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Examiner
  • Tracey Shaffer: For perfect portions, think frozen entrees

  • Frozen entrees are not what they used to be. You’ll find a variety of entrees in the freezer section that look close to what MyPlate suggests: half the entree with veggies and/or fruit, along with lean protein and whole grains.

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  • Frozen entrees are not what they used to be. You’ll find a variety of entrees in the freezer section that look close to what MyPlate suggests: half the entree with veggies and/or fruit, along with lean protein and whole grains.
    And a bonus from these frozen single-serve meals – they have the perfect portion, helping with portion control and calories consumed. Since Americans consume too many calories, which can lead to overweight and obesity, maybe a simple solution to reduce calories consumed is to consider frozen entrees.
    The convenience from a frozen entree does not sacrifice nutrition. According to the Food & Drug Administration, there is virtually no nutritional difference between fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits. Those frozen vegetables many times go from the farm to freezer within 24 hours, preserving the nutrition content in those veggies. Also consider that many single-serve frozen entrees have fewer calories and less sodium and saturated fat than a typical meal selected by a consumer.
    Another advantage to a frozen entree is the convenience. There is no need to wash, peel or cut, making them truly a timesaver and solution for busy consumers pressed for time, needing to put a healthy meal on the table in minutes. And it’s a great option for those with limited cooking abilities or those cooking for one.
    A simple strategy to control portions may be to consider a frozen single-serve entree in place of your usual lunch or dinner.
    • Portion control is key for weight management.
    • A single-serve entree helps identify what a correct portion size is.
    • You may consume fewer calories – a typical meal when self-selected is around 700 calories. Many frozen entrees average 280-350 calories.
    • Controlled research studies have found people who ate single-serve frozen meals were better able to maintain reduced calorie diets, resulting in greater and more sustained weight loss.
    • Use these guidelines when choosing a frozen entree (per serving): Calories: 450 or less, Sodium: 600 mg or less, Saturated fat: Not more than 10 percent of calories, Total fat: Not more than 30 percent of calories. Include a wide variety of vegetables and fruits.
    Making small changes one at a time can make a big difference in eating healthy and improve overall health. On your next visit to the grocery store, remember to visit the freezer section and consider adding frozen entrees in your cart.
    Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at tshaffer@hy-vee.com.
     
     
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