How Unhealthy Is Lean Cuisine?

Lean Cuisine Unhealthy

January 17, 2012   79 Comments

Lean Cuisine is a brand of frozen meals created by the Nestle corporation. How bad are they for you?

Snack Girl has a new office and I share a lunch room with other tenants in the building. I have noticed a stack of "Lean Cuisine" boxes in the trash can. What am I doing looking the trash can? Good question.

Anyway, I saw these and thought I should give them a try. At my local supermarket they were 5 for $10!! Wow! So, I bought three to sample the array of meals (see photo above).

It just blows my mind that you can buy a prepared, boxed, and frozen meal for $2. My kid's school lunch cost $2.50. How does Nestle do it?

I got ready to really hate these and skewer them with my wit, and I found myself approving of one of the meals. See the Steak Tips and Portabello above? This is the photo of what it looks like before you eat it:

openlean

I noticed something right away that I liked about this meal. One half of the plate is vegetables - and there are lots of mushrooms in the "protein portion" of the plate. There are a bunch of veggies here! Here is the U.S. government's MyPlate diagram:

myplateb

Do you see the similarity?

What I like about this diagram is getting you to fill half your plate with fruits and/or vegetables for your meal. And Lean Cuisine in their "Steak Tips Portabello" has done just that. Here are the nutritional facts for this meal:

150 calories, 4 g fat, 14 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 3 g fiber, 430 mg sodium, 4 Points+

Umm, that is not a lot for a meal. This meal breaks almost every one of Michael Pollan's food rules - too many ingredients, in a box, not local, etc. etc. But, for people who are broke, exhausted, and trying to lose weight - it is not a bad option. The sodium, of course, is out of control at 18% of your daily value.

It tasted salty to me, but it tasted much better than I thought it was going to taste for $2. It was better than edible.

Now, all of the other Lean Cuisines were meals such as meatballs and pasta, macaroni and cheese, and chicken and pasta. And, they lacked VEGETABLES. I think I would avoid those. They seem unhealthy because they all have high amount of sodium and low nutritional value.

My advice is to pick the frozen meals with the most vegetables and the lowest sodium. Eat them when you don't have time to cook.

Do you have a favorite frozen entree? Please share your thoughts on the healthiness of frozen meals.


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79 Comments:

We used to eat them every day for lunch, the best part about them, for us, is portion control. We eat healthier for lunch now, but we do keep a few in the freezer for those nights when we are both exhausted, don't feel like cooking, and want to avoid fast food. The Alfredo Pasta with Chicken & Broccoli is our favorite, though I do like the Steak Tips and Portobello too.

on January 17, 2012

I would love to see the list of ingredients and how many chemicals and preservatives are in it. I shiver at the thought.

on January 17, 2012

@Angela- I got this from http://www.leancuisine.com/products/NutritionInformation.as…

The first few ingredients look like actual food, but then it sure does seem to go downhill... :/

"Ingredients: BROCCOLI, SEASONED COOKED BEEF AND MODIFIED CORNSTARCH PRODUCT CARAMEL COLOR ADDED (BEEF, WATER, DEXTROSE, SOYBEAN OIL, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, SALT, POTASSIUM AND SODIUM PHOSPHATES, CARAMEL COLOR, NATURAL FLAVORS), WATER, PORTABELLO MUSHROOMS, 2% OR LESS OF BURGUNDY WINE, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, MUSHROOM BASE (SAUTEED MUSHROOMS AND ONIONS, SUGAR, SALT, MUSHROOM JUICE CONCENTRATE, CANOLA OIL, 2% OR LESS OF BUTTER (CREAM, LACTIC ACID), ONION POWDER, MALTODEXTRIN, POTATO STARCH, NATURAL FLAVORS, HYDROLYZED WHEAT GLUTEN, CARAMEL COLOR, PARSLEY, GARLIC JUICE CONCENTRATE, ONION JUICE CONCENTRATE, SOYBEAN OIL, XANTHAN GUM), BROWN SAUCE FLAVOR (MALTODEXTRIN, TOMATO POWDER, SALT, SUGAR, YEAST EXTRACT, SOY SAUCE (SOYBEANS, WHEAT, SALT), BEEF EXTRACT, FLAVOR, CARAMEL COLOR, CITRIC ACID, LACTIC ACID, LYPOLYZED CREAM (BUTTER, NONFAT MILK SOLIDS, XANTHAN GUM)), SUGAR, NATURAL FLAVORS, BUTTERFAT, ROASTED GARLIC, DEHYDRATED ONIONS, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, SPICES, CULTURED WHEY, YEAST EXTRACT. Contains: MILK, SOY, WHEAT INGREDIENTS"

