A bowl of mashed potatoes sits on the counter.

Do you know how those instant mashed potatoes are made? What about the packs of rice or pasta? Dr. Oz reveals the dirty details of these packaged meals and what you're truly eating.

Instant Mashed, Au Gratin and Scalloped Potatoes

The instant mashed potatoes in a box are a combo of dried potato flakes and potato flour! There's also butter powder and vegetable oil, and some have artificial flavoring. Things get a little more complicated with packaged au gratin or scalloped potatoes. While they have real potatoes, many brands use yellow No. 5 and 6 artificial colorings. And scalloped potatoes usually have a butter and dairy base, like cream or buttermilk, and they both come powdered. The buttermilk powder can double the amount of sodium and calories versus fresh. Inau gratin potatoes, there's an average of 500 milligrams of sodium. Mashed were a close second with just 100 milligrams less. You should try mashed sweet potatoes, which has around just 200 milligrams of sodium. Be sure to check the sugar though, because some brands can run as much as 14 grams.

During the holiday season, your time and kitchen space is more valuable than ever. How can you maximize both to entertain family and serve a delicious meal? Here are two small gadgets that may make a mighty difference.

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