Microwave meals – sometimes called ready meals – are extremely popular in homes around the world. In simple terms, these meals consist of different pre-made things in a small package that you stick in the microwave and cook for a few minutes. You can get so many different variations, meaning there’s an option for just about anyone.
Why are microwave meals so popular?
Well, it’s very obvious, isn’t it? These meals take convenience to new levels, meaning you can have a full meal ready for you in minutes. If you look at some of the trends in the food industry right now, convenience is up there as the biggest thing. People want to find ways of making food as convenient as possible, largely down to how busy people are these days. Working a full-time job and looking after a family leaves you with little time to slave in the kitchen. So, you turn to ready meals as a convenient way of staying nourished.
However, there is one huge question surrounding microwave meals: are they healthy? Or, to phrase it another way, is it possible to get healthy microwave meals? The answer to the first question is that ready meals can be healthy, but a lot are not. Therefore, it is possible for you to find healthy microwave meals, and the following points will help you do just that:
Avoid packaging with BPA in it
Many ready meals are unhealthy because they are packaged in plastics containing BPA. When heated, BPA can get into your food and be ingested. High levels of BPA in your system are proven to be bad for you and could lead to an increased risk of cancer. Thankfully, many ready-meal producers are already offering healthier packaging options.
Look for low-sodium and low-calorie meals
A simple way to find healthier microwave meals is to look at the nutritional information on the packaging. Ideally, you want meals that are low in sodium and salt. Typically, ready meals are high in this as they use a lot of salt to preserve the food. Too much sodium is bad for you and can lead to an increased chance of heart disease and high cholesterol.
Likewise, look for low-calorie meals. Many microwave meals contain loads of calories, meaning they are not healthy for you. But, some exist that are much lighter and more balanced.
Look for meals with minimal ingredients
Generally, the fewer ingredients a meal has, the healthier it will be. You want natural ingredients with few preservatives. Plant-based microwave meals tend to be the healthiest as they have the least ingredients – largely due to a lack of preservatives needed to keep meat from going off.
If you look for ready meals that tick these three boxes, it is entirely possible to find some pre-made microwave meals that are healthy. Or, you can make your own, guaranteeing the healthiest options. A smart idea is to batch cook meals and keep them in your fridge or freezer. You use natural ingredients and control everything that goes into them, microwaving the meals when you need them. This way, you can enjoy the convenience of microwave meals without any health concerns.
This is a contributed post