FWIW, on Sunday afternoons/evenings, I spend about 30 minutes making a big batch of quinoa (a bag of uncooked quinoa is insanely cheap at our warehouse-club store) and washing the salt off a few cans of low-sodium black beans (I usually do this while the quinoa is simmering for 15 minutes and a big hat-tip to Lisa for the black-beans idea).

When done, I dump a serving of each (1 cup cooked for quinoa and 1/2 cup of beans) into disposable/reusable containers so we can easily grab one for lunch/dinner. Eat them hot, eat them cold, add whatever you like (on mine, I love 2 tbsp salsa, cumin, mushed up avocado).

Easy peasy. (The biggest problem is finding a place to put a bunch of the containers in the fridge!)

on January 17, 2012

I buy them when they are on sale. One of my favorites is the pumpkin ravioli but hard to fine in our area. I like the pizzas. Pizza is a problem food for me, so I can have it in a controlled portion. I too only eat them on occasion and keep them in the freezer for times when I am too tired or busy or for a quick lunch. Try to eat homemade food most of the time that is healthier.

on January 17, 2012

I used to eat them for lunch all the time while the price point is great and the easy factor is off the charts I do not like the sodium and I never felt full. That to me, the last two points are a fast food/junk food marker. Now for lunch I make things that are fresh like a beet, apple and goat cheese salad - fast, easy, fresh and I feel full and happy minus the sodium bloat. I don't care if they are 10 for 1 dollar - I will not purchase them.

on January 17, 2012

The sodium.....I just can't get past the sodium. Way too much in my opinion.

on January 17, 2012

I agree. They never fill me either. When I have them I supplement with an apple and a yogurt. All the more reason not to eat them at all. Homemade, fresh, healthy food is best.

on January 17, 2012

I've tried these before. They're like a snack - definitely not a meal. I never felt satisfied.

on January 17, 2012

Lean Cuisine has different lines of frozen meals. The Spa Cuisine line has more vegetables in them than the others. I think that Cafe Cuisine (which seems to be the line of your two non-featured selections) is more like portion controlled comfort food.

on January 17, 2012

I am with Heather on this one. I used to buy these ALL of the time too...I very rarely (if ever) purchase these anymore (and I am a Weight Watcher's girl)...Heather was right when she said they DO NOT make you feel full AT ALL...and you are right that if you buy them you need to buy the lower sodium ones....even those have WAAAAAAY too much sodium but that is the case with most processed foods.

This is just the lesser of the evils.

on January 17, 2012

I LOVE Amy's meals...the tamale verde is amazing and very authentic tasting. Because they are organic, I feel better about eating them (don't have to worry about chemicals and GMOs).

on January 17, 2012

I think they all taste alike. And I agree they do not fill you up....at all. I used to put 1 cup of spaghetti squash with each entree which helps, but after awhile they all taste the same to me. I used to think maybe it was the sodium masking the flavor. But I am not a fan of frozen dinners. Skinny Cow ice cream, however is a different story. I love the cookies and cream but do not eat it often as it triggers bingeing for me.

on January 17, 2012

When I worked, I ate them everyday & supplemented it with a side salad from the cafeteria. Some (all brands) were good such as 3 Cheese Ziti (WW) & the breaded chix w/vegs. Some were vile and I stopped eating anything with chix chunks as they tasted artificial. Now that I'm home, I can only tolerate a few of them. I have, unfortunately, re-discovered cheap pot pies which fill me up! My Mom, who invented the word easy, never ate them because of the sodium level. Buyer beware. The problem was that when I worked, what I was in the mood for @ 7am, I wasn't interested in @ 1pm. A fresh salad always cured it for me! You could always buy a veg in a steam bag (I love broccoli) for lunch-filling & healthy!

