What An RD Really Thinks Of Trader Joe's New Jamaican Beef Patties

If you're a Trader Joe's shopper, there's a chance your love for the brand has you following blogs such asĀ Trader Joe's List, waiting to see what new items will grace the shelves of your neighborhood store at any given moment. Location isn't even an issue for most diehard fans as certain folks are willing to drive long distances to get their hands on the house-brand favorites, including the unique frozen meal options.

As Trader Joe's constantly features one-of-a-kind products, it's no surprise the internet almost broke last week over shoppers' excitement regarding the grocer's new Jamaican beef patties. While most social media users agreed the frozen pastry pockets taste amazing and stand equal in flavor to the longstanding Costco version, some Redditors aren't impressed with the amount of filling or spice included in the new product.

Although, unlike the lukewarm response to the return of Trader Joe's Jerk Chicken Thighs, the new Jamaican Beef Patties have received mostly positive reviews from shoppers. Now that you know they could become a staple in your freezer, how healthy are they? While Trader Joe's guarantees its private-label food items have no artificial preservatives or flavors, there may be other factors to consider before you make these an everyday lunch or dinner option in the future.

One TJ's Jamaican beef patty is enough

Frozen meals can be incredibly convenient, especially if you're someone who works long hours and needs an easy meal to heat up in a pinch. However, you may be getting too much of a good thing with some prepackaged meals.

Registered dietitian Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, told Mashed her take on TJ's Jamaican pockets, suggesting only one patty per meal and pairing it with a healthy vegetable or side to bring down the calorie content. She states, "Just one patty contains 590 milligrams of sodium, which is relatively high, but if you opt to eat just one and pair it with a side like rice, beans, a vegetable, or a salad this amount of sodium isn't terrible for one meal."

The key to spotting the hidden amounts of sodium in your food is by reading food packaging labels carefully. Frozen meals have higher amounts of salt, sugar, and preservatives, so before adding a bunch of frozen meals to your grocery cart, read the ingredients and compare the items you choose with those containing less salt and additives (per Very Well Fit). If you're sad to discover that pounding two Jamaican jerk patties at once isn't the best decision for your health, take a gander at theseĀ dietitian-approved Trader Joe's frozen options, such as the Sriracha Shrimp Bowl and Riced Cauliflower Bowl, both of which have lower sodium and adequate levels of fiber and protein.