Let’s get one thing straight right out of the gate: storing food in the freezer and doing the majority of your grocery shopping in the freezer aisles of supermarkets are two vastly different things. A high percentage of Americans purchase frozen food products, which have all been processed in one way or another. Be it a frozen TV dinner, reduced fat meal, or ice cream sandwiches, the foods behind the freezer doors are some of the unhealthiest foods you can put in your body.
We encourage you to always keep in mind that fresh is best. If ever there were a red flag, in regards to maintaining a healthy diet, it would be the frozen food aisle. After reading about the seven foods (below), we hope you start avoiding frozen foods and focusing your efforts on preparing meals with fresh food. You may actually find that buying fresh food can save you more money!
#1: Breakfast Foods
We are covering all of the breakfast foods, from frozen waffles and breakfast sandwiches to hash browns and French toast sticks. The selling point behind all of these breakfast foods is that they are ready to go to make mornings swift and easy. The downside is that almost all of the frozen breakfast foods contain additives, processed sugars, added sodium, trans fats, and cholesterol. Talk about a heart-unhealthy start to your day.
#2: Pasta Dishes
A bag or box of frozen fettuccini Alfredo or spaghetti Bolognese should not be alluring, but many people purchase these meals in bulk. They provide hardly any nutrition and contain excess salt and saturated fats. A much healthier pasta dish can be made with fresh ingredients in 20 minutes or less. Don’t be afraid to get your cook on!
#3: Free-From Foods
Free-from, used to describe food that doesn’t contain dairy products, wheat, soy, or meat, is a buzzword in the food industry. We don’t want you to think that free-from foods are all healthy because they aren’t. Most of them contain added sugars, salt, and other additives that extend the amount of time they last in the freezer. Read the label and you’ll see ingredients like maltodextrin and dextrose, both of which you should avoid.
#4: Unsustainable Fish
If you are going to purchase fish and store it in your freezer, you need to purchase wild caught or sustainable fish. While these are pricier options, they are significantly healthier than eating farmed fish that has been frozen. Cheap is not best when it comes to fish. Wild caught fish is comparable to beef that is organic and grass-fed. Buy responsibly and sustainably if you are going to purchase meat or fish.
#5: Vegetarian Burgers
With the Impossible Burger increasing in popularity, more and more people are purchasing frozen vegetarian burger patties in supermarkets. While free of meat, most vegetarian burger patties contain stabilizers, additives, palm oil, and allergens like barley, yeast, and wheat. If you are going to purchase vegetarian burgers, Beyond Meat is a reputable brand and much healthier option than other frozen varieties.
#6: Kids Meals
It can be difficult to carve out time to prepare fresh and healthy meals for your children. Frozen, ready-to-go, microwaveable meals seem like the answer to all your problems, but your children’s health shouldn’t suffer for the sake of convenience. These meals are not nutritionally dense and most parents would not be comfortable serving their children these meals if they knew what was in them. These meals are laden with preservatives, artificial flavors, additives, and processed ingredients!