products and diet books are flooding the marketplace and celebrities are swearing by their anti-gluten lifestyles. So what’s this really all about? Does going gluten free hold the key to better health and weight loss success? Get the facts.

Frozen French Fries: Good or Bad?

Think a box of frozen French fries are a healthyoption? We’ll fill you in on the pros and cons, plus give you a homemade alternative.

Kombucha: Good or Bad?

Find out if the popular fermented kombucha tea is worth the hype.

Cream: Good or Bad?

With boatloads of calories and artery clogging saturated fat, can cream be part of a healthy diet?

Bagels: Good or Bad?

Who doesn’t love a bagel for breakfast -- but are they a wise choice? People are always surprised (and a little freaked out) to hear how many slices of bread they’d have to eat to match the calories in one bagel. Here’s the good and the bad.

Chicken: Good or Bad?

Chicken is considered a lean protein, but many folks are concerned about how chickens are raised and fed. Can this popular poultry be part of a healthy diet?

Coffee: Good or Bad?

Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day. In Italy, people down 14 billion espressos every year. But the coffee-guzzling king is Finland, where residents drink more coffee than anywhere else in the world. Clearly, coffee is one of our favorite beverages, but is it good or bad?

Pasta: Good or Bad?

Thankfully, the low-carb diet craze is on its way out, but during the anti-starch explosion, pasta took a severe beating. But pasta is GOOD! Here's why…