13 Prepared Meals Nutritionists Avoid at the Supermarket
It's not just about fat and calories—it turns out they hate soggy sandwiches just as much as the rest of us!
Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food and you may feel like you need a little comforting by the time you make it to the grocery store at 9 p.m. after a too-long day of work. Unfortunately, this isn't a dish that holds up well nutritionally or on the hot table, Mitri says. "At its core, mac-n-cheese, is just simple carbs and fat—it's not a well-balanced meal and you'll be hungry again 30 minutes later," she explains.
If you need to indulge your mac-n-cheese craving, try mixing in some peas or butternut squash from the salad bar to give it a little nutritional boost, she says. When you make your own, don't sweat if it's organic or not—nutritionists don't.
"Japanese restaurants have very high standards when it comes to sushi-grade fish but I have a difficult time trusting the freshness of prepared sushi in grocery stores, particularly in landlocked states," says Ashlee Van Buskirk, nutritionist and founder of Whole Intent. "Who knows how long ago that salmon was caught?" Food poisoning isn't worth the risk for convenience, she says. To stay on the safe side, choose cooked sushi rolls over raw or sashimi types, she says. Or go for a summer roll with veggies rolled up in rice paper.
Many "Chinese" dishes that are popular in America, like orange chicken, are a) not really Chinese at all and b) loaded in sugar and salt, Van Buskirk says. Often they are very small amounts of meat that are then breaded, fried, and drenched in a sugar sauce. "These prepared dishes won't help you meet your nutritional targets," she explains. "Plus, the store-bought orange chicken doesn't compare to that of a real Asian culinary restaurant." Instead, order grilled or sauteed chicken with the sauce on the side and a large side order of steamed vegetables or one of these other healthy Chinese food options.