Frozen Food With Low Sodium

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Frozen food with low sodium is a good way to keep your food cold, but not all frozen foods have the same amount of sodium, especially ones that are meant for children.

If you’re looking for a healthy option for the kids in your life and you want to help them stay healthy, look no further than Frozen Food with Low Sodium!

It’s a low-sodium line of frozen dinner entrees available for everyone, including kids.

We’ve got chicken nuggets, ravioli, tacos and more that are so delicious you won’t even miss the salt!

Frozen Food With Low Sodium

Americans eat more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day on average, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).Trusted Source That’s 1,000 mg more than the USDA’s daily recommended value for healthy adults and nearly 2,000 mg more than the American Heart Association recommends for optimal heart health. The FDATrusted Source recommends that healthy adults eat less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day or about 1 teaspoon, and yet the average American eats 5 or more teaspoons each day.

A high sodium intake can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. While eating less sodium is widely recommended for people already diagnosed with high blood pressure and heart disease, a low sodium diet can also help lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular conditions for healthy adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTrusted Source.

Because blood pressure typically rises with age, reducing sodium intake may be particularly important for older adults. Reducing daily sodium intake to 1,500 mg lowers blood pressure even more than the general 2,300 mg recommendation, according to the FDATrusted Source.

Chances are, you are eating more sodium than you know. Where is all of that sodium coming from? It’s not the saltshaker on the table. Restaurant, processed, and prepackaged foods like frozen meals account for more than 75 percentTrusted Source of the sodium that Americans eat. Sodium is widely used in packaged foods to preserve, thicken, or enhance flavor. Even foods that don’t taste salty may have high levels of sodium.

What to look for

Not all frozen meals are created equal. A single slice of frozen pizza can pack a whopping 370 to 730 mg of sodium and more than 300 calories. Many meals have more sodium and fat than you should eat in the entire day.

The Cleveland Clinic recommends you look for frozen meals that have less than 600 mg of sodium, less than 500 calories, and less than 3 grams of saturated fat. Be careful to avoid “empty calories,” or meals that are low in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Meals packed with vegetables and whole grains will keep you full longer and have a higher nutritional value. Avoid meals with added sugar and high fat content.

9 healthy options

1. Amy’s Light in Sodium Black Bean Vegetable Enchilada

Made with organic tortillas, black beans, and vegetables, this gluten-free, vegan meal has 190 mg of sodium and 160 calories per serving.

2. Luvo Steel Cut Oatmeal with Quinoa and Mixed Fruit

Look forward to getting out of bed in the morning. Luvo’s steel cut oatmeal is packed with heart-healthy fiber and protein to keep you full longer. It has only 120 mg of sodium and 260 calories in the entire package.

3. Ian’s Fish Sticks Family Pack

Who said fish sticks were just for kids? These allergy-friendly fish sticks are made with sustainable Alaska Pollock, and they are free of gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, eggs, and wheat.

With 190 calories and 170 mg of sodium per serving, you don’t have to feel guilty for eating some too.

4. Whole Foods’ 365 Organic Quinoa with Vegetables

Perfect as a side dish or main course, this quinoa has only 10 mg of sodium and 140 calories per serving. Made with organic quinoa, zucchini, and sweet potato, this frozen meal is high in iron, potassium, and vitamin A.

5. Luvo Organic Roasted Eggplant and Quinoa Burrito

Organic vegetables and quinoa are wrapped in a flaxseed tortilla for a healthy, nutrient-dense meal. The entire burrito has 270 calories, 270 mg of sodium, and 10 grams of protein.

6. Ian’s French Toast Sticks

Take your breakfast on the go with these French toast sticks. Made without common allergens like wheat, diary, and eggs, each serving has 120 mg of sodium and 270 calories.

7. Sukhi’s Samosas and Chutney

Sukhi’s samosas and chutney bring home a taste of India. The award-winning potato samosas come with cilantro chutney for a delicious side dish or snack. The sharable dish has 190 calories and 300 mg of sodium per serving.

8. Trader Joe’s Thai Sweet Chili Veggie Burger

Pair Trader Joe’s Thai Sweet Chili Veggie Burger with a lettuce wrap for a filling, healthy entrée at 150 calories and 270 mg of sodium.

9. Lean Cuisine Pepperoni Snack Pizza

Satisfy your craving with Lean Cuisine’s snack pizza. At 300 mg of sodium and 210 calories per serving, this snack is best shared.

Low sodium prepared foods

Kashi Organic Autumn Wheat Cereal

Some cereals harbor 270 mg sodium per 1/2- cup serving. This no-sodium version puts other bowls to shame.

Dell’Amore Original Recipe Premium Marinara

With about 480 mg per 1/2 cup, marinara can be a sodium bomb. Dell’Amore has about half that at 250 mg.

Uploaded image

Swanson Unsalted Chicken Stock

With only 130 mg sodium per cup, this broth kills the competition. An average chicken broth has a jaw-dropping 860 mg.

Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread

These loaves don’t need much sodium to stay fresh—they’re stored in the freezer. One slice has 75 mg (vs. the usual 160).

Wild Planet No Salt Added Skipjack Wild Tuna

Some brands of tuna contain 140 mg sodium in a tiny 2-ounce serving. Made from 100% tuna, Wild Planet has only 65 mg per 2 ounces.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sensuous Slathering Sauce

This not-too-sweet, tangy sauce clocks in at 177 mg per 2 tablespoons. Other brands pack in anywhere from 300 to more than 400 mg.

365 Everyday Value Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs

Made from whole-wheat flour and yeast alone, these are 100% salt-free (as in 0 mg sodium), a big improvement over the 160 to 420 mg in others.

365 Everyday Value Creamy Peanut Butter (Unsweetened & No Salt)

Most nut butters sneak 150 mg sodium into 2 tablespoons. Whole Foods’ version has 0 g sodium and a mere 1 g natural sugar.

10 Popular Frozen Dinners, Ranked by Sodium Content

A survey conducted in 2011 came up with this result: 90% of Americans eat more than the recommended amount of 2300mg of sodium per day. In fact, close to 3600mg is consumed on average each day. Likewise, Canadians are not far behind, eating about 3400mg a day. Excessive sodium intake is a huge contributor to cardiovascular disease through increased blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. This happens because the extra sodium causes the kidneys to retain more water as a counter measure (which in the long run can cause kidney disease).

You may be wondering why this list singles out frozen dinners. This is because frozen dinners are packed with salt. The reason for this is that salt tastes good to us (as does sugar, but that’s a whole different article) and because it’s a preservative. To give you some perspective on some of the amounts of sodium added to frozen dinners (and also which products are more health-conscious), here’s a list of frozen dinners ranked by their sodium content from the highest to lowest.

1. Hungry-Man Home-Style Meatloaf—1660mg

frozen dinners

Photo courtesy of brandeating.com

Hungry-Man? More like Salty-AF-Man. This meatloaf contains over half of your daily recommended serving of sodium, from just a third of your meals of the day. At least it has corn.

2. Boston Market Country Fried Chicken—1150mg

frozen dinners

Photo by Amanda Friedman

Fried chicken in a frozen dinner pack probably means all the grease of normal fried chicken without the promise of its signature crispiness. To compensate for this, Boston Market has loaded their fried chicken with extra salt (ew).

3. Stouffer’s Swedish Meatballs—980mg

frozen dinners

Photo courtesy of badsequels.com

I want to forgive this product because meatballs are delicious, but insanely high sodium is borderline unforgivable.

4. Weight Watcher’s Smart Ones Classic Favorites Salisbury Steak—900mg

frozen dinners

Photo courtesy of forsythkid.blogspot.com

This low-calorie option is, sadly, not a low-sodium option. I guess you can’t have the best of both worlds.

5. Amy’s Indian Mattar Paneer—780mg

frozen dinners

Photo courtesy of esmmweighless.com

We’re getting to about mid-range for sodium-content here. Amy’s Indian Mattar Paneer is just about a third of the recommended daily serving amount.

6. Weight Watchers Smart Ones Bistro Selection Salisbury Steak—740mg

frozen dinners

Photo courtesy of gianteagle.com

This is the second Salisbury steak from Weight Watchers on this list. The distinction between the Classic Favorites and Bistro Selection line is lost on me, but I’ll take the 160mg reduction in sodium.

7. Lean Pockets Philly Steak and Low-Fat Cheese with Grilled Vegetables—560mg

frozen dinners

Photo courtesy of gogovalley.com

The healthier alternative to Hot Pockets are Lean Pockets, and as its name suggests it is a lower calorie, lower fat, and—although not advertised—relatively low sodium option. Looks like they hit three birds with one stone with this product.

8. Healthy Choice Asian-Inspired General Tso’s Spicy Chicken—500mg

frozen dinners

Photo courtesy of healthychoice.com

If you’ve ever eaten Chinese food, you’ll know that it’s both greasy and salty, which makes this product a wonder. I’m not even sure if you can still call it Chinese food anymore, considering it has lost its characteristic qualities.

9. Lean Cuisine Glazed Chicken—450mg

frozen dinners

Photo courtesy of forsythkid.blogspot.com

I’m starting to see a trend now, with the product name including, but not limited to, descriptors like lean and healthy. Looks like low-sodium is often associated with healthier varieties of frozen dinners.

10. Amy’s Black Bean Vegetable Enchilada—390mg

frozen dinners

Photo courtesy of muddyfootsteps.wordpress.com

Hilariously enough, the last item on the list doesn’t have the words lean or healthy in its product name, yet actually isn’t terrible for you (at least, not based on sodium content alone).

Next time you eat a frozen dinner, keep the sodium content in mind and look for more health-conscious choices.

