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Cellulite Accelerators

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

With the busy lives people lead nowadays, convenience foods are flying off grocery store shelves. But are consumers paying too high a price, in terms of money and health, for quick and easy food?

Here, about once a month, we’ll check out grocery products and let you know if they’re worth your money.

Cellulite Accelerator
All I could think as I put a bite of the new Jimmy Dean Precooked Pork Sausage Patties in my mouth was, There's another 2.5 grams of fat.

For about $2.70, you get eight four-bite sausage patties. The big selling point is “Fresh Taste. Fast!” By fast, they mean you can cook them in a microwave for 55 seconds and be scarfing almost a third of your daily fat allowance in less time than it takes to say, “I love big butts.”

Each 2-patty serving has 250 calories, 20 grams of fat (11 of them saturated, which is 53 percent of the saturated fat allowance), 55 milligrams cholesterol, 570 milligrams sodium, 7 grams carbohydrate (none from fiber or sugars) and 10 grams protein.

But let’s take this one step further. Who is going to have just sausage for breakfast? Most people would slap them on a biscuit with cheese, or have them on a plate with eggs, potatoes and toast.

Two boys spent the night at our house, so we had four boys, plus hubby and me, to consume eight patties. Three were left over – no one wanted a full serving, and one person abstained. After one patty I imagined I could see my cellulite bubbling up. The vision effectively killed my appetite.

Junk Food Now With More Fat!
The boxes that hold the microwavable sandwiches from Croissant Pockets boast, Now Stuffed With More Filling. That caught the attention of my boys, who put the Pepperoni Pizza variety of this snack on their Top 10 List of Foods We Love That Mom Will Hardly Ever Let Us Eat! In the interest of research, they advised me, they would be willing to risk their health to check out this product.

So I forked over $1.88 for a box of two pockets, and the boys raced to the microwave as soon as we got home from the store. As I put away the rest of the groceries, I was surprised at the lack of moans of delight.

“So, how are they?” I asked.

“Eh, all right,” the 12-year-old said. “I like the old ones better.”

“Yeah,” said the 10-year-old. “There’s too much cheese in it. It tastes greasy.”

It’s good they had those opinions, because they won’t be getting those overstuffed pockets of fat again anytime soon. A one-pocket serving has 370 calories, 19 grams of fat (7 saturated), 30 milligrams cholesterol, 690 milligrams sodium, 40 grams carbohydrates (2 are fiber, 13 are sugars) and 9 grams protein. I fed them lots of fruits and vegetables for supper.

Ay Caramba
Tacos are an entrée I usually feel good about serving my family. We fill them with extra-lean ground beef, salsa (ketchup in the case of the 10-year-old), low-fat cheese and lettuce. Hubby and I also add chopped tomatoes, onions and light sour cream.

Recently when we had an extra boy here for a weekday lunch, we decided to have tacos. I didn’t have any ground beef, so we went to the grocery store. There we found Old El Paso’s new Taco Sauce with Seasoned Ground Beef. The product is fully cooked. You only have to heat it for three minutes in the microwave. The cost: about $3 for 10 quarter-cup servings.

That means a serving is one taco. My boys do not stop at one taco. Those three boys and I made short work of the seasoned meat. Two of them had three each, and my younger son and I each had two.

One serving of the meat has 80 calories, 4 grams of fat, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 470 milligrams sodium (20 percent of the daily recommended allowance), 5 grams carbohydrate (2 are sugars, zero fiber) and 6 grams protein.

That means the boys who ate three tacos consumed 18 percent of the daily fat allowance (24 percent of the saturated fat allowance) and 60 percent of the sodium allowance. And that’s just from the meat -- we’re not figuring in the taco shells or toppings!

We won’t buy this product again.

Split Decision
According to its packaging, the Healthy Choice Solos Vegetable French Bread Pizza has a "NEW RECIPE!" I checked it out for lunch.

You can either cook the pizza slice in a microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, or in a conventional oven for half an hour. I went for speed, but regretted it. I thought the crust was too soft -- slimy even -- and I did not enjoy the taste of the vegetables. I’d much rather make my own French bread pizza with fresh vegetables.

In an amazing development, my 12-year-old son loved it. This is a kid who just a few months ago would have turned his nose up at pizza without meat. But lately he has turned into an eating machine. After returning home from the dentist this week, he set the oven timer for an hour... so he’d know the minute he could eat again! (No, he isn’t overweight, just growing. He grew a half-inch in two days this week!)

One 6-ounce serving costs $1.50 and has 320 calories, 5 grams of fat (1.5 saturated), 10 milligrams cholesterol, 600 milligrams sodium (25 percent of the daily allowance), 50 grams carbohydrate (4 are fiber, 8 are sugars) and 18 grams protein. So, while the fat content is reasonable, the sodium percentage could be an unhealthy choice if salt intake isn’t strictly monitored the rest of the day.

Big Doin's At Swanson
After eating only a few bites of the Healthy Choice pizza, I was still hungry so I went to the freezer and pulled out a Swansons Hungry-Man White Meat Chicken Pot Pie with a NEW! Flaky Crust that contains over 1 lb. of food!

Oh, my aching arteries. The $2 pie, which is 5.25 inches across, supposedly contains two servings. Give me a break. Most people would eat the whole thing.

If a hungry man did eat the entire pot pie he would get 900 calories (410 from fat), 48 grams fat (20 saturated, which is 98 percent of the daily allowance), 150 milligrams cholesterol (52 percent of the daily allowance), 1,860 milligrams sodium (78 percent of the daily allowance) 90 grams carbohydrate (6 are fiber, 18 sugars) and 30 grams protein.

The pie can be cooked in a microwave or conventional oven, and of course I picked the microwave. The outer edges got so hot the gravy bubbled over before the end of the recommended cooking time, but the middle remained icy.

I firmly believe that if a food is that unhealthy it should at least taste like ambrosia. That’s not the case here. The “flaky crust” is doughy, heavy and sodden, and the gravy is way too salty.

And this time even the 12-year-old wouldn’t try it.

He Ain’t Heavy...
My older brother is a guy who loves food in many interesting forms. He said he likes Frito-Lays new snack mix called Munchies. It contains Doritos Nacho Cheesier tortilla chips, Rold Gold Classic Tiny Twists Pretzels, Harvest Cheddar Sunchips and Cheetos.

My family likes the snack, too, but we each have our favorite parts that we pick out. The Sunchips are going quickly, followed closely by the Doritos. The 25-ounce bag we bought at Sam’s Club for $3.59 is almost half empty and I have a feeling we’re soon going to be left with a bag of pretzels.

If you follow a well-balanced snacking procedure (if there is such a thing) by consuming equal proportions of the healthier pretzels with the more fat-laden components, and eat only the 3/4-cup serving size, you get 140 calories, 6 grams of fat (1 saturated), zero cholesterol, 250 milligrams sodium, 18 grams carbohydrate (1 gram fiber, 1 sugars) and 2 grams protein. But is that a realistic serving size?

I asked my big brother if he eats a 3/4-cup serving. Sure... he does eat 3/4, he admitted... as in 3/4 of a bag! And he added that the snack could be improved without the pretzels.

Becky Billingsley Becky Billingsley, a.k.a. The Check-Out Chick, is the mother of two, a wife for 20 years and a food writer. Like most busy moms, she often relies on convenience foods to get meals on the table in a hurry. She worries about whether these items provide proper nutrition and if she sacrifices too much of her grocery budget in exchange for ease of preparation.

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