We’re always told a well-balanced diet is mandatory for good health and wellbeing. Even if you exercise regularly, you still need healthy food to allow the body to function properly. The term healthy food is used to refer to fresh fruits and vegetables and natural and organic products. Packaged foods are dubbed extremely unhealthy due to the fact many of them contain high levels of sodium, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, you name it. But not all packaged foods are bad for your health - scroll down to see seven healthy choices you should consider.
Pesto is a sauce originating in Genoa, Italy. The sauce contains basil leaves, European pine nuts, crushed garlic, coarse salt, Parmesan cheese, and pecorino Sardo, i.e., cheese made from sheep’s milk. All these ingredients are blended with olive oil. Pesto sauce is a popular addition to pasta or other meals across the world.
Two tablespoons of the sauce contain 130 calories and 13 grams of fat which is why pesto has gotten a bad rep and isn’t considered as a healthy food. That said, the greatest portion of fat in this sauce comes from olive oil and pine nuts, meaning it’s the healthy kind of fat. Not all fat is equal, after all.
Basil is a wonderful source of vitamin K which is necessary for healthy joints and bones. On the other hand, olive oil is considered the healthiest oil on the planet. Regular intake of this oil lowers risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Stick to moderate consumption of pesto, and besides pasta, you can use it as a condiment for fish, grains, chicken, and roasted vegetables.
Ideally, your diet should be based on a plethora of fruits and vegetables. They are abundant in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other important macro- and micro-nutrients. Not all produce is available at the same time as their availability depends on the season and other factors. Frozen produce poses a great alternative to consuming fruits and vegetables all year round. A common misconception is that frozen fruits or vegetables don’t contain much-needed nutrients.
The Journal of Food Composition and Analysis found that frozen vegetables are as healthy as fresh-stored ones. In some instances, frozen produce is more nutritious than fresh alternatives. Why? The reason is simple; frozen produce is stuffed in the bag at its peak freshness while room-temperature produce gradually loses their nutritional content in time. Therefore, don’t be afraid to buy frozen fruits and vegetables, they’re equally healthy for you as their counterparts.
Similarly to produce, canned fish is considered unhealthy or less nutritious than fresh fish. You’ll be happy to know buying canned salmon, tuna, or some other fish isn’t that bad after all. According to Consumer Reports, both fresh and canned fish are an excellent source of protein and other important nutrients. What’s more, fresh fish isn’t necessarily healthier than the canned alternative and vice versa.
It’s also important to mention that canned pink and red salmon had a greater amount of Omega-3 fatty acids than fresh fish. Another benefit of canned fish is that bones are soft and one can easily eat them. This delivers as much calcium as a glass of milk, provided that you consume a 3.5-ounce serving of canned fish.
Packaged hard-boiled eggs
Although boiling eggs doesn’t take hours, it can be tricky to get them just right. Overcooking them releases that unpleasant odor, but undercooking eggs can make yolks remain liquid anyway. Both these scenarios are a nightmare for a person who just wants perfect, hard-boiled eggs.
You can buy precooked eggs that eliminate problems mentioned above and supply your body with protein. Plus, packaged hard-boiled eggs are low in saturated fat and contain powerful antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals and oxidative stress. Plus, they also exhibit anti-inflammatory effects.
Whole grain Barilla pasta
Everybody loves pasta, but it’s not the healthiest food in the world. It’s high in carbs and calories, but before you know the hunger strikes again. Whole grain pasta is a way better option.
Barilla’s whole grain pasta is made of 100% whole wheat and provides 6g of fiber per serving. It’s also important to mention that Barilla’s whole grain pasta doesn’t contain any GMO ingredients. Although it retains the well-known taste and al-dente texture, whole grain pasta is a healthy alternative to fattening “regular” option.
Eden Foods Canned Beans
Even though we’re told to steer clear of canned goods, there are always exceptions that fit perfectly into a healthy and well-balanced diet. For example, canned beans from Eden Foods are packed in BPA-free containers, without added salt. That way, you consume beans that are rich in fiber, iron, calcium, protein, folate, and other important nutrients. Your meal is ready within 10 minutes. All canned beans from this brand are soaked overnight which is a rare step in the canning industry.
SeaPak Salmon Burgers
Strong flavor and texture of salmon fillet aren’t everyone’s “cup of tea,” but consumption of this fish is beneficial due to a high level of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s exhibit anti-inflammatory effects that alleviate arthritis joint pain and many other inflammatory conditions. Also, Omega-3 fatty acids can help manage depression, protect heart health, support cognitive functions, and so much more.
Salmon Burgers from SeaPak deserved their place on the list of healthy packaged foods thanks to their high Omega-3 content. Yes, although this isn’t salmon fillet per se, you can still obtain the necessary amount of these healthy fats to keep your weight in a healthy range and experience other benefits. It’s also important to mention salmon is wild and sustainably caught.
Packaged foods have gotten a bad reputation because they tend to contain high amounts of sodium, sugar, preservatives, and other unhealthy ingredients. That said, not all prepared and packaged foods are the same, there are plenty of healthy options to choose from, as seen in this post. When buying a packaged food item, it’s important to make sure it doesn’t contain additives, preservatives, added sugar and salt.
Guest post by Kathy Mitchell
About the Author
Kathy Mitchell is a Travel & Beauty Blogger. She likes to go out with her friends, travel, swim and practice yoga. In her free time, you can find Kathy curled up reading her favorite novel, or writing in her Journal. She is also a PR for Joint Health Magazine. To know more about her follow her on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
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