What the health: Should we eat ready-made meals?

What the health: Should we eat ready-made meals?
4 min read

These behaviors are a result of our fast-paced, modern lives, and are leading to massive shifts in eating habits for consumers. There is no longer the time of traditional meals cooked at home Instead, our busy lifestyles have led us to the ultimate in convenience. Welcome to the heating revolution and the emergence of the meal ready-to-eat.

Pre-made meals are hailed as the symbol of convenience; replacing the traditional home-cooked meal by providing simple food items packaged in a user-friendly manner, needing minimal preparation time and with minimal or no additional ingredients. With supermarkets offering an ever-growing variety of food and catering to various diets It's not a surprise to find that ready-to-eat meal market is increasing at 3.6 percent a year .

The question is whether we can replace our homemade meals with ready-to-eat alternatives that are not harmful to our health? Before you decide to buy a ready-to-eat frozen food item from the supermarket there are some things to think about.

One of the main concerns about the meals is the nutritional content. The majority of ready-to-eat meals contain a lot of calories, saturated fats and sodium, and are usually not high in micronutrients or fibre. Since these meals are typically high in energy, they could contribute to the obesity crisis Australia is currently facing. Furthermore, their lower amount of vegetables means that people are more likely to not meet the guidelines for intake of vegetables and thus increase their risk of suffering from chronic diseases.

Another factor to consider is how food items are cooked. The process of thermal processing, which involves high temperatures and longer time periods of cooking, could result in a drastic decrease in vitamin C, Thiamine (B1) and Folic acid, along with a number of antioxidants that are naturally present in vegetables, fruits and other herbs. In addition to the very low amount of vegetables in these meals, processing at a higher temperature could cause further reductions in the amount of nutrients present in ready-to-eat meals.

Based on the composition of nutrition and the negative health effects it is obvious that we shouldn't take our home-cooked meals and replace them by a pre-made meal. But this isn't the case. There is still a need for ready-to-eat meals if you are careful about what you choose to put in them.

A nutrition panel may be confusing with its apex of numbers, but here are a few points to be looking for (a balanced diet can meet a few of these requirements, However, it's not the only one):

* 300-500 calories (1250-2100kJ)

10.18 grams total of fat

* Not more than 4 grams saturated fat

* 120mg/100g sodium, or less than 600mg of total sodium

10.20 grams protein

Five grams or more of fiber

* Some good brands to consider: Lean Cuisine & Healthy Choice

There's a lot to keep in mind however if you make an outline in your smartphone, it's a great guide to pick healthy meals that are ready-to-eat. It is possible that the meals are small or don't have enough vegetables. So a excellent way to increase the quantity of food and nutrient content is to purchase frozen vegetables and cook them along with the meal, or to include canned beans that have been rinsed.

Cooking a nutritious home-cooked meal is a vital ability to possess, but there are times in our lives where we don't have the time needed to prepare nutritious meals or require some structured assistance to shed weight. Pre-cooked meals are an effective solution, but requires some study and thought in evaluating the nutritional labels.

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Jamesmalizia 0
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