We’ve all grown up hearing that processed foods are not good for us and that whole, raw foods are better. But sometimes, life just becomes too busy.
We don’t always have time or money to prepare good, raw meals to eat, however, it is possible to eat things that are both processed and healthy.
Even though the foods on this list have been altered somewhat, they still have a good deal of nutrients. You might not even think of some of these things as processed foods.
1. Greek Yogurt
All yogurts are great sources of calcium, potassium and other important nutrients, however, Greek yogurt is special. It is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt because of a lack of liquid whey. It doesn’t have added sugars. And it has more protein, which can keep you feeling full longer.
If you would like a healthy Greek yogurt snack, try these frozen Greek yogurt banana poppers.
2. Canned Beans
Even though dried beans have more nutrients and less sodium than canned beans, canned beans are still a healthy addition to a last minute meal. To cut down on sodium without sacrificing nutrients, use a no salt added variety instead of washing the beans.
Try this black bean and corn chili for a quick, nutritious meal.
3. Peanut Butter
With 180 to 210 calories per serving, peanut butter doesn’t seem very healthy. But it has fiber and protein to keep you feeling full longer so you don’t eat as much overall.
Peanut butter also has heart healthy good fats and plenty of nutrients, which can help lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Try these banana muffins with peanut butter crumb topping for a healthy snack.
4. Canned Fish
Although canned and fresh fish have similar amounts of nutrients, there are some benefits to eating canned fish that you can’t find in the fresh variety. According to a study by the USDA, canned salmon actually has a slightly higher amount of heart healthy Omega-3’s than fresh salmon.
Hummus is a simple dip made of chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. This popular spread has plenty of protein and iron, which will help curb cravings and boost your energy, which can help you lose weight. There are many different flavors of hummus like spicy avocado and sweet potato, so if you don’t like one type of hummus you can always try another.
Try one of these hummus recipes for some easy DIY dips.
6. Marinara Sauce
This processed tomato sauce is usually used as a topping for pasta or fried mozzarella. It is also an excellent source of nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A and Iron.
According to research published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, marinara sauce can also decrease risk of hypertension in people with Type 2 diabetes.
If you would like to make it on your own, try this recipe for an excellent sauce that will add flavor to your spaghetti.
Cheese is usually not something most people consider healthy, but those individually wrapped pieces of cheese are actually pretty nutritious. Cheese contains a lot of nutrients including calcium, zinc, phosphorous and Vitamin B12.
People who are lactose intolerant may enjoy some cheese as well. Some aged cheeses such as cheddar and Swiss cheese can contain little or no lactose and can be enjoyed by some lactose intolerant people.
So enjoy your cheese related dishes, like this grilled cheese with tomato and pesto guilt free.