(NewsUSA) - For the past year, the pandemic has changed Americans' lives in more ways than they could have ever imagined and that includes their health and wellness habits. In a recent One Poll on behalf of Nutrisystem that surveyed 2,000 Americans, 61 percent of people say they have gained between 6 and 25 lbs since March 2020. While growing health and immunity concerns have us wanting to find ways to eat healthy at home, cooking fatigue has also set in and left us looking for a quicker and easier way to get dinner on the table.
The good news is that frozen meals serve up the right solution. According to Courtney McCormick, RD, MPH, manager of clinical research and nutrition at Nutrisystem, frozen meals offer five key benefits:
* Frozen Meals are Convenient Frozen meals eliminate prep time in the kitchen. "Gone are the days of having to spend significant time in the kitchen preparing a healthy dinner for the family," says McCormick. Frozen meals help get dinner on the table quickly. As an added bonus, many companies, such as Nutrisystem, will deliver meals right to your door also eliminating the need to go to the grocery store.
* Frozen Meals are Nutrient Rich The frozen food industry has been working hard to focus on adding ingredients to frozen meals that taste good and are good for you. "Not only do frozen meals deliver on taste, many options today deliver on health too," adds McCormick. Many include vegetables, which are harvested at the peak of freshness when they have the most nutrients. They also cater to the tastes of the entire family and make it easy to try something new.
* Frozen Meals are Portion Controlled "For many food categories, portions have doubled over the past 20 years, and this isn't just at restaurants, but in packaged foods as well. Without even knowing it, we often find ourselves eating more than we should," said widely recognized nutrition expert Dr. Joan Salge Blake, EdD, RDN, LDN, FAND in a recent webinar titled "The Hottest Trend in Nutrition: Frozen Meals." Frozen meals not only take the guesswork out of portion control and re-teach reasonable portion sizes. The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Evidence-Analysis Library concludes there is strong evidence to support the use of single-serving, portion-con-trolled meals for weight loss.
* Frozen Meals are Versatile Frozen meals leave the door open for creativity. By adding fresh vegetables directly to the dish, meals become a bit more substantial. In addition, rounding out a meal with a salad on the side or steaming a fresh vegetable for the family is a simple way to ensure you're all eating healthy.
* Frozen Meals are Sustainable With frozen meals, there is no need to store leftovers or over-purchase ingredients that will eventually be thrown out. They can also help eliminate weekly trips to the grocery story as meals tend to have a longer shelf life. And you can feel even better about buying them since many meal cartons are recyclable.
Now is the time to say goodbye to the guilt and pressure of cooking up healthy meals every night and let frozen meals be your friend.
For more information, recipes and inspiration for healthy side dishes, visit leaf.nutrisystem.com.