Frozen foods can be a lifesaver for a meal in a pinch, but many of them don’t have a stellar reputation for being healthy. Frozen TV dinners are often known to carry lots of sodium and saturated fat that can even lead to intense side effects, including increased blood pressure, headaches, and throat-swelling. What starts as a simple stroll through the frozen aisle of the grocery store can turn into choosing between convenience and nutritional value.
In ALDI’s world of frozen meals, some products exist that don’t sacrifice satisfaction or nutritious quality. A panel of dietitians has hand-picked some of the best items from the chain’s current frozen selections. Keep scrolling to see which items rise above the rest.
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“With 11g of protein per serving, and a mix of whey protein, mango, strawberries, and raspberries, this smoothie snack is nutritionally well-balanced,” says Eat This, Not That! Medical Expert Board member Amy Shapiro MS, RD. Smoothies are often considered a simple way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet. According to Shapiro, “This frozen food is a great breakfast or snack option for those with limited meal prep time!”
Shapiro also recommends these Bacon Wrapped Scallops for mealtime. “With 160 calories for 3 pieces, this is a great appetizer to serve when hosting or a way to incorporate tasty protein into a meal.”
Scallops themselves are high in protein, calcium, and iron. “This product is lower in sodium than most frozen foods, making it a good option for a meal or snack,” she adds.
“This yummy bowl is a great source of plant protein,” says Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., RDN, CDN. She is an Eat This, Not That! Medical Expert Board member, a nutritionist, and the author of Finally Full, Finally Slim.
At just 130 calories per serving, the frozen package includes veggies, black beans, and rice. This Southwest-style dish is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and made with non-GMO ingredients. Young adds that the chipotle bowl is both low in calories and contains fiber, which she says is “a win-win for your waistline.”
Young also recommends this roasted vegetable flatbread as “another vegetarian favorite.” According to Fooducate, the flatbread has grilled peppers, grilled zucchini, and onions and overall carries more than 12% of the daily recommended amount of fiber.
Young says that it’s “a great way to get your veggies, and your protein. 1/3 flatbread contains 12 grams of protein!”
The flatbread comes in two flavors, Mozzarella Pesto or Roasted Vegetable and is listed for $3.79.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND award-winning nutrition expert, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Family Immunity Cookbook, and a member of the Medical Expert Board, says that when it comes to seafood, you can’t go wrong! At only 80 calories per serving, Amidor notes that this whole cooked lobster is lean in protein and low in fat.
While shellfish were once considered to be high in cholesterol, she says that it’s important to look at saturated fat, which affects blood lipid levels—measuring cholesterol, and “that’s why the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines dropped the cholesterol guidelines.” So when it comes to the lobster, Amidor gives the green light to “go ahead and enjoy!”
The Fremont Fish Market Boom Boom Shrimp stands at just 190 calories per serving with 19g of protein (not to mention it’s gluten-free). Generally speaking, shrimp has a number of health benefits that can include improving brain health, relieving menstrual pain, and even lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Amidor says that shrimp is another lean protein, and “Here it’s flavored with sweet chili Thai sauce which adds sodium, sugar, and some fat.” She suggests to “Serve over brown rice and a side of steamed vegetables for a balanced meal.”
Unfortunately, some other items on your ALDI shopping list may be out of stock. The low-cost grocery chain says it is still facing product delays.