HEALTHY PROCESSED FOODS

In a perfect world we’d head to the farm for our locally grown, pesticide-free produce and grass-fed meats and then cook them all up from scratch. But reality dictates that most of us need, or want, a little help in the kitchen. So we scoured supermarkets looking for new beverages, frozen foods, or convenience items that deserve to be on any healthy eater’s radar. Some are brand new choices, just introduced in the last few months. Others are a little older, but just as noteworthy. Consider it a snapshot view of what’s stashed in our pantry at the current moment.

Oikos Caramel Greek Yogurt (4 pack)

Although zero-fat plain Greek yogurt is one of the healthiest snacks on the planet, some folks aren’t keen on the tart flavor. This sweetened version of Oikos Caramel Greek Yogurt might change their minds. You’ll find in each 4-ounce container 110 calories, zero fat, 10 grams of protein, and 17 grams of carbs (about 2 teaspoons of this is added sugar). If you already prefer the tart flavor of 0% fat Greek yogurt, mix equal amounts caramel and plain Greek yogurt for a less sweet mousse-like dessert.

StarKist Yellow Fin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A splash of olive oil elevates the flavors of StarKist Yellow Fin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil making this pouch tuna great for traveling or for stashing in a lunch box. Serve with whole grain crackers and a vegetable-rich salad for a complete light meal. One single serve pouch adds up to just 190 calories, 18 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fat. Also new: StarKist Low Sodium Pouch Tuna (140mg sodium) for those watching salt.

Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf

A mixture of whole oats, brown rice, rye, hard red wheat, triticale, buckwheat, barley, and sesame seeds, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf can wear many hats. Use it as a hot cereal, a side dish pilaf, a soup ingredient, or a main-dish grain meal. In other words, it’s a blank canvas that lets you incorporate more whole grains at mealtime. One half cup cooked delivers: 170 calories, 2.5g fat (0 sat fat), 6 g protein, 6 grams of fiber, and zero sodium.

Planters Sea Salt & Black Pepper Pistachios

Shell on-pistachios sprinkled with salt and pepper are all the rage these days, but we like that this combo from Planters uses sea salt, helping to knock off about 30 percent sodium when compared to other brands. Also nice: Planters sells the snacks in large pouches and convenient individual portions perfect for the lunch box, back pack, or desk drawer. The nutrition numbers: 160 calories per serving (about 46 nuts), 6 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 190 milligrams sodium.

Source: http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/smart-choices/best-processed-foods/

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