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Dietitians Say Mozzarella Sticks Causes Abdominal Fat

By Georgia Dodd,


We’ve all been there: you’ve had a long day and you don’t have the energy or the time to cook a full-course meal. So, you may rely on pre-prepared frozen meals or appetizers instead. And while we certainly don’t blame you for choosing options that can save you a bit of time, it’s important to remember that highly processed foods can be detrimental to your health and can lead to excess abdominal fat. In fact, there’s one frozen appetizer that experts say you should avoid as much as possible if you want to lose weight: frozen mozzarella sticks .

To learn more about the health risks of frozen foods like mozzarella sticks, we spoke to Rhyan Geiger , Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and owner of Phoenix Vegan Dietitian , and Mary Sabat , MS, Registered Dietitian, nutritionist, Ace Certified Trainer, and owner of Body Designs by Mary . She told us that the processed ingredients in this convenient meal are high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium, which can increase your risk for obesity and heart disease. Read on for all of their insight and advice!

Frozen mozzarella sticks

Frozen appetizers are fun and perfect for parties. They are quick and easy to make especially if you're low on time. But people rarely think about the nutritional content of these frozen meals and treats. "Appetizers are okay to have every once in a while, like on the big game day, but shouldn’t be something for everyday occasions. One frozen appetizer that may not be ideal to eat on a daily basis is mozzarella sticks, " Gieger says.

Mozzarella sticks delectable finger foods that are crispy with gooey cheese in the same bite. And, it's one of the best foods to get that notorious cheese pull. But, the ingredients in this treat are lacking the nutrients that your body needs. "The combination of the high fat cheese with additional breading and being deep fried [makes] them a perfect storm for abdominal fat to accumulate," Sabat explains. Frozen mozzarella sticks are usually high in sodium, saturated fats, and calories. This can lead to weight gain.

"In one serving (3 sticks), mozzarella sticks contain 15 grams of total fat (with 6 grams of it being saturated fat), and 20 mg of cholesterol. Foods high in saturated fats can easily add extra calories to your diet and may cause weight gain," Gieger adds. Frozen mozzarella sticks are also low in fiber, which can lead to digestive problems and increase abdominal fat.

So, instead of frozen mozzarella sticks, you can eat healthier options, Sabat says, like "grilled vegetables, hummus served with raw vegetables , or steamed shrimp cocktail." And Gieger adds, "A fruit and veggie platter is always a great option to have around. Having a nutrient-dense option to pick from is an encouraging way to get your dietary fiber and micronutrients in. Some other snack options include; roasted buffalo cauliflowers, tomato bruschetta, or homemade baked potato wedges. For a sweet option, chocolate drizzled popcorn can be perfect." Yum!

So, no processed frozen appetizer is going to be a good idea for your health and can lead to excessive abdominal fat, so it's generally best to skip the freezer section at the grocery store. And, if you're really craving frozen mozzarella sticks, it's likely worth the effort to make it yourself with fresh ingredients rather than throwing a frozen one in the oven. It may take a bit longer than the alternative. Your body will thank you in the end!

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