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Are Microwavable Meals Bad For Your Health?


Are Microwavable Meals Bad For Your Health?

It’s been a long day, and the last thing you want to do is crack open the fridge, turn on the oven, and cook. So you reach for a ready-meal. But are microwavable meals bad for your health?
Here’s what you need to know:

Choose your frozen food wisely

First up, let’s get one thing clear: not all ready-meals are considered unhealthy. But some do stack up better than others – so it’s important to know what to look for.
Many microwavable meals are packed with questionable ingredients. They’re often laden with added sugar and salt for flavour, and many are packed with hard-to-pronounce preservatives. A good rule of thumb is to pick a dish that comes in at under 600mg of sodium per serve – and absolutely avoid those that have more, since the recommended daily amount of salt is 2300mg.
Generally speaking, frozen meals made with loads of veggies is a good place to start. Try to skip the sauces and carb-laden varieties – and look for the lowest number of ingredients.
Nutritionists suggest adding a fresh salad alongside your meal for extra nutritional points.

Go for premium dishes

Frozen meals have come a long way in recent years – and many supermarkets are responding to the call for healthier fast foods. Some brands are now swapping out white rice and other simple cabs for quinoa, brown rice or wholegrain pasta. Many of these options are also well balanced in terms of protein and fats.

How to pick a microwavable meal

Want a cheat sheet to take to the shops with you? Here’s a handy guide from
  • Calories: pick meals between 300 and 500 calories.
  • Fat: no more than 30% of the total kilojoules, and less than 10% from saturated fat.
  • Protein: more than 15g per serve.
  • Sodium: less than 600mg per serve.
  • Fibre: more than three to five grams per serve.
Of course, it’s always better to buy fresh foods and cook from scratch. But when life gets in the way, sometimes a ready meal is all you can rustle up. It’s worth taking a little time to choose wisely – so you can enjoy a healthier choice.
Ask your dietitian or nutritionist to help you choose foods and meals that are better for your individual health needs.

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