Trying to improve diet and nutrition takes work and effort; preparing well balanced meals takes time and energy. It is no wonder that many of us look to processed foods as a short cut. Most foods are “processed” in some way, that is; they are made ready for consumption. Even the freshest foods are processed; chopped, sliced, diced, so as to be made ready for eating. Consumers need to be made aware of the best choices of processed foods so that they can make sound nutritional choices.
Some processed foods, for example, can be good; frozen foods like chopped vegetables are a convenient source of nutrition. Canned vegetables can be a good alternative but look for those marked low sodium. Likewise canned beans, tomatoes and tuna; canning helps to “lock” in freshness at the foods peak of nutritional value.
Eating “out of the box” or ready to eat options is where most people get into trouble. Frozen meals/TV dinners, crackers and deli meats contain larger amounts of sodium and sugar. Manufactures add sodium to foods to enhance the texture of the food and to act as a preservative. Individuals living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) will not benefit from the additional salt, which increase water retention and makes breathing difficult. Other ready to eat foods like spaghetti sauce and cereals contain higher amounts of sugar which affects weight and those living with diabetes.
While it may take more time, energy and money, the effects of eating foods closest to their natural state may outweigh any negatives. In fact, eating a well balanced diet can help to reduce medical expenses and enhanced lifestyles. When choosing foods think out of the box whenever possible!
For more information consult your physician or healthcare provider.
For more tips visit www.eatright.org.Tags: healing, healthy living, healthy meals