Are Frozen Meals Really Healthy?

Having no time has become a very common excuse in the inability to create a healthy lifestyle.  Saying one doesn't have time to workout and cook is silly.  Often, these same people will marathon Friends on Netflix and browse Facebook to see the same stories on their news feeds time and time again.  The frozen meal, or TV dinner, is a "solution" to some but is it really healthy for you?

Nothing is more confusing than being told that turkey and vegetables are healthy for you, you seeing that meal in the frozen section of the store, buying 10 of these meals only to find out that these aren't healthy.  But why?

Sodium: The Good, Bad and The Ugly

The Good

Sodium helps muscles and nerves work properly by assisting muscular contraction and transmission of nerve signals. It also helps regulate blood pressure and volume. 

The Bad

Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure as well as fluid build-up in people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis or kidney disease. These conditions make it especially hard for the kidneys to balance sodium levels. Extra sodium causes the body to retain water, increasing blood volume and causing the heart to work harder to move blood, placing more pressure on the arteries. Increased blood pressure can ultimately lead to heart disease, heart failure or stroke.

The Ugly

Sodium is found in everything.  A novice chef's secret kick is often a dash of salt in each and every stage of the cooking process.  There is no good way to eliminate sodium intake.  This doesn't stop me from ordering a meal by saying, "No tomatoes, onions -- oh, and watch the salt."  By the way, I would never say "no tomatoes and onions."

How I Became A Master Chef

Shopping for frozen meals I would see an amazing recipe on the cover of the box, shop for those ingredients (keeping the xanthan gum out of it) then craft the meal myself in the comfort of my own home.  Cooking this way, you have the ability to control your sodium intake, gain experience in the kitchen and know exactly where your meal came from.  

Wash your hands, clean those surfaces and get to town!