Healthy Processed Foods
In a perfect world, nobody would ever need to eat processed foods. We could all walk down to our local farmers market and buy fresh foods that we love. The reality is, however, that this just isn’t a possibility for most people. Whether we like it or not, most of us will have to eat at least some processed foods as part of our diet.
Just because you occasionally need to have processed foods as part of your diet, however, doesn’t mean you need to reach for the Oreos! Finding healthy processed foods and having them as a part of your overall diet can be a great compromise. The following are examples of healthy processed foods that you can enjoy without wrecking your diet.
Certain types of yogurt can be a very healthy processed food. Make sure you avoid the varieties that have a lot of sugar added and you’ll be able to enjoy this delicious snack. Greek yogurt is even better because of its higher protein and other health benefits. If you don’t like the taste of plain yogurt, consider adding fresh fruit to it for the added sweetness you desire. This is a great option for a snack or a convenient breakfast.
Tuna fish that is packaged in either water or olive oil is a very healthy option to consider. There are some brands out there that add salt or other preservatives, but most tuna fish today is going to be quite healthy. Take a little time to find a brand that you like that doesn’t have the preservatives and enjoy this as a delicious meal. It can be enjoyed on its own, on a sandwich or on a salad without the negatives commonly associated with processed foods.
Bottled Unsweetened Tea
Bottled teas have become very popular in the past several years, and with good reason. They can be very tasty and can actually be very healthy as well. You want to make sure to avoid the sweetened varieties that are loaded with as much sugar as many sodas. Unsweetened tea, however, doesn’t have this issue. If you need the sweetness you can often find a brand that offers lightly sweetened with natural honey, which is a very nice alternative.
Many people think of peanut butter and other nut butters (such as cashew or almond) to be unhealthy, and in many cases they are right. The unhealthy aspect of them, however, is from how they are processed. If you choose an organic nut butter that doesn’t have any added sugar or salt it is actually a healthy source of protein and very convenient. There are a growing number of all natural nut butters on the market that will meet your needs for convenience and health.
This is one option that many people don’t even consider processed because the only thing done to them is they are chopped up and flash frozen. Frozen vegetables retain almost all of their natural nutrients, last for months in the freezer and can be used in a variety of meals. Another advantage of frozen vegetables is that they can be enjoyed year around, which is not always possible when buying fresh. Even if you’re trying to eliminate processed foods entirely, frozen vegetables can be a great part of your diet.
Take Care & Read Labels
When looking for processed foods that are still healthy you will need to take your time and read your labels. Even those foods that claim to be healthy often aren’t. If you put in your research up front, however, you will find that there are some very convenient and healthy processed foods that can be a nice part of your overall diet.