Eating smart with frozen foods

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Many of us are trying to eat healthier as per our New Year's resolutions.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said that frozen vegetables can be just as healthy and delicious as fresh produce.

Go to any grocery store and see there are so many choices these days in the frozen food section. Convenience tops the chart for some consumers, but some choices are healthier than others.

Kim Donohue is a registered dietician for the Parkway Campus of Decatur Morgan Hospital.

"Frozen foods can actually be a very economical and healthy way to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet. There are several ways you can do it: either through getting a healthy, low fat, frozen meal or adding frozen fruits and vegetables to your meals," said Donohue.

Donohue said you must make smart choices.

"You always want to look at serving size. Typically with a frozen meal the serving size the meal is the whole meal. Another issue is sodium. A lot of frozen meals have come a long way and they're healthy and they taste good."

Donohue said there are many companies that target consumers who want to eat healthy.

"We've got Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, Smart Ones -- there's a lot of brands, and they've come a long way in adding more variety."

Donohue said the main thing to remember when it comes to frozen foods is to read the label.

"What you want to look for is the calorie content and especially the sodium content if you have high blood pressure."

And unless it's fat free - stay away from the sauces.

"Vegetables are very low in calories, but when you start adding sauces in, you can add a lot of calories and a lot of fat very quickly," said Donohue.

An easy choice is to select the sliced stir-fry veggies without any sauce.

"Fresh fruits and vegetable are excellent. They are super important in our diet. It's recommended that we have five to seven servings a day," added Donohue.

Donohue said she like a mix of fresh and frozen vegetables because of convenience and cost.

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