on January 17, 2012

Thanks Andy for the Quinoa idea! I can make some today for the week! Also I find it interesting that a lot of comments about LC lunches said they had to supplement their meals with a side salad or something else that was real food.

on January 17, 2012

I eat LC with a homemade side salad. They are a great way for me to portion control. I don't eat a lot of salt in any of my other meals, so getting the larger amount at lunch is ok. As I get deeper in my weight loss and better at making healthy meals, I may change my mind. But for now, these are a great way to start on the right path.

on January 17, 2012

I am a fan of LC, so this post really interested me. I stick to the "spa cuisine" line and look for things with lots of veggies. My favorite is the Butternut Squash Ravioli. I collect their rewards points in order to get prizes (like lunch bags and kitchen products). Through that program they do surveys, and on the last one my feedback was they need more vegetarian options. I'm not a vegetarian, but I do like a many veggies in my day as possible. It looks like they have come out with a few new veg options recently. I do agree with everyone about the sodium, though--they advertise "no preservatives" but isn't that what salt is? But as someone else said, the rest of my meals aren't very salty (that I can tell, anyway), and my blood pressure is really low, so i could probably benefit from some extra salt! I have 4 LCs in my freezer right now, but this weekend I stocked up on veggies so i'm going to have salads and homemade bread for lunches this week. and clementines and apples :D

on January 17, 2012

Lean Cuisine? Look at the ingredients. It's an "anti-food" Your body does not know what to do with that crap. 150 calories is not a meal it's a snack. For the same calories I can have a small apple and some raw almonds which is healthier and keep me satisfied a whole lot longer.

on January 17, 2012

@Robin Tanis- beautifully put!

I am about to have a pear and some raw almonds and I won't be hungry for hours. Fiber + Protein = Satiety.

A big hat-tip to Ken http://www.feedyourheaddiet.com/ Leebow who clued me in to the key of fiber + protein. Ever since, my wife and I have been able to easily and quickly eat healthy foods (and enjoy it)...

on January 17, 2012

Well, with the LC pizza, which does satisfy my 8-months-pregnant pizza craving, I have figured something out. The whole pizza is 350 Calories, which IMHO is not "Lean," even if I have stopped counting calories religiously until my daughter is born. However, one must build a platform out of the box to cook the pizza properly, and the boxigami probably burns 30-50 Calories, placing it more into "Lean" territory. The pizza is so-so, but decent enough to satisfy a craving if you don't mind doing some amateur carpentry on your lunch break.

on January 17, 2012

Holy cow, that's a lot of ingredients for "beef and broccoli". hahaha. No go for me. It might have served as an "emergency" quickie (which is what frozen meals are for us, emergency, dang, there's no time to coo and we're pooped meals). AND IT HAS GLUTEN. Why the hell do they have to add gluten???? So, no go here.

on January 17, 2012

Doesn't Michael Pollan say "Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mosty Plants"... Well, the broccoli is the plant but then that's where this stops....my go-to lunch when I'm hungry and haven't packed a proper lunch is a frozen steamables bag of veggies. I spray on some soy sauce (I keep a travel sized toiletry sprayer full of soy sauce in my desk) and you're good to go, eaten right out of the bag if necessary.... I used to love the LC sesame chicken with noodles until I turned the box over and read the ingredients...
Cooked chicken white meat (chicken white meat, water, modified tapioca starch, chicken flavor (dehydrated chicken broth, chicken powder, natural flavor), carrageenan, whey protein concentrate, salt), blanched whole wheat vermicelli (water, whole durum wheat flour), broccoli, water, yellow carrots, red peppers, edamame soybeans, brown sugar, soy sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt), apple cider vinegar, modified cornstarch, chile garlic sauce (chile pepper (chiles, salt), garlic, water, sugar, rice vinegar, modified cornstarch, acetic acid), soybean oil, sugar, brown sugar syrup, sesame seeds, garlic concentrate (garlic, salt, natural flavors, sesame oil, canola oil, citric acid), caramel color, spice....

