People on a diet often find themselves opting for health conscious frozen entrées, which are usually low in calories and perfect for anyone trying to lose weight, who may not have the time to prepare these low-calorie meals themselves. Two popular brands are Lean Cuisine frozen entrées and South Beach Diet frozen entrées; the question is, which product is better? Here are some important factors to consider in your decision to purchase either the Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine products or the South Beach Diet products.
Just because a meal is supposed to be low calorie does not mean it is also low in fat. Make sure you check the fat content on the nutritional label before you purchase any frozen entrée. Usually, you will find the Lean Cuisine meals to have a much lower fat content than the South Beach Diet meals. For example, the South Beach Diet’s Penne & Chicken in Roasted Penne Red Pepper Sauce with Broccoli may only be worth 300 calories, but the meal has a whopping 12 grams of fat. Even South Beach Diet’s seemingly healthier option-the Chicken Salad Kit Cranberry Walnut-only 290 calories, has a total of 13 grams of fat. Lean Cuisine meals, on the other hand, rarely have more than 10 grams of fat. Even the Lean Cuisine Pepperoni Pizza and the enormously popular Chicken Club Panini have just 9 grams of fat each. Most of the rest of their meals have a fat content ranging from 3 grams to about 8 grams.
Another important consideration is the sodium content of the frozen meals you choose to purchase. Consuming too much salt is not only horrible for your health, but it will also cause you to retain water, which will make those numbers on the scale creep up. Yes, it is only temporary water weight, but really, who wants to see those numbers move up? All dieters know how motivation can so easily be damaged by the scale, so don’t let this happen to you! Once again, it is apparent that the Lean Cuisine meals have a much lower sodium content in general than do the South Beach Diet meals. The average person is supposed to consume no more than around 2400mg of sodium a day-and when one realizes that the South Beach Diet’s Garlic Parmesan Chicken with Penne has a total of 820mg, shock is the inevitable reaction. Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine meals, on the other hand, tend to have about 500mg to 700mg per meal-which is quite an improvement in comparison and fairly low for a frozen entrée.
One advantage of the South Beach Diet entrées are the size of the meals. The meals usually come with a hefty serving of vegetables, sure to fill you up. The portions of the meals themselves are also fairly larger than the portions of the Lean Cuisine meals. Obviously, this means you will be more satisfied after the South Beach Diet meal than you will with the Lean Cuisine meals, which are usually either entirely too small to constitute a realistic meal (the One Dish Favorites, for example) or are just barely satisfying. The majority of South Beach Diet entrées, on the other hand, are fairly large in comparison and will satisfy your appetite.
Probably the most important consideration for any consumer is the taste of the products. However, here, a fair comparison cannot be made. Both products have meals which are absolutely delicious and others which are tasteless and bland. In this category, you must try individual meals from both brands to determine which ones you prefer because you will not find yourself a fan of all Lean Cuisine meals or all South Beach Diet Meals. Personal Lean Cuisine favorite include the Chicken Club Panini, the Pepperoni Pizza, the Three Meat Pizza, and the Cheese Lasagna with Chicken Scaloppini. Personal South Beach Diet favorite include the Grilled Chicken Cesar Wrap Kit, the Southwestern Style Chicken Wrap Kit, and the Garlic Parmesan Chicken with Penne.
Though the slight blandness of these health-conscious meal brands is inescapable, it is also important to note that South Beach Diet meals tend to be less bland and more flavorful (especially meals with chicken, particularly the wrap kits and salads) than do Lean Cuisine meals.
Though the facts above about sodium and fat content should be noted, they should not completely restrict you from eating South Beach Diet meals-if you are able to keep an eye on the amount of fat and sodium you consume, the South Beach Diet meals should not pose much of an unhealthy problem, as it is important to remember that the body does require fat to function properly. It is also important to compare the size of the meal with the number of calories it contains-it would be unwise to eat a meal that is high in calories but small and unsatisfying, such as some of Lean Cuisine’s One Dish Favorites.
The most important piece of advice is to always check nutritional labels-they are provided for a reason. You are the judge of how much fat, sodium, and calories you are willing to consume in your quest to lose weight. Make sure to supplement any diet with exercise, as it is the only way to lose weight in the long run and make use of these products which provide simple, quick, and good tasting meals for dieters on-the-go.