Before I begin I want to explain my Dollar Tree Food Challenge. I have been watching different food challenges on Youtube. It is obvious you can eat at Dollar Tree. For my challenge I wanted to compare two different foods and the nutritional value, as well as taste and over all value. I am unsure of how many places actually only offer Dollar Tree food options as a choice to eat. The two Dollar Trees that I frequent are within feet or a mile of other grocery stores where prices are very affordable and have healthier options. So, I simply don’t understand why someone would choose to eat Dollar Tree foods if you don’t need to. I find their serving sizes for a dollar to be higher than you could get the same at another store, or make your own. See my results below.
Today is day 6 of my 14 Days of Gratitude Challenge. Todays prompt is, something I am grateful for today. Today, and probably every day I am very grateful for the internet and my smart phone. While our internet provider is not as fast as my son’s who lives in a bigger college city, it is faster than my mom’s in the sticks. Most of the time she can’t even get a signal on her phone to access internet and her computer is slow. I can’t believe in 2020 in the USA that people still don’t have access to affordable good internet service. It just baffles me. Without the internet it would be very difficult to find good information, and studies on CKD and other topics for this blog. Of course, this blog probably wouldn’t even exist. Having good information, quickly, right at the tips of my fingers is something I am extremely grateful for.
Now for the Dollar Tree Food Challenge. I compared Celeste pizza for one, to a can of peas. What I was looking for was comparable protein per serving size, and then all of the other nutritional info especially in relation to CKD.
First, the pizza. I am not a fan of frozen pizza to begin with but I picked it because per serving of one pizza there is 9 grams of protein. That is actually a pretty small amount of protein for a food item with sausage and cheese on it. I only ate half of this small pizza, and gave the other half to my husband. So, I ate 4.5 grams of protein. The whole pizza which is about the size of 2 normal size pieces of pizza, there is 360 calories, 15 grams of fat, 7 grams saturated fat, a whopping 730 mg of Sodium, 47 grams of Carbs, 2 grams of Fiber, 4 grams of sugars, Calcium 8% of DV, Iron 15% of DV, and Potassium 2% DV. The ingredient list is so long it is ridiculous. The cheese is not real, and it has added Phosphorus as most processed foods do. So, from a CKD perspective this is a horrible food choice. The sodium alone is 32% of DV, and the added phosphorus in this meal would be 100% absorbed by the body. While I could not locate this particular pizza on Eat This Much, similar pizzas have 22% of the DV of phosphorus per serving. On top of all that it had a very chemical taste to it to me, and was not even enjoyable or filling. This is not something I personally would choose to consume again.
Now, compare the can of peas. First of all it has only 4 ingredients, peas, water, sugar and salt. That right there already makes this a better food option. Comparing the protein to the pizza, the peas per 1/2 cup serving size has 4 grams of protein. That is almost exact to the half of the Celeste pizza. Plus peas are loaded with other nutritional items and is a real food, not a fake manufactured food. Per 1/2 cup the peas are 50 calories, 5 grams of fat, sodium is 290 mg, Carbs 11 grams, Fiber 3 grams, Sugars 4 grams, Vitamin A 6% DV, Vitamin C 10%, Calcium 2%, Iron 6%, Phosphorus 8% DV. You can’t change the sodium content of the pizza, but by rinsing the peas twice, you can greatly reduce the amount of sodium in the peas. Add butter, margarine, or other seasonings to flavor your peas and this is a much healthier food option from the Dollar Tree. I will eat the peas with my dinner meal tonight. If they taste gross I will let you know, but I am doubting canned peas are going to taste like anything other than canned peas.
You can see the images below with the ingredients and nutrition labels. I am not picking on Dollar Tree or Celeste pizza. My only goal is to inform. There is obviously a market for these foods or they wouldn’t offer them. But, I do think it should raise concerns if people really only have a Dollar Tree to purchase food items from, and some of their items I could have purchased cheaper elsewhere.
Learning to read nutrition and ingredients on labels can help you eat smarter and healthier, especially if you have CKD, or any other Chronic Disease. If you would like to learn about me and my Health Coaching services, use the contact form after all of the images to message me for a free email meet and greet.