10 Worst Frozen Foods That Are Making You Gain Weight

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Frozen foods option offer exceptional convenience and cater to various taste preferences. They also help minimize food spoilage and reduce waste, making it effortless to maintain a healthy diet without extensive kitchen efforts.

However, not all frozen foods are created equal. When strolling through the frozen food section during your next grocery trip, you’ll encounter an extensive assortment of nutrient profiles, calorie contents, ingredient compositions, and portion sizes.

The abundance of choices can make it challenging to make informed decisions. To assist you, we’ve compiled a list of 10 frozen foods that should be avoided if you aim to manage your weight effectively.

When selecting frozen foods, it’s crucial to consider your specific nutritional requirements. While some meals are tailored to individuals seeking to shed pounds, others boast calorie counts exceeding 700 per serving. This discrepancy in calorie content is also evident in frozen snack options.

Furthermore, protein quantities vary significantly among frozen meals. Opting for products containing over 20 grams of protein per serving helps fulfil your daily needs and promotes satiety after consumption.

Lastly, it’s essential to monitor sodium levels. Frozen foods often contain alarmingly high sodium content, which can lead to water retention and elevated blood pressure.

Therefore, making choices that align with your sodium intake goals is advisable.
Achieving weight loss may prove challenging if you solely base your frozen food selections on convenience and flavour preferences.

Although indulging in delectable options like pancake-wrapped sausages is tempting, certain popular frozen meals have the potential to contribute to weight gain. These culprits typically contain excessive calories per serving and high levels of fat, sugar, and sodium.

If you’ve noticed the number on your scale creeping upward due to regular consumption of frozen foods, be cautious of the ten worst offenders that can sabotage your weight management efforts.

Blueberry Pancakes and Sausage On a Stick

In a single serving of this Pancake and Sausage combo, you’ll find 260 calories, 16 grams of fat (4 grams saturated fat), 400 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates (including 1 gram of fibre and 10 grams of total sugars), and 6 grams of protein.

Despite blueberries, this food item conceals substantial fat and sugar within its seemingly innocent package. It is often enjoyed with syrup, adding more sugar to an already sweetened treat.

While 260 calories may seem reasonable for a snack or meal, the composition of these calories could be better. The added sugar in this food provides empty calories, lacking essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fibre, or protein.

Moreover, consuming excessive added sugar can lead to elevated blood sugar levels, potentially resulting in weight gain and severe health complications. Furthermore, the meagre 6 grams of protein in this food must meet the requirements for a satisfying meal.

A better alternative would be the Morning Star Farms Incogmeato® Plant-Based Pancake and Sausage on a Stick. This option is significantly more waistline-friendly, with nearly half the calories.

It contains only 7 grams of added sugar and 3 grams of protein per serving, totalling 9 grams. Additionally, it is crafted using plant-based meat, making it suitable for a broader range of dietary preferences.

FlaVorIce Pops

In a single serving of these popsicles (equivalent to 4 pops), you’ll find 90 calories, 0 grams of fat (0 grams saturated fat), 15 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates (with 21 grams of total sugars), and 0 grams of protein.

These popsicles are a beloved summer treat that many have nostalgic memories of, primarily renowned for their delightful flavours rather than their nutritional value. While not all treats need to be highly nutritious, consuming these popsicles can contribute to weight gain.

The calorie content of these popsicles is derived entirely from sugar, making them a significant source of empty calories.

Although the calorie count per pop is relatively low, foods rich in refined carbohydrates tend to hurt satiety, potentially leading to increased consumption and subsequent weight gain.

A superior alternative would be Sweet Nothings Squeezable Smoothies. These treats can be found in the frozen section of grocery stores throughout the United States and are free from added sugar.

Whether enjoyed frozen or thawed, these smoothies contain organic fruits, vegetables, and ground chia seeds.

Each smoothie provides fulfilling fibre, which aids in prolonging feelings of fullness and satisfaction, keeping you satiated for a more extended period.

Häagen-Dazs Caramel Cone Ice Cream Bars

In a single serving of these Häagen-Dazs bars (equivalent to 1 bar), you’ll find 260 calories, 17 grams of fat (12 grams saturated fat), 90 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates (including less than 1 gram of fibre and 16 grams of added sugar), and 3 grams of protein.

Undeniably delicious and indulgent, these Häagen-Dazs bars rank among the unhealthiest frozen foods that have the potential to contribute to weight gain. Not only are they abundant in fat and sugar, but most of the fat is saturated.

Research indicates that saturated fat can adversely affect cardiovascular health, making it a more concerning type of fat.

Consequently, these bars not only deliver a significant calorie load, which can lead to weight gain, but they may also have negative implications for your overall well-being.

A superior choice would be Yasso Sea Salt Caramel Bars. These frozen Greek yoghurt bars contain 100 calories per serving, allowing them to fit more reasonably within your calorie requirements.

Although they do contain added sugar, these bars contain just 1 gram of fat compared to the 17 grams found in Haagen-Dazs bars, making them the superior option overall.

