Cooking dinner can often be the most daunting task of the day for busy working Australians.
When browsing the aisles at Woolworths, Coles or Aldi, it can be considered easier to opt for a frozen supermarket meal to save time in the kitchen.
But many people don’t actually know which frozen meals are considered healthy with the right amount of nutrients, sodium, sugar and vegetable portions.
Dietitian and research student Irene Sangadi examined the nutrient composition of about 200 frozen meals from Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and IGA to find which pass the test.
“I looked at the micro-nutrients as well as sugars, sodium and the serving sizes,” Ms Sangadi told Yahoo7.
The research only looked at frozen items considered meals, not party pies, spring rolls or pizzas.
- How mascara gave woman a horrific eye infection
Ms Sangadi found the frozen meal with the highest nutrient content was Michelle Bridges’ Delicious Nutritious meals stocked at Woolworths.
These meals – including Asian-style chicken, beef and tomato casserole, Italian style chicken with whole grain penne pasta – have three serves of vegetables per pack.
Meals in the Nutritious Delicious range took out the top five spots in Ms Sangadi’s research due to their high vegetable content.
Lean Cuisine’s Italian Minestrone Soup and On the Menu’s Roast Range Roast Pork were also found to be on the better end of the scale as they are lower in processed carbohydrates.
The frozen meals considered the most unhealthy were those that did not include any vegetable portion.
On the Menu Chicken Fettuccine, On the Menu 3 Cheese Macaroni, Coles Macaroni Cheese and Woolworth’s Chicken Satay with Long Grain Rice were considered on the bottom of the scale with no vegetable serves.
Another issue found was a huge carbohydrate load in meals including McCain Healthy Choice Lemon Chicken.
Ms Sangadi said she was surprised by how small some of the portions in the frozen meal section are and believes people might be compensating with other food.
The research was presented by Ms Sangadi to the Dietitians Association of Australia’s National Conference by Sydney University.