Fast food picture. source: Google image (free to share)
Frozen Food is getting a bad rap.
Many people think that the frozen meals are unhealthy, opting for a fast-food meal over a frozen food, according to a British consumer group that tracks grocery shopping habits.
But a new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that people who regularly have frozen meals consume 254 fewer calories and 2.7 less grams of saturated fat per day than people who eat fast food. Also, adults who ate frozen meals had higher daily intakes of important nutrients such as protein, fiber and potassium.
Nestle USA, the maker of lots of popular frozen-food brands such as DiGiorno, Stouffer’s, and Hot pockets, funded a study. The findings have been reviewed and considered impartial. Does the findings mean a frozen lasgna is better for your health than a hamburger and fries? Not really.
Nutrition facts of an example of frozen food. source: Google image (free to share)
Registered dietitian Staci Nix McIntosh, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Utah College of Health, notes that the researchers did not compare meal for meal frozen versus fast food and cautions against taking the study findings at face value. “There are lots of factors at play here,” she says, “not the least of which is that people who consume fast food and people that regularly eat frozen food are people who choose different methods of quick meals and may have different lifestyles in general.”
Still, frozen foods can be healthy choices, depending on what you pick. McIntosh says to look for these items on the label:
1.Vegetables, but without the sauce.
2.High nutrient content relative to calories—potassium, calcium, fiber, vitamins A and D, and iron. You want a meal that will provide those nutrients while not exceeding your overall energy intake for the day.
3.Low sodium and no trans fats.
Often when students are busy with school and work, they forget to live healthy. With less time to cook and exercise, students often resort to unhealthy foods and a sedentary lifestyle. This can lead to depression or poor performance in school. It is important to adapt to a healthy lifestyle in order to improve and enhance our ability to do well in school.
Healthy activities such basketball burn fat and increase the rate of metabolism. Source: Wikimedia Commons
In order to have good health, it is vital to engage in physical activity in our everyday life. Canada’s Food Guide recommends that adults engage in at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week. The performed exercise should be of moderate or rigorous level. Youth and children should exercise for 60 minutes per day. Staying healthy means less time in front of the TV and computer and more time doing healthy activities such as walking or going to the recreational center to play sports such as basketball and hockey. In the summer, one can spend more time gardening, doing yard work, going for a walk or hike. One can attach a pedometer to him or her self and track the number of steps walked each day and try to increase the number of steps taken each day. Healthy activity reduces the chances of getting diseases and gives one a healthy body weight.
It is essential to eat the right amounts and types of food each day. For adults between 19 to 50 years of age, Health Canada roughly recommends eight servings of vegetables and fruits, seven servings of grains, two servings of milk and alternatives and two to three servings of protein per day. Most of our calories should come from fruits and vegetables as well as carbohydrates.
Green tea is beneficial as it improves fat burning and improves physical performance. Source: Wikimedia Commons
We should limit foods and beverages high in calories, fat, sugar and salts. Cakes, pastries, soft drinks, alcohol and ice cream should be avoided. It is recommended to replace cakes and pastries with yogurt or baked apple with cinnamon. It is suggested to drink herbal tea instead of Indian Chai and regular coffee because herbal tea is low in calories and it cleans the arteries. One should replace unhealthy drinks such as soda with water and a wedge of lemon.
It is suggested to drink three liters (12 cups) of water for men 19 years and over each day and 2.2 liters (9 cups) of water for women over the age of 19 each day. Fluids help with digestion and carrying nutrients around the body. Moreover, fluids cushion joints and organs and get rid of wastes and toxins in the body. If we adapt our lifestyles and make healthier choices, we will increase our life span and have better mood and more energy.
Naqsh Fatima Bhangu