These are the worst frozen foods for your health, experts say

ByLois C

Mar 15, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A lot of of us head first to the frozen foodstuff aisle when we go grocery browsing. Could this popular observe be sabotaging our overall health? Like most points on the nutrition front, it relies upon. 

“When it comes to frozen foods, a number of vitamins are of key concern for heart overall health salt, sugar and unhealthy fat,” mentioned registered dietitian Angela L. Lago, also regarded as “The Psychological Wellness Dietitian.” “Not only are food items that comprise an extra of these vitamins inflammatory, they are also vital drivers for being overweight, coronary heart illness, large blood stress and diabetes.” 

The American Heart Affiliation (AHA) endorses no much more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium for every working day. The “ideal limit” is no more than 1,500 mg per day for most grown ups, specially those people who have higher blood stress, according to the AHA.

Lago said that some frozen foodstuff like frozen greens, fruits and complete grain goods are not all poor, however there are types folks on the lookout to enhance or guard coronary heart well being should avoid.

Nutritionists urge us to avoid these 10 frozen foods.
Nutritionists urge us to avoid these 10 frozen meals.
Katrina Wittkamp

“When frozen foodstuff is the only choice, compare meals labels and select the products with considerably less salt, sugar and trans excess fat,” she claimed, noting that processed, packaged meals make up 70% of the salt in ordinary Americans’ weight loss plans. 

“Ultra-processed foodstuff are not only loaded with sugar, fat, and/or salt, but also contain preservatives and artificial shades and flavors that permit the products to have a longer shelf everyday living. These extremely-processed foodstuff are associated with a higher threat of cardiovascular ailment,” stated Lago, pointing to the 2021 dietary steering to make improvements to cardiovascular health and fitness from the AHA.

Packaged Frozen Dinners 

Noting a review revealed in the Global Journal of Molecular Sciences about sodium consumption and coronary heart failure, Kaleigh McMordie, a registered dietitian nutritionist of the, said, “While there are definitely healthier selections accessible among the single-serve frozen dinners, many are notoriously unhealthy. A single of the major explanations is the sodium stage. Frozen dinners can have upwards of 1,000 mg of sodium, frequently from sodium-based preservatives, contributing a lot more than 50 percent a day’s encouraged quantity of sodium.”

“Too a great deal sodium, especially from frozen and packaged food items, is a contributing aspect to hypertension, stroke, and coronary heart condition,” she extra. “Frozen dinners are also ordinarily seriously lacking in veggies.”

McMordie mentioned that if you must obtain a frozen meal, go through the label to discover a reduced sodium alternative and pair it with a salad or other vegetable side. 

(You may well want to split it into many parts, also, even if it’s marked as a one-serve food.)

Frozen Pizza Roll Snacks

A mixture of icky additives, energy galore, and excessive body fat and sodium is the name of the recreation when it will come to most frozen pizza roll treats. 

“These treats are significantly from a slice of pizza. They’re normally stuffed with sodium, body fat, a lot of additives for preservation, these types of as nitrates and phosphates and even imitation cheese,” mentioned McMordie, highlighting a analyze printed in the German Professional medical Association’s science journal, Deutsches Arzteblatt international, about the possible of additional phosphates to harm coronary heart wellbeing. 

“I suggest having a slice of true, slender crust pizza if you’re craving pizza.”

Frozen Pizza

Frozen pizza checks several of the boxes for evidence-based dietary practices you should avoid in order to promote cardiovascular health.
Frozen pizza checks several of the bins for proof-based nutritional practices you should really stay away from to endorse coronary heart health and fitness.

Frozen pizza can be just as poor as the frozen roll pizza treats discussed over. 

“Frozen pizza is a high-calorie meals that is loaded with energy, salt and fat. Although there are much healthier choices, these as skinny crust options topped with greens, most frozen pizzas have a thicker refined grain crust, topped with cheese and processed meat,” reported Lago. 

As Lago explained, frozen pizza checks numerous of the bins for proof-based mostly dietary methods you must avoid in buy to advertise cardiovascular well being. 


  • Opt for foodstuff built primarily with total grains fairly than refined grains
  • Decide on healthier decisions of protein, lean cuts and steer clear of processed forms
  • Decide on meals with minor or no salt
  • Pick minimal-body fat or excess fat-free dairy items

Frozen Pot Pies

We know they can flavor superior, but not so great that it is truly worth compromising your well being. 