Not too bad, but not too good either! And it never filled me up!

on January 17, 2012

I like Amy's and Kashi's meals and I agree with anoter poster I love lean cusine pumpkin Ravololi and the pizzas they taste like pizza and satis fy my craving. I like the cafe cusine line of lean cusine becaue I love comfort food. Like mist of the posters I used to buy them often but now only buy them when they are on sale and only eat them when I am too tired to eat something else. I do like theLean Cusine better then the weight watchers it just tastes better.

on January 17, 2012

I'm disappointed that any of you have recognized this product as "FOOD"!!
Go back to the ingredients list, and look up each ingredient. This may have began somewhere as a healthy thought, but I guarantee the "meat" is filled with chemicals before & after slaughter, and the broccoli is GMO! If not otherwise CLEARLY stated as NOT, it IS!!!

VERY DISAPPOINTED, SNACK GIRL!!!

on January 17, 2012

snack-girl, I always appreciate your realistic view on the modern diet.

on January 17, 2012

I agree with sallyjrw.

@PollyG - if you disagree with Lisa's post, perhaps you could suggest an alternative.

My wife and I bought a convection toaster oven from a warehouse club (IIRC, it was $70) a year or three ago and we use it almost every day. For example:
- preheat to 450°F
- line the pan that comes with it in foil (easy cleanup)
- fill the pan with one layer of broccoli florets
- give the florets a quick spray of your favorite cooking oil
- sprinkle your favorite spices on the florets (you may need to add some spices later, lest they burn during roasting)
- roast for 30 minutes or until they're crispy/not-crispy to your liking

This is best hot, but we sometimes keep them for a day or so and add to other dishes.

We've also done this with asparagus, cauliflower florets, green beans...

I find it a lot easier than using the entire oven and a big cookie sheet, but if that's what you have access to, go for it! :)

on January 17, 2012

An even cheaper option are the Michaelina frozen entrees. They are usually $1 or less. The portions are really small, but I bulk mine up with a side salad, fresh veggies or even manderan oranges and pineapple chunks. A great way to eat healthy in a hurry ! : )

on January 17, 2012

I'm disappointed that any of you have recognized this product as "FOOD"!!
Go back to the ingredients list, and look up each ingredient. This may have began somewhere as a healthy thought, but I guarantee the "meat" is filled with chemicals before & after slaughter, and the broccoli is GMO! If not otherwise CLEARLY stated as NOT, it IS!!!

VERY DISAPPOINTED, SNACK GIRL!!!

on January 17, 2012

I used to like these, but then started cooking more and have found I don't want the frozen meals anymore. I find them to be bland, too high in Weight Watchers points for what you get, and too high in sodium.

I'm not totally against frozen food though. I love Trader Joe's Organic Brown Rice. It's cheap, good for you, and easy to make. You get three packets of about 2.5 cups of rice in each packet and it's easy to steam in the microwave. It's 5 pointplus for 1 cup and worth it! I love it. My favorite meal is cooked mushrooms, asparagus, and a chicke breast. I cook it in a little soy sauce and salt and pepper, then add the rice. It's filling and really sticks with you!

on January 17, 2012

@Andy D--thank you for the great idea! I'm always looking for quick meals that don't come out of a box :) and @Robin--I couldn't agree with you more--an apple and almonds is always my go to snack since I have to eat it in between working up patients. I don't get morning or afternoon breaks so this is what I usually keep in my secret drawer oh and baby carrots with organic string cheese.

on January 17, 2012

@PollyG,
There are plenty of people that had comments disagreeing with snackgirl's opinion but yours is the only comment that is judgmental. Why do you feel the need to shame snack-girl? That's uncalled for, especially considering this is HER blog. I eat Lean Cuisine, it's approved for human consumption, and I don't need some random person on the internet condemning me for it. I'm disappointed in you that you never learned how to critique without personally attacking someone. See how that's inflammatory language? I realize that food is a political issue on so many levels and emotions can run high but consider your words before you submit a comment.

on January 17, 2012

Just because I said I was disappointed, you're taking this as a political statement and a personal attack?? Oh, good grief! Disappointment, is disappointment... If you don't feel you need to be concerned with the chemicals in your dietary intake, and the impact they have on your body, whatever you think/feel is fine. It's your life, not mine. I personally, can no longer consume foods that are highly processed and contain preservatives that aren't naturally occurring, without experiencing horrible reactions. Believe me... Modifying the way I must now eat has been far from easy peasy! It wasn't my "choice", or anywhere close to anything political. It was/is literally a live or die situation. I don't owe anyone an explanation for my comment, or reason for my disappointment, however I've given you one.

