3 Processed Foods That Are Actually Healthy To Eat
Written by: Brandi Monasco
When you are on a diet or trying to eat healthier, you have probably heard that you need to stay away from processed foods. And that is with good reason.
What Is Processed Food?
Processed food is defined as “any deliberate change in a food that occurs before it’s available for us to eat.” These changes can range from anything to freezing or drying the food to help preserve its freshness and nutrients, to actually adding additional “ingredients.” This unfortunately also means adding preservatives and extra sugar or sodium, which – though they may extend the shelf life of the food – only means you eating more of those extra additives that can actually cause your body harm.
Processed foods are to blame for our nation’s epidemic with obesity. They are also to blame for high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. Though, while it is important to stay away from bags of potato chips and that McDonald’s 10 piece chicken Mcnugget meal…
There are actually some processed foods that you can eat that are HEALTHY for you!
What Processed Foods Are Healthy Food You?
#1. Frozen Vegetables And Fruits. Not only is it healthy for you to buy bags of frozen fruit and vegetables, but it is also more economical for your family; it allows you to avoid buying fresh fruit and vegetables that you know may go bad within the next day or so.
When you buy frozen vegetables and fruit, you end up with less waste because you are able to use only what you need for that meal and you can put the rest back in the freezer.
When shopping for frozen vegetables and fruit, look for the packages that say that the contents have been flash frozen. This means that they were picked ripe, then blanched in hot water to kill off any bacteria and then frozen immediately, which allows the fruit and vegetables to keep all of their nutrients.
#2. Packaged Nuts And Nut Butters. Eating nuts and nut butters are good for your heart. They are both somewhat inexpensive and they are easy to pack and go for when you are on the run. Nuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids that help prevent heart attacks. They are also full of fiber, which can keep you full for longer. The best type of nuts that you can eat are walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and pecans.
Nut butters are also good for your heart as they help to improve cholesterol levels. They are also loaded with healthy fats, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals and protein. However, not all nut butters are created equal. When shopping for a nut butter, make sure that you pick up a brand that contains only three ingredients: peanuts (or the nut you prefer), salt, and oil.
#3. Canned Beans. Canned beans are very convenient. As with dry beans, they are full of protein and are easy to add into pretty much any recipe or dish. Also, canned beans are ready-to-eat, you just have to heat them up and they are ready to be devoured. You can easily combine them with rice or even add them to a salad for extra protein and fiber.
As with everything, processed foods should also be consumed in moderation. You should be aware to check the food labels on any can or bag before you purchase it. Make sure that the ingredients are minimally processed and are only prepped for your convenience.
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Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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