How to choose ready meals?

Stored at room temperature, canned preparations (cans, plastic trays, doypacks, etc.) may contain more salt and additives“, notes Professor Chantal Julia, nutritionist. She also underwent high-heat treatments that destroyed some of the micronutrients.

The fresh product (delicacy section) in principle contains fewer additives, but must be consumed quickly, especially to get the most out of its vitamin contribution. Finally, prepared with fresh ingredients and immediately brought to extreme negative temperatures, the frozen dish preserves the food’s micronutrients well (vitamins, minerals, etc.) and generally contains few, if any, preservatives.

Can they represent a complete and balanced dish?

It all depends on the composition. “You need vegetables, a protein source (meat, fish) and ideally starch (grains, legumes), except in the case of a vegetarian dish where the grain/legume combination replaces meat or fish., recommends Professor Julia. “The higher the proportion of vegetables, the better: ideally half the dish, which is rarely the case“, adds Professor Julia. Also pay attention to the portion!”The individual portion must be between 250 and 350 gsays Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen, nutritionist. Anything less and you risk going hungry. Above, it may represent an energy intake that is higher than needs. Calorie intake should remain reasonable, between 120 and 150 calories per day. 100 g.

What protein content must be ensured for a main course?

“Don’t go below 20 to 25g (whether the source is animal or vegetable) per serving“, continues the nutritionist. Such a contribution is really necessary to help cover the daily needs, to be permanently full and to preserve the muscle mass.

How much salt should not be exceeded?

No more than 0.5 g of salt per 100 ginsists Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen. If the sodium content is shown, multiply it by two to get the amount of salt.“Like most processed products, ready meals often contain too much of it and actually contribute to exceeding the maximum recommended daily salt intake (5 to 6 g)

What should be the maximum fat content per portion?

Always lower than the protein content, i.e. less than 20 g. The fat quality is also important: “The ideal is to prefer dishes that contain as few saturated fatty acids as possible.recommends Dr. Cohen.

What carbohydrate intake to be well balanced?

Everything depends! Thus, the average starch intake per meal for a woman be 100 to 150 g of cooked weight or 40 to 60 g of carbohydrates and 150 to 250 g for a man or 60 to 100 g of carbohydrates. , and this varies depending on activity level. “For better satiety, the most important thing is to have a grain intake (ideally complete), potatoes or legumes“, points out Dr. Cohen.

Are there any additives or certain ingredients to avoid?

Often crucial for preserving preparations and improving their organoleptic appearance, additives are subject to special monitoring, explains Dr. Cohen. Perhaps the problem is rather the dose and the cocktail effect, so it is better to choose dishes that contain no more than two or three.“We avoid long ingredient lists and/or with processed ingredients (glucose syrup, soy protein, etc.), we focus on noble ingredients, that is: “real” meat, “real” cheese, quality fats (olive and rapeseed), oils, butter, etc. ):”The less a product is processed and the more ultra-processed, the better“, recalls Professor Julia. We also limit plastic packaging or transfer to another container (glass) before reheating.

Does a Nutri score of A or B mean you can eat it as often as you want?

Nix! insists Professor Chantal Julia. The rating assigned to the product makes it easier to choose within the same category: from a qualitative point of view, the product A or B is preferable to the one classified D or E. But it does not take into account the quantity (score is fixed at 100 g) or consumption frequency.”

Are light dishes more interesting for the line?

No, because they often play on quantity rather than quality, with smaller portions, or contain additives that retain water in the product to lower the energy densitywarns Dr. Cohen. In both cases, the needs are not met and we are not permanently full.“He recommends choosing a normal dish instead, but paying attention to its nutritional values ​​(protein content, protein/lipid ratio, caloric value per 100g).

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