I can't give you a quick, easy, box solution, mainly because every trip to the grocery is an experiment. I have to read every single label, even if I repeatedly purchase the same product, simply because - believe it or not -depending on where the grocery has received shipment from determines what is in the product. Ingredients vary from one manufacturing plant to the next. MY only options are to either read discriminatively, cook it myself (or have someone I trust cook), or suffer consequences.

Food solution? I'm still looking for a shortcut. I look for non-GMO frozen veggies, natural frozen dinners, grass fed & antibiotic free meats, and the like. Certainly not easy or within this price point range. I can't afford it, but I can't not afford it! It is what it is...

I began reading this blog several months back, due to the offerings of healthy ideas. So this entry has disappointed me... am I not allowed?

Lisa, I apologize for upsetting you and your readers by expressing my disappointment. I don't comment for just this very reason... I realize that many people who express opinions like mine are what I think of as radical and very politically motivated. This was in NO way meant in that regard. Of the choices available to most of America, this IS a quick and healthier option. It just isn't an option for me.

Now, although I've weighed my words carefully, the interpretation is up to whomever reads this and how they are thinking or feeling at the time. I preemptively apologize if this is offensive in any way...

on January 17, 2012

I have no idea why my initial comment posted twice. Certainly not intended!

on January 17, 2012

Nestle is also a socially irresponsible company (if you want to go there), esp regarding promoting infant formula to poor women in undeveloped countries as a superior infant food. http://www.icmrindia.org/casestudies/catalogue/Business%20E…

on January 17, 2012

sorry, the link doesn't work. Still true tho

on January 17, 2012

@PollyG
"So this entry has disappointed me... am I not allowed?"
I don't want to speak for Lisa but she seems to be interested in her readers response: she has the comment section and she's requested input before so I'm going to say that you are allowed to express your disappointment IN THE ENTRY.
My issue is this part "I'm disappointed that any of you have recognized this product as "FOOD"!!...VERY DISAPPOINTED, SNACK GIRL!!!" which conveys disappointment in snackgirl AND her readers. As if everyone needs to believe 100% what you believe.
"I don't comment for just this very reason"
I've been there before. I'd be suprised if anyone hasn't left a poorly worded comment on a website that was taken badly.

on January 18, 2012

I keep a bunch of these in the freezer at work for emergency lunches (when I'm too hurried in the morning to make something better). However, I also keep bags of frozen vegetables (the steam in the bag kind) to mix in with the meals. It fills me up more and I know I'm getting more healthy veggies. I couldn't eat them every day, but in a pinch, they are fine.

on January 18, 2012

Wow, lots of comments! So, I think a comment section is to express yourself respectfully - and Polly was a bit dramatic - but I still think she was showing emotion rather than being condescending. This medium (the comment section) is a difficult one - and I draw the line at name calling (which she did not do). I moderate these discussions as best as I can (with kids, life, etc.) and I think this is a good one. I don't love Lean Cuisines and I wish they were better for the planet and our health.

on January 18, 2012

I don't think that anyone could ask for more than that, Lisa.

Thank you, as always, for the great information you share, whether each of us agrees with it 100%, 99%, 95%, 50%, 0%... :)

on January 18, 2012

Lisa, I thank you for your analysis on Lean Cuisines and all the other products you bring to our attention. You are giving us your opinion and something to think about before we eat this stuff. I rely on your honest opinion to help me make better choices. Again, thank you for taking the time to share with us.

on January 18, 2012

Try the healthy choice Steamers meals.... oh my gosh, so yummy. and tons of veggie and more appropriate caloric value! The beef/merlot and carrots/onions/sweetpotatoes/rosemary chicken ones are my favorite.

on January 18, 2012

If I have a Lean Cuisine I usually add a bag of steammed veggies or some broccoli slaw.

on January 18, 2012

At the risk of fanning flames, the big red discount store recently sent me a booklet of coupons, including one for Kashi Entrees.