Red Baron Fully Loaded Pepperoni Pizza

In a single serving of this pizza (equivalent to 1/6 of the pie), you’ll find 380 calories, 19 grams of fat (9 grams saturated fat), 680 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates (including 2 grams of fibre and 1 gram of added sugar), and 15 grams of protein.

With nearly 400 calories per serving, representing only a fraction of the entire pizza, this particular pizza is a highly concentrated source of calories. While it provides adequate protein for a meal, a single serving contains more than 25% of your daily sodium requirement.

Since many individuals are likely to consume more than one serving during a meal, indulging in high-calorie meals can easily tip the scale towards a calorie surplus, potentially leading to weight gain.

Milton’s Thin & Crispy Cauliflower Crust Roasted Vegetable Pizza is a superior choice. A quarter-sized portion will cost you the equivalent of 230 calories and provide 2 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein.

This alternative presents a much more reasonable option that allows you to complement your meal with other nutrient-dense foods. For example, you can pair it with a side salad packed with leafy greens or enjoy steamed edamame pods to boost protein and vegetables.

Jimmy Dean Sausage Croissant Breakfast Sandwich

In a single serving of this croissant sandwich (equivalent to 1 sandwich), you’ll find 400 calories, 26 grams of fat (10 grams saturated fat), 610 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates (including 2 grams of fibre, 5 grams of total sugars, and 4 grams of added sugars), and 13 grams of protein.

Mornings can be hectic for many, so a convenient breakfast is crucial. However, this Jimmy Dean croissant sandwich needs to be more nutritional value despite being easy to grab and go. The majority of the calories in this item come from fat, rendering it a highly calorie-dense food.

Consuming foods that pack many calories into a small package can increase the likelihood of weight gain, especially when they lack satiating nutrients such as protein and fibre.

A better alternative would be the Jimmy Dean Delight Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich. If you’re seeking a convenient breakfast option, this choice provides convenience and a healthier nutrient profile. It offers more protein and less fat than the croissant sandwich, with a lower calorie content of only 270 calories.

Lily’s Toaster Grills Grilled American Cheese Sandwich

In a single serving of this grilled cheese sandwich (equivalent to 1 sandwich), you’ll find 360 calories, 23 grams of fat (12 grams saturated fat), 890 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates (including 0 grams of fibre and 2 grams of added sugar), and 14 grams of protein.

Grilled cheese sandwiches, cherished for their comforting flavours, are created with the simplicity of bread, butter, and cheese. While undeniably delicious, this option is also packed with significant amounts of saturated fat and sodium.

The nutrient composition, coupled with zero grams of fibre and 2 grams of added sugar, makes these grilled cheese sandwiches highly likely to contribute to weight gain.

Though they are at most 360 calories per sandwich, they provide poor-quality calories that can impact your weight management efforts.

A better alternative would be the Hot Pockets Turkey & Colby DELIWICH. This option can be a cold sandwich when thawed or heated if you prefer melted cheese. It offers a mere 250 calories per serving, allowing flexibility to enjoy additional side items.

Furthermore, it contains less than half the fat compared to Lily’s grilled cheese, making it a healthier choice overall.

Banquet Original Chicken Nuggets

In a single serving of these chicken nuggets (equivalent to 5 chunks), you’ll find 220 calories, 12 grams of fat (2.5 grams saturated fat), 540 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates (including 1 gram of fibre and less than 1 gram of added sugar), and 11 grams of protein.
Chicken nuggets are a freezer staple for many, offering a convenient source of protein.

However, it’s important to note that these nuggets also have a downside. While they provide protein, they also contain 12 grams of fat, contributing to approximately half of the total calories per serving.

Despite being made with white chicken meat, which helps reduce fat and calorie content, they are still not the most waistline-friendly option. Additionally, a serving with only 11 grams of protein may not be particularly satiating for adults.

A better choice would be the Kidfresh White Meat Chicken Nuggets. In serving these nuggets, you’ll enjoy more protein while consuming nearly half the calories and significantly less fat. Moreover, this option provides an additional gram of fibre and roughly half the sodium compared to the previous choice.

A notable advantage is that these nuggets are made with pureed cauliflower, which boosts their nutrient composition.

Kellogg’s® Eggo® French Toaster Sticks Cinnamon

In a single serving of these French toast sticks (equivalent to 8 bars), you’ll find 220 calories, 6 grams of fat (1.5 grams saturated fat), 500 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates (including less than 1 gram of fiber and 14 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein.

Frozen French toast with syrup is a delightful breakfast treat requiring minimal effort. However, indulging in this choice could lead to weight-related concerns.

With 14 grams of sugar per serving, it surpasses over half of the recommended daily amount of added sugar for women, and that doesn’t even account for any additional syrup. Furthermore, containing only 4 grams of protein, this meal lacks the potential to provide substantial satiety.

A better choice would be the Good Food Made Simple Cinnamon French Toast. Although this option provides an additional 30 calories per serving, it compensates by delivering 13 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.

These two nutrients contribute to a more satisfying and well-balanced meal, ensuring you stay fueled throughout the morning. Moreover, this French toast contains six fewer grams of total sugars per serving, making it more weight-conscious and scale-friendly.

