Better Buying: Frozen Italian Meals
Italian food once had a reputation for traveling directly from the lips to the hips. It was high in fat -- especially frozen Italian meals. But now, low-fat products outnumber high-fat ones.
When shopping for frozen meals, always check ingredient labels for fat and sodium content.
These additional tips should help you make the best buys:
Choose products with 30 percent or less of their calories from fat.
Choose meals with 600 mg. of sodium or less.
Opt for tomato and marinara sauces, or the broth-based with wine added type of sauce (eg.-marsala is prepared this way); they're usually lower in fat than pesto, carbonara, cheese and Alfredo (cream) sauces.
Don't assume a vegetable-based meal is lower in fat than one with meat. The key is the sauce or the breading.
Note that serving sizes vary.
Breaded foods, like the Parmigiana entrees, absorb more fat so opt for those dishes that are not breaded to save calories and fat.
Know the label lingo. "Fritta" (fried) or "crema" (creamed) dishes are higher in fat than the tomato-based dishes. "Primavera" usually refers to dishes prepared with fresh herbs and vegetables but read the label because primaveras can also be made with creamy sauces.
Online Medical Reviewers:
Fiveash, Laura DrPH, MPH, RD
Godsey, Cynthia M.S., M.S.N., APRN
Happel, Cindy MEd, RD
Lambert, J.G. M.D.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care.
Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.