Processed Foods: All Bad?

I know, I’ve been a terrible blogger lately! Hopefully you don’t feel too neglected!

When your trying to eat healthy, its easy to jump to a general conclusion that ALL fresh foods are good, and ALL processed foods are bad. While eating fresh and natural foods is definitely good for you, it’s also true that not ALL processed foods are bad. This is especially nice to know when your short on cash or in a hurry. So what ARE the healthy processed foods you ask? Here you go…

Yogurt: The process used to make yogurt is what makes it so good for you. In addition to the calcium, protein, vitamins and minerals yogurt delivers, the active bacteria cultures that give it its tangy taste are probiotics that are thought to provide digestive health benefits. Use unsweetened greek yogurt and add fresh fruit or honey for the most healthy option.

Canned Beans: Beans are an excellent source of protein (especially for those who don’t eat meat) and fiber. Sure, you can buy, dry and soak them (thereby processing them yourself). But you can’t beat the convenience of canned. Look for reduced-sodium brands, or drain and rinse your beans before eating.

Spaghetti Sauce from a Jar:  The process of cooking actually improves the quality of the antioxidant carotenoids that give tomatoes their color, making jarred sauce a healthful choice. Such sauces usually are seasoned with herbs, which add vitamins and minerals such as potassium.

Frozen Veggies:  Vegetables harvested at their peak and immediately frozen retain all their nutritional value, allowing us to enjoy their benefits year round. They’re often less expensive than fresh produce, too.

Peanut Butter: A great source of protein and heart-healthy fats, this tasty, versatile spread is most healthy when made with just peanuts and salt. “Normal” peanut butter has lots of bad-for-you ingredients like high fructose corn syrup!

SO, if you feeling too busy to eat healthy, think again!

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

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Eat healthy without changing your diet!?

This sounds too good to be true, right? Am I saying that you can somehow eat a McDonald’s big mac, and be eating healthy? Well…no.  BUT there is a way to make a lot of your “normal” foods much much much healthier! All you have to do is substitute a few ingredients in your normal recipes for healthier ingredients, and you’ll be loosing inches for swimsuit season in no time! So skip the emergency celery diet, and lighten up foods you like instead!

1. Use vanilla yogurt instead of oil
Have a sweet tooth? Love to bake? Yogurt adds extra calcium, dairy, and vitamins to your treat, and gets rid of a ton of unnecessary fat! Use greek yogurt and you’ll get protein too!
 
2. Use turkey bacon
Lots of recipes call for bacon, or you may just like eating it plain. Swap in turkey bacon for your regular bacon. It’s much lower fat (bacon fat is a BAD fat) and just as delicious!
 
3. Toss the yolk
Whether your baking or making eggs for breakfast, replacing most of the egg yolks with additional egg whites will lighten up your recipe. A whole egg has about 71 calories and 5 grams of fat, but roughly the same amount of egg white (1 ounce) has only 13 calories and no fat.
 
4. Get rid of the beef
Any dish that calls for beef can be modified to use chicken, turkey, free range buffalo, or even venison. Beef is very fatty, and often contains growth hormones and antibiotics. Try ground turkey in your spaghetti sauce and chilli, or buffalo burgers instead of beef burgers. You’ll be surprised by how good these other meats taste!

How do you lighten up your favorite recipes?

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

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