6 Worst Frozen Diet Foods

Charlatans! Imposters! Frauds! Scoundrels! They’re everywhere, from the late-night infomercials to the floor of your local used-car dealership. And there’s no place as packed with truth-twisting treats as the frozen food aisle of your supermarket.

How do so many bad-for-you foods get away with masquerading as “health” foods? Well, consider the case of the most famous imposter of all, Frank Abagnale: Over the course of several years, he masqueraded as a doctor, airline pilot, and lawyer. So successful were his impersonations that Hollywood made a movie about his life: "Catch Me if You Can," starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Abagnale had exactly what it took to pull off any hoax: the right look, the right talk, and a detachment from the consequences of his actions.

Sound familiar? Think about food industry: The people who fill our supermarket freezer section have no problem clumping together pseudo-foods and processing chemicals and selling it to you under the guise of "healthy eating." They give these foods the right look (gourmet packaging with wholesome images) and the right talk (nutritional buzz-terms like "light," "natural," and "gluten-free"), and they obviously don't care about the consequences (more than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese).

Indeed, some frozen-food manufacturers even go so far as to spackle terms like "lean" or "healthy" right on the label. But the truth is, many of these foods are charlatans, imposters, frauds! Don’t let these scoundrels sabotage your waistline. Strike back with these tips, ripped from the pages of Eat This, Not That! 2012!

And remember, for more tips on fighting fat and toning your midsection, follow me right here on Twitter.

#6: WORST FROZEN DESSERTBen & Jerry's FroYo Phish Food
Ben & Jerry’s FroYo Phish Food (1/2 cup)
240 calories
6 g fat (4.5 g saturated)
27 g sugars

Frozen yogurt is often a healthy alternative to ice cream, but not this version. In fact, it has 100 more calories than your standard vanilla frozen treat. That’s largely due to coconut oil and butter being high on the ingredient list—not to mention nearly a half-dozen Oreos' worth of sugar in every scoop.

Eat This Instead
Haagen-Dazs Chocolate All Natural Sorbet
130 calories
0.5 g fat (0 g saturated)
21 g sugars

EAT DESSERT EVERY DAY! You can—and not put on an extra pound. You just need to know which desserts to indulge in, and which to avoid. Start here: 15 Worst Desserts in America.

#5: WORST BEEF MEALLean Cuisine Beef Chow Fun
Lean Cuisine Beef Chow Fun
320 calories
5 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
520 mg sodium
18 g sugars

The calorie toll here isn't so bad, but the sugar impact is unacceptable. This isn't dessert, after all. You could have a scoop of Edy's Slow Churned Rocky Road ice cream and still cut 6 grams of sugar. The problem here is Lean Cuisine's “sweet and spicy” Asian sauce. Think of it as pancake syrup with a few spices stirred in.

Eat This Instead
Lean Cuisine Garlic Beef & Broccoli
170 calories
6 g fat (2 g saturated)
670 mg sodium
5 g sugars

AMERICA'S WORST FOODS: One of the best things about the brand-new Eat This, Not That! 2012 is that it helps you find fat-fighting food no matter where you are: movie theater, coffee shop, vending machine. It also includes this list of foods that should never see the inside of your belly: The NEW 20 Worst Foods in America.

#4: WORST FROZEN MEXICAN MEALCedarlnae Roasted Chile Relleno
Cedarlane Roasted Chile Relleno
400 calories
20 g fat (12 g saturated)
770 mg sodium

This box advertises “all natural” in the corner. Maybe, but Monterey jack and cheddar cheese, which make up two of the first five ingredients, are still naturally full of fat. And that’s how Cedarlane stuffs this relatively small dish with 60 percent of your day’s heart-unhealthy saturated fat.

Eat This Instead!
Kashi Spicy Black Bean Enchilada
260 calories
7 g fat (1 g saturated)
600 mg sodium

#3: WORST FROZEN CHICKEN DISHHealthy Choice Roasted Sesame Chicken
Healthy Choice Roasted Sesame Chicken
440 calories
9 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
470 mg sodium
23 g sugars

Remove the calming green packaging and the ostentatious use of "healthy" in the name, and you'll see this meal for what it is: fried chicken swimming in sugary syrup. Healthy Choice claims this is “roasted” chicken, but an inspection of the ingredient statement reveals the meat is coated in corn flour and cooked in vegetable oil. At KFC they call that "fried."

Eat This Instead
Healthy Choice Café Steamers Lemon Garlic Chicken and Shrimp
260 calories
6 g fat (2 g saturated)
350 mg sodium
4 g sugars

FOWL FOULS: Chicken is a lean, fat-fighting protein. But it's also the most abused food in American restuarants. Here's the evidence: The Worst Chicken Dishes in America.

#2: WORST FROZEN BURRITOEvol Burritos Egg & Sausage
Evol Burritos Egg & Sausage
480 calories
16 g fat (5 g saturated)
850 mg sodium

We love Evol’s commitment to unadulterated produce and naturally raised meats, but "natural" alone won't keep fat off your body. Sausage is still the first ingredient in this beast of a morning wrap, and as such, it saddles you with 25 percent of your day’s fat and saturated fat, 35 percent of your sodium, and half your cholesterol. These numbers don’t make Evol evil, but they don’t make this burrito nutritious either.

Eat This Instead
Amy’s Breakfast Burrito
270 calories
8 g fat (1 g saturated)
540 mg sodium

BREAKFAST BOMBSHELLS: Research shows that those who eat a balanced breakfast consume fewer calories over the course of the day. But do the first meal wrong, and you can set yourself up for calorie overload. Learn how not to start your day: 20 Worst Breakfasts in America.

Amy’s Rice Macaroni with Non-Dairy Cheeze
520 calories
22 g fat (5 g saturated)
740 mg sodium

Amy’s casts itself as the healthy alternative to other frozen meals, and often that's true. But not here. “Made with organic pasta,” as the package proclaims, means nothing if you’re consuming an oil-soaked cheese-alternative that crams in more than a third of your day’s fat allotment. For the same amount of calories, you could eat two packages of Banquet’s macaroni and cheese.

Eat This Instead
Banquet Macaroni and Cheese Meal
260 calories
6 g fat (3 g saturated)
760 mg sodium

YOUR NEW SHOPPING LIST! There are more than 45,000 options in the average supermarket. Some will wreck your waistline; some will shrink it. The easiest way to choose: Go ahead and put anything from our newly updated list of the 125 Best Supermarket Foods in your shopping cart—and watch the pounds melt away! (And check out Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals to save time and money!)


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