Nutrition and Labeling - Rant... MSG, HFCS, Trans fat ARG!!

03-11-2010, 01:20 PM
So... I am trying to cut out High Fructose Corn Syrup, MSG and Trans fats... BUT I also work 40 hours a week, have a one year old and a hubby who works late and goes to school. So, I really need things that are healthy, but also fast and convenient.

OM F-in G!! it is IMPOSSIBLE to find frozen/easy/convenient foods that aren't loaded with MSG, HFCS, and Trans fat !! They "hide" MSG - labeling it as "yeast" and "enzymes". Trans fat is labeled as "Partially hydrogenated oils" or "Hydrogenated oils". (so even if it says '0 g' of Transfat, there can still be some, and if you eat a few things with it as the ingredient - it can add up!)

At least HFCS is easy to spot... it's in most everything.


Anyone else trying to limit these things from their diet? Any suggestions on healthy convenient foods??

03-11-2010, 01:39 PM
If you are looking for frozen foods, you can look for Amy's, Cedar Lane. Do you have Trader Joe's around your place, or may be whole foods. Whole food is bit expensive, so I generally check the brands available there and look out for those in my neighborhood health stores.

03-11-2010, 03:07 PM
I feel your pain, what with working part time, two small children, and college myself. I've had to change a lot about what we eat. No more frozen, very little canned or packaged, basically, the less it has been touched by man, the better. It seems like it will take longer to prepare these foods, but it really doesn't. Frozen broccoli takes a few minutes in the microwave, but with a steamer and a pot, fresh can be ready in about the same amount of time on the stove. Baking things in the oven, like fresh fish or chicken breast, can take more time than microwaving something, but you can also walk away and get some other things done in the meantime. Microwave meals need to be turned, stirred, etc. The only thing that helps me is being as organized as humanly possible, lol.

The local health foods places, like Whole Foods or Henry's or Trader Joe's carry some pretty healthy frozen meals if you need them in a pinch. They cost a little more, but that's the price of convenience that isn't full of chemicals.

03-11-2010, 03:27 PM
Here's a list of Trader Joe's on the east coast. Maybe you can find one close enough:

They do have a lot of great products for not a huge price. It is hard to find products without the bad additives.

Maybe invest in a good crock pot, do some cooking for the freezer type recipes when you do have the time:

If I remember correctly, you'll have to sort through the recipes to find the ones that don't use canned soups and such.

Good luck.

03-11-2010, 07:29 PM
I hear your frustration which has lead me again to conclude home made is the best made. There are a number of websites that talk about making meals for busy moms. It also turns out to be cheaper in most cases.

Best wishes.

03-11-2010, 07:55 PM
I am another one who recommends that, if you want to avoid additives, you cook at's really the simplest way.

But cooking at home can be fast. Your best friends are probably already in your kitchen...your freezer and your crockpot.

First, the freezer and fridge. On days when you do have time to cook (weekends?), you can cook large batches of things that freeze well (soups, stews, chilis) or components (par-steamed veggies, cooked brown rice, etc). You can make a few different marinades, buy a large package of chicken, make a few packets of each flavor in the amounts you'll need to feed your family, and freeze those. You can also plan your menus to reuse certain key pieces that you can cook in bulk.

So let's put this into practice. This week, I roasted two giant pans of eggplant, bell pepper, red onion, and zucchini until soft and caramelized. I served them with grilled chicken (lemon garlic, from the marinated chicken stash) inside a pita for Sunday's dinner, then saved the leftovers. So far, the leftovers have helped me make a 5 minute side dish (whole wheat couscous with roasted veggies stirred in...just boil some chicken broth with the veggies, add couscous, cover, and let sit) that I served alongside grilled marinated chicken (from my freezer stash, pulled out in the morning to defrost) and a quick-steamed green bean. They've also been put in whole wheat tortillas with pork that cooked in my slowcooker all day, along with salsa and fat free sour cream, for a meal that came together in literally 10 minutes flat. If I had more, I could toss them into a pasta dish with sauteed chicken sausage and bottled marinara, and would have a healthy dinner on the table in the time it took the pasta to cook. I don't have more, though, because they've been sneaking into my breakfast omelettes with egg whites...mmm.

And the slowcooker came into play too, to cook the was ready when I got home. And you can use it so many other's great especially in Winter, with all the soups and stews, but also in summer to cook cuts of meat when you won't have time to cook them at night...shredded meat makes a great taco salad topper. And when I cook a big stew or soup, I make enough that I have leftovers, so I can stock my freezer and have ultimate convenience foods (heat and eat!) without the additives and junk.

You do have to put more planning in, but you definitely can do healthy, home-cooked meals quickly.

03-12-2010, 09:48 AM
The cooking and freezing way of meal planning has been greatly helped with the cheapy plastic containers glad and ziplock like, you can afford to have several boxes around the house and you can freeze just the amount you need. The family gets a quart size to be reheated, my lunch I freeze in the 1 or 2 cup containers and grab it in the morning for lunch at work. I think it's cheaper too then buying the frozen meals.

It does take planning, you may have to really clean out the freezer and reorganize.

good luck