I figured that I'd take a peek, just out of curiosity, and at least their ingredients largely seem recognizable as food.

http://www.kashi.com/products/kashi_entrees_black_bean_mango

I'll still probably stick to my quinoa + black bean preparedness plan :) but it was worth a little Googling, I think...

on January 18, 2012

It's cheap because 1) maybe the supermarket was not making any money on it; it was one of those promotions to bring people in and 2) there's no meat! It's why it's so cheap: it has barely anything in it!

And to that person that said fiber + protein = satiety, I respond fiber + proteins = smelly flatulence. No carbs + high fat + medium protein + no fibers = you can eat once and feel energetic for over 24 hours. Unless you're a carb addict (the majority). However the extra testosterone may make you appear rude to strangers.

on January 18, 2012

@Max Thunder- that's great that you found a plan where you can eat once and feel energetic for over 24 hours! Fiber + protein has sated me and my wife for our five-ish small meals per day better than any other combinations we've tried, so we're sticking with that path.

And while I would rather have "smelly flatulence" than be hungry, I find that only happens when I've failed to thoroughly chew each bite of my fiber + protein meals/snacks. We shouldn't discount the importance of our teeth in the eating-well endeavor! :)

on January 19, 2012

I actually like the Kashi frozen meals when I am home alone, tired, don't feel like cooking or need to watch my calorie intake. Yes, the sodium content is a concern, but I doubt it compares to the average take-out meal. Most of the Kashi meals average about 300 calories. They are high in protein and fiber and include vegetables. Sometimes I add a fresh salad, and that's a pretty satisfying meal. All that said, I know that "real" food is a better choice than anything that comes in a box....

on January 19, 2012

I do buy these too sometimes. Always choosing only the high fiber ones. Dumping on a plate of spinich when its done cooking. Taste great and drinking a bottle of water. Works for me.

on January 23, 2012

Hi admin, I'm also interested in this. (Take a look at the latest post on my site for details.) This was a really interesting read, you have definitely given me some food for thought!

on January 23, 2012

I unfortunately eat LC four days out of the five during my work week. Fortunately, they now have a HUGE selection. I have my favorites, and the steak tips portabello is one of my favs. It's quick, easy, I don't spend alot of money and it is possibly healthier than going to McDonalds. I am also on WW, I like knowing my points for the day. Oatmeal with fruit and a glass of milk for breakfast, lowfat granola bar for snack, LC and water for lunch (which is plenty filling for me) and dinner later. I don't cook with salt, so the only salt intake for the day is the LC. I think for what they are, (fast frozen food), they are fabulous. No they aren't the most healthy, I agree.

on January 24, 2012

Love the butternut squash ravioli we tried last night. I was excited about something healthy and affordable. Today I took a closer look at the ingredients and say "yeast extract", isn't that MSG???

on February 9, 2012

Yeast extract is just yeast extract - MSG is mono sodium glutamate which would be listed as such.

on February 9, 2012

I thought the same so I decided to do some research and realized there's quite a bit of discussion on the topic. Was curious if anyone else wondering the same thing. We're trying hard to eat healthier and really like the VeggieCuisines. Thanks :)

on February 9, 2012

I eat more Lean Cuisine than I care to admit. I like the Spa Cuisine ones the most - they have more vegetables and less sauce. The convenience factor of grabbing them from the fridge in the morning can't be beat. If I have time to make a lunch, that's great, but when I don't, or haven't made it to the grocery store, it beats what I would buy in the cafeteria for both calories and price. I usually add fruit or vegetables to go with them.

The sodium isn't great, but if that's the only processed food I eat all day, it balances out.

They aren't perfect, but they're better than buying fast food every day.

on February 16, 2012

I found that even though they are high in sodium, if I brought along a bag of fresh vegi's, a salad, or some steamed vegi to add to it - I got more value to my meal. I cooked in batches on Sunday and prepackaged them. I would mix Smart Ones, Healthy Choice, or Lean Cuisine depending on the sale/coupons. When I worked in an office - these were my go-to meals. Now that I work at home - I rarely eat out of a box. My slow cooker has become my best friend.

on March 27, 2012

I hate to sound like I'm being mean, Snack Girl, but you're wrong about the yeast extract. It IS a hidden source of MSG.

