The Most Unhealthy Frozen Dinner You Can Buy

itemmaster.comitemmaster.comFrozen dinners are such a part of the American way of life that Smithsonian's National Museum of American History displays one of Swanson's compartmentalized aluminum TV dinner trays in an exhibit. The frozen dinner as we know it today, however, is the result of years of experimentation and ingenuity, and over the years just about all nutritional value has been leached out of them.

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And we've never looked back; households are busier than ever, and grocery stores are saturated with choices. Frozen dinners are still convenient and cheap, but if you don't do a little label-checking, that convenience can come at a different sort of price when it comes to your health. Interestingly, it's the Swanson name that produces the biggest offenders in this area. Their Hungry Man dinners lead the list in obliterating recommended daily intakes of sodium, and with boxes bragging about "One Pound of Food," aren't doing you any favors in the calorie and fat areas, either.

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Not only are such dinners bad for our health, they're bad for the frozen food industry. Chicago market research firm, SymphonyIRI Group, reported that sales of frozen entrées declined 2 percent in 2012 to $9.2 billion, and it's speculated that some of the reasons are a tough economy, changing eating patterns, and the notion that frozen dinners aren't healthy. Consumers are more health-conscious these days than ever before, and often perceive frozen meals as sub-par, nutritionally. Of course that's not necessarily true, and the frozen food industry is taking steps to get the word out that frozen entrées can be healthy and appealing. But meals like this aren't doing much to change perceptions.

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Hungry Man (Swanson) Classic Fried Chicken

You'd better be a Hungry Man (grrr!) to eat this one, which comes with reconstituted potatoes, corn, and a brownie - and you'd better be an Exercising Man to work it off. It tops our list in the calorie category, coming in at 960, with an over-the-top sodium level (2,869 milligrams!) and 45 grams of fat. Ingredients like monosodium glutamate and sodium acid pyrophosphate make it even less like down-home cooking.

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-Rani Long, The Daily Meal

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