Frozen meals were a novelty when they were first introduced back in the 1950’s. They appealed to a society that desired convenience. And who could blame their fascination? What could be better than setting up your TV table, microwaving your meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy and digging in while being mindlessly entertained by your favorite television program? That convenience, although likely built on good intentions, ultimately set us up for failure. Those frozen meals tended to be over-processed, high in sodium and limited when it came to whole grains and vegetables. Luckily, frozen meals have received a serious upgrade, especially in the past few years. In fact, they’ve improved so much, that we can actually learn a thing or two about nutrition from them.
Most of us have a serious case of “portion distortion,” believing that the amount of food we receive from fast food establishments and most restaurants is “normal.” The reality is that most of the food at these places is enough to serve two, even three people. Besides taking a walk down memory lane with the re-vamped Food Guide Pyramid, now called My Plate, there’s another way to learn about portion size. Did you ever think to look at your frozen entrée for advice? I’m sure I would’ve never thought to do that either, but you can! Let’s take Luvo for example. You’ll notice that each box contains just one serving. No confusion there about whether or not you need to invite a friend to help enjoy that meal. And you’ll also notice the servings of whole grains, vegetables and proteins are reasonably sized, reflecting that advice found on My Plate. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that not all frozen meals are created equal. In fact, you’ll find plenty that go above and beyond what anyone should consume in one sitting. What’s a consumer to do? Be smart and take a minute to do your research. Read the labels on the packaging, including the ingredient list and the Nutrition Facts Panel. Check out the company and their philosophy on their website and use the Sage app. You’ll be able to figure out pretty quickly which brands are producing nutritious meals and which ones aren’t.
After portion size, balance is the most important thing you can learn about nutrition from your frozen entrée. Balance is the key to getting a variety of nutrients. Consuming a wide range of nutrients helps your body perform at its best. That means you need to find a frozen entrée that can provide foods from more than just one food group. Many of Luvo’s meals, for example, contain a lean protein, a whole grain and a serving or two of vegetables! That’s a winning combination! Again, that variety is going to provide several different vitamins and minerals, along with sustainable energy from protein, fiber and healthy fats. Next time you look for a frozen meal, make sure you choose one that has servings from at least 2 or more food groups!
Salt helps accentuate the flavor of food. When used correctly, it’s an amazing seasoning that allows us to enjoy our food. But sometimes salt is used as a preservative or as a tool to “cover-up” the flavor of something that may not taste that great. When salt is used that way, it can have a detrimental impact. Over-salting food, especially over a period of time, can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease. Not only that, but your palate can get used to all of that salt, making it hard for you to accept foods that don’t contain much salt, read this post to learn if you are consuming too much. Frozen entrees are typically salt-laden, but luckily, many brands, including Luvo, are taking a stand, limiting the amount of salt in each meal.
Want to learn more about Luvo’s approach to nourishing, complete meals? Read about our “3-2-None” philosophy here.
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