Thursday, July 16, 2009

Food Facts: Frozen Entrees

Many diet programs, nowadays, include frozen "entrees" that are labeled, SMART, LEAN and HEALTHY, however there is nothing smart, lean or healthy about them, even if they are low in calories, fat and carbs!  This includes frozen entrees offered by NutriSystem, WeightWatchers, or Jenny Craig--Thanks Nora)!  

The following chart contains only a few of some common frozen-food entrees that are considered healthy (and labeled that way). We won’t address canned foods and other packaged foods, they would take up our entire book. MY DIVA DIET wants you to read and compare the labels on these and other products before you choose any packaged, processed, or man-made food products.

Listing include calories, protein, carbs, fat, sugar, sodium, fiber and number of ingredients: 
  1. South Beach Diet:  Caprese Chicken w/Broccoli -- 260;  33;  12;  7;  4;  710;  4;  About 50
  2. Smart Ones:  Chicken Fettuccini -- 340;  23;  47;  6;  3;  680;  4;  About 50+
  3. Lean Cuisine: Lemongrass Chicken --  240;  17;  30;  6;  4;  600;  4;  About 55
  4. Kashi:  Sweet and Sour Chicken -- 320;  18;  55;  3.5;  25;  380;  6;  About 60
  5. Lean Cuisine:  Panini -- 280;  21;  32;  8;  3;  690;  5;   MANY
  6. Lean Pockets (1) -- 290;  11;  45;  7;  5;  500;  5;  MANY  
  7. Healthy Choice: Roasted Chicken --  290;  16;  39;  7;  7;  600;  10;  MANY
  8. Smart Ones: 3-Cheese Macaroni --  300;  14;  48;  6;  3;  570;  3;  MANY
  9. Stouffer’s Rigatoni w/Roasted Chicken -- 390;  19;  44;  15;  2;  820;  3;   MANY

Clean calories (reading labels/things to look for)
  • Preservatives and additives
  • Flavoring agents, coloring agents, sweeteners (artificial and natural), emulsifiers, texturizers, stabilizers, etc.
  • Chemicals and other fake foods
  • Hidden fats (hydrogenated vegetable oils and other unneeded and unhealthy fats)
  • Hidden sugars (maltodextrin, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, etc.)
  • Hidden sodium (salt, MSG, sodium benzoate, sodium nitrate, ferrous sulfate, etc.)
  • Hidden flour (white flour, baking powder, starch, dextrin, etc.)
* Notes
  • Clean and pure calories are very important in MY DIVA DIET (in both Phase One and Two) because health should be the number one goal in any weight-loss program. In fact, if you are healthy you will find it much easier to lose weight.
  • Cleaning up your calories is more important than decreasing your intake, and the best way to do it is to select natural and fresh foods over packaged, processed, man-made foods.
  • Some diets are based on eating a great many unclean calories that help you lose a few pounds but place you at risk for health predicaments like fibromyalgia, headaches, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and others.
* Clean Calories Rule
  • There are two main rules in this category:
  • Become informed about food additives and preservatives.
  • Read labels, read labels, read labels! 

Paw Ingredients Label Guide 

Number of Ingredients     Signals 

 1        Ideal 

 3    Excellent 

 5   Probably OK 

6-9      May need further analysis 

10-19           Could be a problem 

20-29      Caution 

30 +      Stay away! 

* FYI's on food labels:  
  • Ingredients for a given product are listed by weight, in descending order.
  • Some preservatives are okay, but not when there are more preservatives than the natural food it is supposed to be made of.
  • Some preservatives are actively harmful—you should do your own research to learn more about food additives.
  • Avoid products containing too many additives like colorings, fillers, flavor enhancers, etc.
  • Watch for hidden calories, fats, sugar, sodium, and flour.
  • Avoid products with unfamiliar ingredients—find out what they are!
To learn more about reading labels, check out the MY DIVA DIET blog "Read Food Labels: Your Health & Fitness Levels Depend on It!"  

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