Unpacking the truth: are ready meals healthy?

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Finding time to prepare tasty, healthy food can be challenging and, in our fast-paced world, convenience often comes out on top. So, when finding meal solutions that fit in around work and leisure commitments, ready to eat foods are often the best option. But when it comes to ready meals, just how healthy are they?

Contrary to popular belief, not all ready meal options contain unhealthy additives. In fact, Hey Fresto! has developed a wide range of healthy ready meals delivered to your door. This was born from a commitment to taking away the stress of finding and making nutrient-brimming meals. 

Let’s explore how to find healthy, pre-prepared food boasting speed and diversity, as well as nourishing ingredients. 

Vegetable paella ready meal with cashew nuts

With increasing awareness over the performance, energy and overall health implications of what we eat, nutritional information is important. From a child’s first steps, nutrition becomes a crucial consideration for growth and development, for example. 

In line with food labelling requirements, UK shoppers can see all information on the nutritional aspects of a product on the packaging — from fats to sugar and salt content. So when considering how to eat less processed foods, look out for this information.

Traditionally, ready meals have had high levels of sodium, preservatives, and artificial additives to add flavour and extend shelf life. The good news is that ready meals have improved over time, with better quality ingredients and fewer additives. This means it’s much easier to choose meals with better nutritional profiles, and strike a balance between convenience and health. 

Keralan Red Pepper & Cauliflower Curry - Vegan Ready Meals

Hey Fresto! uses fresh ingredients and lots of wholesome goodness. Then, we blast freeze our meals to lock in that freshness without needing to rely on preservatives.  

Ready meals also present significant health benefits in terms of portion control, with clear serving sizes making it easier to monitor your food intake. For example, it limits the potential spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels that are associated with consuming large portions of high-carbohydrate foods in a single sitting.

What’s more, portion control will allow you to minimise food waste — being kinder to your financial health, as you’re not throwing money in the bin, as well as benefiting the environment too.

That said, it’s still important to review the overall nutritional quality of any meals. Even with portion control, a meal lacking essential nutrients or containing excessive unhealthy elements may not have the same benefits. 

You’ll also want to consider how choices fit with your personal preferences, dietary requirements or allergies. Having variety for quick midweek meals is important no matter your diet. For example, if you’re vegan, quick meals are still an option.

Our chefs have worked tirelessly to develop a high-quality range of ready meal options from paella to curry. So, if you’re looking for midweek, quick meals, take a look to find something that gets your taste buds tingling!