“While frozen pot pies may offer us consolation, these are 1 of the optimum calorie and fat-made up of frozen meals,” mentioned Allison Tallman, registered dietitian at 

“There is constrained useful dietary price coming from this product. The surplus calories and excess fat may well direct to bodyweight attain,” she ongoing, introducing that fat achieve can direct to an array of disorders such as coronary heart ailment, superior cholesterol, metabolic syndrome or kind 2 diabetic issues.

Frozen Corn Canines

This condition reasonable staple need to be liked — once in a while — at such functions, and not stored in your freezer for uncomplicated entry any time a corn pet craving strikes. 

“Processed meats, these types of as sausages, bacon and hot pet dogs, are some of the worst offenders when it arrives to coronary heart overall health, mainly because of the sodium information and chemical preservatives in them. Reports have linked greater processed meat ingestion to greater threat of heart disorder and diabetic issues,” claimed McMordie.

“Frozen corn canine not only have hugely processed meat, but that meat is also wrapped in a sugary batter devoid of any authentic nutrition then fried in advance of becoming frozen,” she elaborated, suggesting folks limit processed meat consumption to a lot less than a single serving for every week for heart health and fitness.

Frozen French Fries

Frozen french fries are full of fat and calories.
Frozen french fries are full of unwanted fat and calories.
annick vanderschelden pictures

Be sure to scan the elements record when obtaining these and seem for additional oils and salt. 

“When you buy French fries, you’re also acquiring a heaping serving to of unwanted fat and calories,” reported Janet Coleman, registered dietitian of 

She mentioned that an buy of McDonald’s fries includes 530 calories and 22 grams of excess fat at KFC, a huge get of fries has 610 calories and 25 grams of fats and Wendy’s Normal-Slice Fries have 610 energy and 28 grams of fats. 

Frozen French fries you obtain at the supermarket can have a similarly lousy nourishment profile, so purchaser beware.

Frozen Calzones

Tallman places this on the listing due to the large quantities of sodium uncovered in the product. 

“These calzones usually have about 1,700 mg of sodium in just one particular serving! An surplus of sodium in the diet can direct to amplified blood strain,” she said. 

Contemplating you can strike your daily sodium allotment in just a single frozen calzone, it may possibly be truly worth a move.

Sweet and Bitter Chicken  

Think twice about what you buy from the frozen foods aisle.
Imagine two times about what you buy from the frozen food items aisle.
Jacobs Inventory Pictures Ltd

“Sweet and sour hen is a great source of protein (from the chicken), but is secretly packed with a ton of additional sugar,” claimed Tallman. “Some have upward of 40g of extra sugar for every serving. Included sugar is detrimental for your wellbeing since it can boost the risk of weight problems, which qualified prospects to heart ailment.” 

If you’re craving sweet and sour rooster, consider building it from scratch that way, you can command just how significantly sugar you use.

Frozen Toaster Pastries

Add this well-known breakfast item to your checklist of food items to steer clear of in the frozen foodstuff aisle. 

“Frozen breakfast pastries consist of several sorts of really processed carbohydrates and sugar with no actual dietary price, not to mention all the chemical preservatives. Frequent ingestion of these varieties of remarkably processed foods — higher in refined white flour, refined sugar and superior fructose corn syrup — is affiliated with a inadequate lipid profile,” said McMordie, referencing a review printed in Present Atherosclerosis Stories on carbohydrates and blood lipids. 

“High triglyceride and LDL cholesterol ranges in the blood, prompted by high refined carb intake, is a main risk element for heart sickness. Skip the toaster pastries and decide for a breakfast that has a harmony of nutritious extra fat, protein, and carbs from complete grains or fruit.” 

How about whipping up some nutritious apple pie breakfast tacos?

Frozen Baked Goods

There are other frozen sweets you may perhaps want to skip.

“Frozen baked items, these kinds of as cinnamon rolls, biscuits, waffles and dessert items are loaded with salt, sugar and fats,” reported Lago, nodding at a 2019 review revealed in BMJ about the link in between ultra-processed food items and the danger of heart condition. 

“While they may be a handy breakfast or sweet deal with, these objects must in no way be a staple in one’s diet regime,” Lago extra. “Many times, even although you are not able to flavor the salt, it is nonetheless there in lots of baked items. Objects in the frozen baked merchandise classification are [also] usually small in fiber and vitamin density.”


By Lois C