We definitely have gotten used to the fast-paced world of today. Everything is at the touch of a button, as quick as a text and convenience is just expected.
Do you remember when you would get gas at a gas station? …maybe grab a candy bar? Today, you can pick up a dozen eggs, a gallon of milk and even a package of fresh chicken breast!
You can find just about anything at your local grocery store and at your Kwik Trip on the corner easy & convenient!
But is “convenient” always better? Let’s find out…
Convenience vs Processed🤷♀️
Convenience foods used to get a bad rap, but now convenience foods can actually be very beneficial. In some ways even better for you than the alternative.
Now, I am not saying that the following foods are not slightly processed. Sometimes, convenience comes at a price, and the word processed means different things to different people. There has to be some level of processing for some products to get the food in a form you can take home.
Frozen Fruits & Vegetables🍎🍒🍓🥦🥕
As long as you don’t see any added sugars in the ingredient list this is a great convenience food! Remember you will see sugar listed on the Nutrition Facts Panel on fruit packages due to the natural occurring sugar in the fruit itself. Sadly, they have not come up with a way to differentiate the sugar in the fruit and the added sugar. They lump it all in one in the ingredient list.
This is one of those foods that could possibly be better to purchase frozen rather than fresh. As soon as a fruit or vegetable is plucked from its source of nutrients it starts losing its valuable nutrients. The buyer doesn’t really know how long that fruit or veggie has been sitting on a truck, or in a bin at the grocery store. If you find yourself throwing away fruit purchasing frozen may be the answer for you.
Ideally, buying fruit when it is in season and washing it and throwing it in the freezer for later use is a great idea.
Fruits and vegetables are packed at their very peak of flavor and freshness so very little is lost in the processing or packaging.
Yogurt provides 45% of your daily calcium needs. If you choose yogurts that have no added colors or sweeteners you will be better off. You can add stevia and your own fruit for added flavor. Another important benefit of yogurt are the good bacteria that is present.
Probiotics are the good bacteria that help promote a healthy digestive system. Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are used to make all yogurts.
Did you know…😏🤔
The National Yogurt Association (NYA) developed a “Live and Active Cultures” seal to identify a yogurt that contains 100 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacturing. Yogurt companies must pay several thousand dollars each year to use this seal.
Smaller yogurt companies may not participate due to the high cost of using the seal, even though they may contain live and active cultures. (http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1280&page=2)
Manufacturers know that if the public isn’t buying their products they need to figure out why and make products that people want to buy and soup companies are no exception. Soups used to be filled with sodium and fat. That is not the case any longer. You can find many varieties of soups that are filled with vegetables and no added preservatives or flavor inhancers.
It is safe to say many people do not get enough protein in their diets. Many protein powders and whey protein isolates can fill that nutritional need in a very healthy and convenient way. Look for at least 20 grams of protein in a serving and depending on your dietary needs you can find many with little or no carbs and fats if that is what you looking for.
Still not sure which one is right for you?
Wrapping It Up✌
The foods mentioned are processed very minimally to retain the foods nutrients, but remember manufacturers will put anything on the front of a package to sell their products. The only place they can not stretch the truth or mislead you is the Ingredient List and the Nutrition Facts Panel.
As the public demands better products companies are stepping up to fit the needs of society and providing us with many healthy convenience foods, but we still have to be aware of the best choices for us and our families.
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