Best Frozen Meals for Diabetes

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Let's face it: frozen meals are handy. And on hectic days, having a meal in minutes can be a lifesaver. Even if you're making an effort to cook more, stocking your freezer with a few emergency meals can save you from ordering delivery or hitting the drive-thru, which can wreak havoc on your blood sugar. All of these meals keep sodium, calories, saturated fat and carbohydrates in check, which are important nutrients for people who have diabetes. These options are healthy choices for anyone who needs an easy meal to grab straight from the freezer in a pinch.

Here are our favorite healthy options to stock up on plus what to look for at the store.

Don't Miss: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes

Look for these Diabetic Living-approved Better ChoiceTM product picks at the store.

Best Stir-Fry

healthy choice frozen meal

Healthy Choice Power Bowls Cuban-Inspired Pork Bowl

CAL 340, FAT 8 g (2.5 g sat. fat), SODIUM 600 mg, CARB 46 g (7 g fiber), PROTEIN 20 g

Best Vegetarian

smart ones frozen meal

Smart Ones SmartMade Roasted Vegetables & Garlic-Herb Quinoa Bowl

CAL 360, FAT 11 g (4 g sat. fat), SODIUM 580 mg, CARB 49 g (11 g fiber), PROTEIN 16 g

Best for Weight Loss

eatingwell frozen meal

EatingWell Chicken & Wild Rice Stroganoff

CAL 280, FAT 9 g (3 g sat. fat), SODIUM 590 mg, CARB 29 g (5 g fiber), PROTEIN 21 g

Best Mexican

mexican bowl frozen meal

Frontera Tinga Taco Bowl

CAL 260, FAT 5 g (1 g sat. fat), SODIUM 590 mg, CARB 33 g (6 g fiber), PROTEIN 19 g


Best Comfort Food

frozen meal

Lean Cuisine Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes

CAL 240, FAT 7 g (3.5 g sat. fat), SODIUM 540 mg, CARB 25 g (3 g fiber), PROTEIN 20 g

Here's what to keep in mind as you're shopping at the store.

Know your numbers.

In general, look for products that are under 400 calories, 5 g saturated fat, 600 mg sodium, and 50 g carbohydrate per frozen meal.

Get the nutrition facts panel.

Package descriptors such as "lean," "fit," or "smart" may give dishes a health halo they don't deserve. Look beyond the marketing lingo and review the Nutrition Facts label on each box. Nutrient amounts such as sodium and carbohydrate may vary widely within a product line.

Check sodium levels.

Many frozen meals are swimming in sodium—some topping 1,000 milligrams. That can be bad news for blood pressure. Opt for frozen meals with 600 mg sodium or less, which is about a fourth of the daily limit of 2,300 mg.

Choose meals that will satisfy.

Protein and fiber make meals more filling. Aim for at least 15 grams of protein for meals containing meat; at least 10 g for vegetarian meals. Choose dishes with at least 3 g fiber—look for meals that contain whole grains, beans, and vegetables, which are all good sources of fiber.

Avoid empty calories.

In general, avoid frozen dinners containing fried or breaded meats, lots of cheese, or rich sauces. These ingredients add calories and saturated fat, but provide few nutrients.

Round it out.

A dish with just 180 calories may seem like a win for your waistline. But, you'll likely feel hungry later on. You may need to add a serving of brown rice, a side salad, and/or fruit to complete your meal.

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There are healthy options in the freezer aisle for people with diabetes. Here are our favorites.
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Lisa Valente
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