MSG has over 40 names that companies can use on the package to disguise its presence, and if you look many of them appear on foods that say "No added MSG". Labeling laws allow them to say that even though there may be ingredients that contain MSG in the product. For example, "natural flavor" can contain up to 20% MSG. And they don't have to tell you it's there!

For those of us sensitive to it, this is a constant pain in the ass. The food industry is being allowed to lie to us, and we have to remember all the names for MSG and watch for them because it's really in nearly every packaged, processed food on the market.

http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html

on June 25, 2012

These are a better alternative to the other high fat and higher sodium frozen meals. I eat them for lunch when I was too lazy to pack my own the night before. Or on a night that I just don't feel like cooking -__-;

on June 27, 2012

I lost 60+ pounds living on 3-4 Lean Cuisines per day. That has been over 6 years ago and I have not gained back a single ounce. I had tried every diet on the planet and it is all about portion control. If I have apples and almonds on hand for a so called "healthier" snack, you can bet that I am going to eat every almond in site....I am now healthy as a horse and still maintain a healthy weight by eating Lean Cuisine when my coworkers are chowing down on their cheeseburger lunches and getting fatter by the day! Thanks Lean Cuisine...sodium and all!

on December 14, 2012

I have always enjoyed many of the LC meals. Many of them do not have the veggies, but you can always cook a few of them and add to your LC entree and it will increse the amount of food and not add many calories. I enjoy the Butternut Squash... it's my favorite.

on December 31, 2012

I agree I love the flavors but I have to watch my sodium and cholesterol, is there anyway it can be made more healthier?

on January 29, 2013

People have no idea what there buying?
all these frozen foods are garbage with
400-500 mg of sodium, the only thing your
gonna get out of them is high blood pressure
and a stroke then a heart attack and die.

on February 5, 2013

Wife prepares "mass quantities" of healthy, non-processed meals for lunch. Food is right, quantity, too high. She's down w/the flu this week so I switched to LC. 2 9.X oz. entrees yesterday did NOT feel adequate and I missed all the fruits and/or veggies she includes. Today I added a cantaloupe which I'll split between my 2 LC meals. Should satisfy my stomach and my craving for produce. You're right about the salt, but since I haven't added salt to any meal in more than 10 yr., hoping LC's sodium content will not have any adverse effects.

on March 4, 2013

I like the Lean Cuisine crusted fish meals with rice. I'm not comfortable about the possibility of GMOs and the sodium. I do like the taste.

on June 20, 2013

I want to hate Lean Cuisine meals because of all the preservatives, and because Nestle has questionable ethics when it comes to human rights. I try to eat fresh, home-cooked meals, but I also work 60+ hours a week, so it's not always an option. I always have some LC meals in my freezer. They're grab and go, and they're so much cheaper and usually healthier than grabbing lunch at a restaurant. The portions, and I'm sure sodium, at restaurants are out of control, and I have a hard time not clearing any plate. The LC meals are light, but I find that as long as I have a good breakfast, a healthy snack and drink a few glasses of water, the portion is sufficient for lunch. The best LC meal is the mezzaluna ravioli. I would order it at a restaurant if they had it! The rest of the meals are alright--better tasting than Healthy Choice. They need more vegetarian options that aren't just pasta. Another frozen food brand that is great is Kashi or Morningstar Farms, but those meals cost $4-6 each verses the $2 LC ones.

on January 9, 2014

Bethany - try putting the pizza in a toaster oven instead of using that box/tray. I used to eat them all the time, then they stopped making the roasted veggie one which was my fav. but I always put them in the toaster over for about 10min, so much better.

I can actually get full on most of their meals but I'm a "grazer" by nature, I eat little bits all day. When I'm exhausted they are a good fix but I would rather eat my own cooking.

on February 12, 2014

I sm concerned about BPA in frozen dinners and especially in those with black tins, Are your tins free of BPA? How can one be sure? I am getting more interested in eating organic foods but see few frozen organic meals; I would be willing to pay more for them but I have not seen them in frozen dinners. Why not?

on February 14, 2014

I love the cheesy potato and broccoli one too bad it has way too much salt

on February 24, 2014

I do eat Lean Cuisine. I have them for lunch with a piece of fruit and jello or yogurt. It helps my budget and I can then eat even lighter food for dinner and still have enough energy to stay awake until 11. I am not however, a fan of all the sodium and I don't eat all of them,just a select few that I repeat.

