In the spirit of National Frozen Food Month, we’ve covered a lot of things related to foods that live in the freezer (until they’re cooked and eaten, of course). If you’re looking to select some healthy frozen produce or wisely choose frozen foods, The Daily Meal has the tools you need. We also can tell you which frozen pizzas are healthiest and the least healthy, which, as you’ll see shortly, comes up in this list as well.
There are some frozen meals, though, that are fairly unhealthy. The kicker is that some meals that are healthy or healthy-ish when not frozen become not healthy or less healthy when companies modify them for freezing. Is a burger the healthiest food out there? Generally it’s not viewed as healthy, and neither is pizza (healthy pizza recipes do exist), but at the end of the day burgers and pizza are protein, fat, and carbs. We need protein, fat, and carbs to survive.
A burger is a burger, mac and cheese is mac and cheese, and seafood is seafood. See how frozen food companies get it twisted and mess these standard, healthy-ish foods up when they package them for the freezer aisle.
Frozen burgers list only one ingredient, that being beef, but the quality of the beef may not be that of the highest variety. With many defining healthy beef as being not only grass-fed but also lean, the widely-available 80/20 frozen beef patties aren’t as healthy as some of the non-frozen, leaner options. Oh, and we also have a gripe: Why do we keep getting chunks of what appears to be solid bone in our frozen burger patties? They hurt our teeth, man.
You read above that healthy pizza exists, and there are even healthy frozen pizza brands. Some brands miss the mark, though, by adding in unhealthy ingredients like nitrites and soybean oil.
We don’t need to say too much here: Frozen seafood tends to be breaded. The plain old frozen fish sans breading? Some say it’s worse than eating bacon.
Smoothies are healthy, right? If they don’t use fruits that have added sugar as well as yogurts that do the same, then sure! Smoothies can be healthy. Unfortunately, frozen smoothies and smoothie mixes tend to add sugar. Bummer.
Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries can be made healthily. When they’re packed with fats and frozen, though, sweet potato fries aren’t that great.