Low-Sodium Frozen Meals: 10 Healthy Microwave Meals

Americans eat more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day on average, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That’s 1,000 mg more than the USDA’s daily recommended value for healthy adults and nearly 2,000 mg more than the American Heart Association recommends for optimal heart health. The FDA recommends that healthy adults eat less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day or about 1 teaspoon, and yet the average American eats 5 or more teaspoons each day. 

A high sodium intake can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. While eating less sodium is widely recommended for people already diagnosed with high blood pressure and heart disease, a low sodium diet can also help lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular conditions for healthy adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Because blood pressure typically rises with age, reducing sodium intake may be particularly important for older adults. Reducing daily sodium intake to 1,500 mg lowers blood pressure even more than the general 2,300 mg recommendation, according to the FDA. 

Chances are, you are eating more sodium than you know. Where is all of that sodium coming from? It’s not the saltshaker on the table. Restaurant, processed, and prepackaged foods like frozen meals account for more than 75 percent of the sodium that Americans eat. Sodium is widely used in packaged foods to preserve, thicken, or enhance flavor. Even foods that don’t taste salty may have high levels of sodium.

What to look for

Not all frozen meals are created equal. A single slice of frozen pizza can pack a whopping 370 to 730 mg of sodium and more than 300 calories. Many meals have more sodium and fat than you should eat in the entire day.

The Cleveland Clinic recommends you look for frozen meals that have less than 600 mg of sodium, less than 500 calories, and less than 3 grams of saturated fat. Be careful to avoid “empty calories,” or meals that are low in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Meals packed with vegetables and whole grains will keep you full longer and have a higher nutritional value. Avoid meals with added sugar and high fat content.

10 Healthy Options

1. Amy’s Light in Sodium Black Bean Vegetable Enchilada

Made with organic tortillas, black beans, and vegetables, this gluten-free, vegan meal has 190 mg of sodium and 160 calories per serving. 

2. Luvo Steel Cut Oatmeal with Quinoa and Mixed Fruit

Look forward to getting out of bed in the morning. Luvo’s steel cut oatmeal is packed with heart-healthy fiber and protein to keep you full longer. It has only 120 mg of sodium and 260 calories in the entire package.

3. Ian’s Fish Sticks Family Pack

Who said fish sticks were just for kids? These allergy-friendly fish sticks are made with sustainable Alaska Pollock, and they are free of gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, eggs, and wheat.

With 190 calories and 170 mg of sodium per serving, you don’t have to feel guilty for eating some too.

4. Whole Foods’ 365 Organic Quinoa with Vegetables

Perfect as a side dish or main course, this quinoa has only 10 mg of sodium and 140 calories per serving. Made with organic quinoa, zucchini, and sweet potato, this frozen meal is high in iron, potassium, and vitamin A.

5. Luvo Organic Roasted Eggplant and Quinoa Burrito

Organic vegetables and quinoa are wrapped in a flaxseed tortilla for a healthy, nutrient-dense meal. The entire burrito has 270 calories, 270 mg of sodium, and 10 grams of protein.

6. Ian’s French Toast Sticks

Take your breakfast on the go with these French toast sticks. Made without common allergens like wheat, diary, and eggs, each serving has 120 mg of sodium and 270 calories.

7. Amy’s Light in Sodium Shepherd’s Pie

Forget trying to portion out a tiny frozen meal. This hearty vegan shepherd’s pie has only 160 calories and 290 mg of sodium in the entire package. Amy’s organic vegetables are covered in creamy mashed potatoes for a low-fat, healthy twist on the classic.

8. Sukhi’s Samosas and Chutney

Sukhi’s samosas and chutney bring home a taste of India. The award-winning potato samosas come with cilantro chutney for a delicious side dish or snack. The sharable dish has 190 calories and 300 mg of sodium per serving.

9. Trader Joe’s Thai Sweet Chili Veggie Burger

Pair Trader Joe’s Thai Sweet Chili Veggie Burger with a lettuce wrap for a filling, healthy entrée at 150 calories and 270 mg of sodium.

10. Lean Cuisine Pepperoni Snack Pizza

Satisfy your craving with Lean Cuisine’s snack pizza. At 300 mg of sodium and 210 calories per serving, this snack is best shared.

The Takeaway

With a quick look at the nutrition facts and ingredients, you can choose a healthy, heart-friendly meal from the freezer isle.

To find heart-healthy frozen meals, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center recommends looking for low-sodium varieties with less than 300 mg per serving and no more than 500 calories. Depending on your sodium intake the rest of the day, you may be able to increase your intake to 600 mg per frozen meal and still meet your daily sodium goal. Ignore the percent daily value of sodium on the nutrition label and instead focus on the total milligrams in each serving.

Be sure to always read the nutrition facts to avoid hidden sodium in packed and frozen foods. Packages that say “reduced sodium” or “25 percent less sodium” may still be high in sodium. Always check the milligrams in each serving and how many servings are in a package to avoid eating excess sodium. Ingredients like salt, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), sodium nitrite, sodium benzoate, and monosodium glutamate (MSG) all contribute added sodium and are included in the total milligrams.

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