What the Fork?! Friday : Frozen diet meals

Frozen diet meals! These are some of the worst offenders in the food marketplace and it makes me so sad because people eat these thinking they are healthy and that they will help them lose weight.  No judgment, I used to eat these in college before I knew better. I was so thankful when the unhealthiness was pointed out to me, so I hope this helps you too. It’s all about raising awareness!

They may only be 180 calories (which is way too low for a meal) but they barely contain any real food, it’s mostly preservatives. With no real nutrients to feed your cells these processed meals leave you feeling hungry within the hour!

If I have learned anything about eating for health, nothing will ever beat eating whole, real food in it’s natural state. These highly processed foods are engineered to be a certain calorie count and are nothing more than a chemical shit storm that will actually hinder your weight loss and/or health goals.

By the time you zap those veggies in a plastic container for 5-7 minutes you have heated out any nutritional properties of the vegetables and the carcinogenic chemicals from the plastic container have leached into your food. Have you heard of BPA? The chemical in most plastic that has been slowly banned from things like baby bottles because it is a known carcinogen and it leaks into our food? BPA is just one of the many chemicals in plastic that leach into our food and water from plastic containers and heating it up causes the chemicals to be released.

 

 

Lean cuisines, Smart Ones, Healthy Choice, Atkins, Weight Watchers, jenny Craig! I could go on, but these are some of the biggest offenders.

This is just a start of the issues with these engineered food like products. The ingredients themselves are a nightmare, lets take a look!

Ingredients: 

Chicken Enchilada (Filling [Cooked Diced Chicken Meat (White Meat Chicken, Dark Meat Chicken, Water, Salt, Isolated Soy Protein, Modified Cornstarch, Sodium Phosphate), Water, Seasoning (Modified Corn Starch, Emulsifier [Modified Corn Starch, Corn Maltodextrin, Soy Lecithin, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum], Masa Corn Flour, Nonfat Dry Milk, Salt, Dehydrated Onion, Garlic Powder, Chicken Fat, Cultured Whey, Spices, Whey, Flavor, Dehydrated Chicken Broth, Smoke Flavor, Green Chili Flavor [Salt, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Dehydrated Green Bell Pepper, Natural Flavor, Spice], Dehydrated Jalapeno Pepper, Citric Acid, Flavor [Natural Flavor, Salt, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Caramel Color], Dehydrated Cilantro), Green Chilies (Green Chili Peppers, Citric Acid), Modified Corn Starch, Corn Starch, Methyl Cellulose, Egg White Powder, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum], Tortilla [White Corn Flour, Water, Modified Food Starch, Mono & Diglycerides, Salt, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Lime]), Sauce (Water, Light Sour Cream [Cultured Nonfat Milk And Cream, Nonfat Dry Milk, Modified Food Starch, Sodium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Calcium Sulfate, Locust Bean Gum], Green Chilies [Green Chili Peppers, Citric Acid], Nonfat Milk, Onions, Jalapenos [Jalapeno Peppers, Citric Acid], Modified Food Starch, Maltodextrin, Half And Half [Milk, Cream], Salt, Dehydrated Onion, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein [Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten, Dextrose, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate], Corn Oil, Xanthan Gum, Gelatin, Spice, Autolyzed Yeast Extract [Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Natural Flavor], Soy Flour, Calcium Lactate, Chicken Fat, Dried Chicken Broth, Dried Chicken Meat, Lactic Acid, Dried Onion, Extractives of Turmeric, Extractives of Annatto),

Seasoned Rice Blend (Water, Cooked Enriched White Rice [Water, Enriched Rice (White Rice, Iron, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid)], Tomato Paste, Green Bell Peppers, Red Bell Peppers, Salt, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Dehydrated Garlic, Dehydrated Onion, Spices, Chicken Fat, Cultured Whey, Extractives of Turmeric, Natural Flavor, Torula Yeast, Turmeric Powder, Citric Acid), Corn, Red Bell Peppers, Zucchini, Green Bell Peppers, Green Onions. Contains: Soy, Milk, Eggs.

The first offence? The long list of ingredients! You can make delicious, healthy and amazing tasting enchiladas with about 10 ingredients and not only will they taste much better and fill you up but they will actually be healthier for you too.

I'm not going to pick out every single one of these ingredients, but I will point out the biggest offenders

  • The chicken, since it’s not organic, is most likely fed GMO feed and pumped full of antibiotics and hormones.
  • The amount of preservatives in here is shocking- especially since this is a frozen item and        does not need them.
  • There is MSG (more than once!) in the form of Autolyzed Yeast Extract
  • Carageenan- causes digestive disrupt and has been flagged as a possible carcinogen

Think about it this way. If you made enchiladas at home from scratch, would you be adding all these ingredients in there? Maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract, mono & diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate?

To put this into perspective, if you made these at home the ingredients would look a little like this:

Corn tortillas, chicken, brown rice, garlic, onion, tomato, enchilada sauce (tomato paste, chili powder, garlic, onion and salt) and cheese. Maybe a few more ingredients but that's it! The rest of the ingredients are cheap fillers and preservatives.

I could go on but my point is, eat real food. Our food has been hijacked with cheap fillers, preservatives, emulsifiers, thickeners, and stabilizers not for our own health benefits but so the food can sit on a shelf or in a freezer for months at a time and for the financial gain of the large food corporations.