on February 27, 2014

I meant to type I am not a fan of all the Sodium. I mean who loves sodium? I eat the vegetarian, chicken and fish, no beef or pork.

on February 27, 2014

I've been watching my weight for years now. Lean Cuisine' "Steak Tips Portabello Mushrooms" are one of the best quick meals I've ever purchased.For people who say they don't feel fool when after they've eaten this meal,re you kidding me.Try drinking a glass of water before you eat.The meal has a good portion for a meal.As for to much salt.Your body needs salt.If your eating two bags of salty chips everyday & a order of fries ,maybe you shouldn't eat frozen diners that are a quick great tasting LC meal that are good for you.Last put not least.Believe it or not,almost all foods you eat in some way or another have a additives in them before it is digested in your body.

on March 13, 2014

I try to stick to the Healthy Choice Top Chef Steamers variety of frozen entrees for work, these seem to have less Sodium and a decent amount of Protein with interesting flavor combinations. I always pair with a Yogurt. However when they are not on sale and I can not ad match, I go for the Lean Cuisine with the most protein / least amount of sodium.

on April 1, 2014

i like potatoes

on April 8, 2014

holy cow have you seen that this has gluten in it? youre ruining my life.

on April 8, 2014

I'm glad to see this about lean cuisine
frozen dinners. my favorite is the salmon dinner. I asked about them using GMO in their foods; hopefully this usage will prove unhealthy and it will be removed from agricultural growing.

on May 9, 2014

Boy I was fixing to give you what for if you said anything bad about Lean Cuisine as far a quality and taste and price (yeah the salt is a little high and I wrote them about that).

I've lost 40lbs eating lean cuisines and "some" banquet dinners (like lasagna) and didn't even have to exercise doing it.

What I find is they fill me up and keep the calories and other things low as well like carbs and fat.

One of their meals (herb chicken with red potatoes) is to die for. Great taste, GRAVY and only about 170 cal 500 sodium and low fat very low fat. And that price of $2 each and sometimes even less like $1.47 if you hit the sales just right. Beef Portabelo and mashed potatoes is good too and low in sodium. Turkey Tenderloins and red sweet potatoes is awesome also.

These are the best frozen dinners on the market, good to eat and good for you and fill you up for hours.

on June 4, 2014

Lean Cuisine is my most favorite of frozen meals. I very seldom look at the ingredients until recently. I usually look for preservatives. I like staying away from pork so I usually stay away from the ones with the hidden pork. The beef and portobellos has always been my favorites. The veggies and mushroom portions was always a plus. I gotten a lemongrass and something meal one time it was divine but don't see much of it anyone more. Finally I really like Lean Cuisine. I like the rewards also and if they end the reward program as plan I am not going to purchase them as I have in multiples. I'll be buying them in singles purchases.

on July 12, 2014

I was eating these meals until I started having high blood pressure the sodium is very harmful,will not be eating them again unless they do something about the sodium.They advertise that there healthy but with the sodium so high it becomes unhealthy.

on August 24, 2015

Its not the Lean Cuisine meals that made your blood pressure go up.Its all the un healthy junk food you eat.McDonald's along with all the fast food restaurants is whats making your blood pressure go up.Eat healthy.Eat Lean Cuisine.

on August 25, 2015

Half a tray of vegetables doesn't equal half a meal of veggies if the rest of the meal is much more calorie dense and full of crap really.

I make a lot of my own meals but still eat a lot of junk food. After I started cooking myself I realised just how rubbish meals such as this really are.

on April 2, 2016

Really? No frozen meal taste like a just cooked home cooked meal.Not everyone has all day to cook meals at home everyday.Lean Cuisine meals are a great way to have a meal with out cooking every day of the week.Lean Cuisine meals have better taste & flavor than some of the rubbish cooked, home meals people try to make in a hurry.The meals are salted or seasoned to much.Lean Cuisine meals are a easy way to have a great tasting,healthy meal.

on April 3, 2016

I cannot eat any with pasta and potatoes,
Not much choice there.
I am sure there are quite a few people that do the same.

on March 31, 2017


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