Gorton’s Beer Battered Fish Tenders

In a single serving of these beer-battered fish tenders (equivalent to 3 pieces), you’ll find 210 calories, 11 grams of fat (1 gram saturated fat), 470 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates (including 1 gram of fiber and 0 grams of added sugar), and 7 grams of protein.

Fish is naturally known for being a lean source of protein and can provide essential fatty acids like omega-3. However, these beer-battered fish tenders contain a significant amount of fat grams.

If you rely on them to increase your fish intake, it may hinder your progress toward your weight goals. While they offer some omega-3 fats, it’s possible to obtain this nutrient from sources lower in carbs, fat, and sodium.

A better choice would be Dr. Prager’s Lightly Breaded Fish Sticks. In serving these fish sticks, you’ll find 40 fewer calories compared to the Gorton’s option. Additionally, they contain less fat and sodium while providing more fiber and protein.

This nutrient balance creates a more desirable meal or snack, helping you avoid unwanted weight gain while enjoying the fish flavors.

El Monterey Cheese Enchiladas Meal

In a single serving of this meal (equivalent to 1 package), you’ll find 480 calories, 21 grams of fat (10 grams saturated fat), 830 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates (including 2 grams of fiber and 0 grams of added sugar), and 21 grams of protein.

This meal boasts a significant protein content, which can contribute to improved satiety. However, the high levels of fat and sodium, combined with the relatively low fiber content given the total carbohydrate content, make it less than ideal for weight management.

Moreover, it provides over one-third of the recommended daily intake for sodium, which may contribute to water weight retention.

A better choice would be the Frontera Chicken Fajita Bowl. Although not an enchilada, this option offers a much more favorable nutrient profile, containing only 300 calories.

While it has a higher sodium content than the El Monterey option, it also provides 5 grams of fiber, 20 grams of protein, and merely 7 grams of fat. These characteristics make it a healthier choice for your waistline and overall well-being.

FAQs

  1. Why do some frozen foods cause weight gain?

Frozen foods often contain high levels of sodium, unhealthy fats, and added sugars, which can lead to increased calorie intake and weight gain. They may also lack essential nutrients, making them less satisfying and more likely to contribute to overeating.

  1. What are some of the worst frozen foods for weight gain?
  • Pizzas that are frozen: heavy in sodium, saturated fats, and calories.
  • Frozen Desserts: Ice creams, pies, and other desserts are loaded with sugar and fats.
  • Breaded and Fried Foods: Items like chicken nuggets and fish sticks are often high in unhealthy fats and calories.
  • Frozen Dinners and TV Dinners: These often contain high levels of sodium and unhealthy fats while offering low nutritional value.
  • Frozen Breakfast Sandwiches: Typically high in saturated fats, refined carbs, and calories.
  1. Are all frozen foods bad for weight management?

No, not all frozen foods are bad. Frozen fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins like fish or chicken can be healthy options. The key is to choose items that are minimally processed and free from added sugars, unhealthy fats, and excessive sodium.

  1. How can I identify unhealthy frozen foods?
  • Read Labels: Look for high levels of sodium, saturated and trans fats, and added sugars.
  • Check Ingredients: Avoid foods with long ingredient lists filled with preservatives and artificial additives.
  • Watch Portion Sizes: Some frozen foods may seem healthy but have small serving sizes, leading to overconsumption.
  1. What are some healthier frozen food alternatives?
  • Frozen Vegetables: Great for adding nutrients to meals without extra calories.
  • Frozen Fruits: Perfect for smoothies or as a healthy snack.
  • Lean Protein Options: Look for plain, unbreaded chicken, fish, or plant-based proteins.
  • Whole Grain Options: Frozen meals made with whole grains and plenty of vegetables.
  1. How do portion sizes of frozen foods impact weight gain?

Many frozen foods come in larger portion sizes than recommended, leading to overeating. It’s important to check the serving size and try to stick to it to avoid consuming excess calories.

  1. Why are frozen pizzas considered one of the worst frozen foods for weight gain?

Frozen pizzas are often loaded with calories, saturated fats, and sodium. The crust is usually made from refined flour, and toppings often include high-fat meats and cheeses, contributing to weight gain.

  1. Can eating frozen desserts lead to weight gain?

Yes, frozen desserts like ice cream, cakes, and pies are high in sugar and unhealthy fats, which can significantly increase calorie intake and contribute to weight gain.

  1. What should I look for in a healthier frozen dinner option?

Look for meals with:

  • Low sodium content (preferably under 600 mg per serving).
  • High fiber content (at least 3-5 grams per serving).
  • Lean proteins and a good balance of vegetables.
  • Minimal added sugars and unhealthy fats.
  1. How can I enjoy frozen foods without gaining weight?
  • Choose Wisely: Opt for frozen foods that are minimally processed and nutrient-dense.
  • Control Portions: Stick to recommended serving sizes.
  • Balance Your Diet: Incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your diet.
  • Limit High-Calorie Additions: Avoid adding high-calorie toppings or sides to your frozen meals.

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