Frozen Foods Can Be Good For You?
Frozen Foods Can Be Good For You? What’s processed food? You might be thinking deli meat, fast food, chips, and snacks, or baking soda. Some processed foods aren’t great for you. However, you don’t need to avoid all of them if you are trying to eat healthier.
Most foods have been processed — changed, packaged or prepared — somehow before we eat them. , to exceptionally or ultra processed like ready-to-eat foods and snack foods (foods we should keep to a minimum)
Some processed foods have ingredients added, like sweeteners, oils, colors, and preservatives. Some are fortified to add nutrients like fiber, calcium or vitamin D. Some are prepped for convenience (washed or chopped) or packaged to last longer. Processes like pasteurizing milk, canning fruits and vegetables, and vacuum packaging meats help prevent spoilage and increase food security. Even foods labeled “organic” or “organic” could be processed.
If you eat a lot of highly processed foods, you risk getting too much sodium, added sugars, and unhealthy fats. So what can you do if want to eat healthier? While it’s tempting to throw all “processed food” under the bus, the reality is you can’t avoid it entirely… nor should you! The key is knowing how to identify healthier processed foods and make smart choices in the grocery store and restaurants. Read on to learn how frozen and canned options make it easy to add fruits and vegetables to meals and boost the nutrition factor.
Tips for choosing healthier processed foods
- Enjoy frozen foods and canned produce. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are convenient and affordable options that can be just as nutritious as fresh. Look for varieties without salty sauces and sugary syrups. Compare label info and choose items with the lowest amounts of sodium and added sugars
- Make smart choices when eating out. Choose restaurants where food is cooked to order or there are designated healthier menu options. Ask how food is prepared, which items are made to order in-house vs. prepackaged, and if you can make substitutions. Request sauces, dressings and condiments on the side so you can decide how much is added.
- Swap out highly processed foods with less-processed options. Some examples: Make your own simple olive or canola oil and vinegar vinaigrette instead of buying bottled salad dressing. Add frozen fruit to plain oatmeal, cereal, and yogurt instead of buying the sweetened or flavored kind. Choose canned and frozen produce without salty sauces and sugary syrups. Slice up leftover grilled chicken for sandwiches instead of always using packaged lunch meat.
- Grow fruits and vegetables. If space is a challenge, look at the container, indoor or community gardening. You’ll love the taste of ultra-fresh produce, and kids may be more likely to try fruits and veggies they’ve helped grow! If you don’t have a green thumb, shop the local farmers’ market for seasonal produce.
- Snack smarter. Think crunchy nuts and seeds, cut-up veggies for dipping, fruits that hit the sweet spot, and easy homemade popcorn. Package up these healthier snacks in small containers and they’re just as convenient as that bag of chips!
- Watch out for sneaky sodium. Processed foods which can contribute a whole lot of sodium to your diet include breads, pizza, sandwiches, cold cuts and cured meats, soups, burritos and tacos, savory snacks, chicken, and cheese. And do not rely on taste alone. Foods with excess sodium occasionally do not taste salty, like some breads, cereals and pastries.