The following processed foods are not as good for you or your waistline, so the folks at REDBook have compiled a short list of healthier choices for you to try.
(1) Flavored yogurt
Healthier swap: Flavor plain Greek yogurt,
(2) Cookies with added fiber
Healthier swap: To satisfy your sweet tooth and get a fiber fix naturally, choose packaged cookies made with whole grains. We like Kashi Oatmeal Raisin Flax Cookies, which boast 4 grams of fiber from natural ingredients such as raisins, sunflower seeds, cranberries, shredded coconut, and nuts.
(3) Fat-free potato chips
Healthier swap: For a crunchy snack, go for popcorn instead. One cup of the whole-grain clocks in at about 30 calories, less than 1 gram of fat, and is packed with filling fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants.
(4) Diet soda
Healthier swap: Go for flavored seltzer water for a fizz sans caffeine and chemicals.
(5) Instant oatmeal
Those little packets of breakfast cereal cook so quickly because they're processed, meaning they have a high glycemic index so your body also digests them quickly. Translation: You'll be reaching for a mid-morning snack to tide you over in no time.
Healthier swap: Slow-cooked oats take longer to make, but they're also less processed, have a low glycemic index, and will keep you full until lunch. To save time, whip up a batch of steel-cut oats on the weekend, and then divide them into individual-portion Tupperware packs, which will make it easy to just grab the container and heat it in the microwave.
(6) Packaged egg whites
If you're eating egg-white omelets made with egg substitutes, you might want to think twice about ditching whole eggs with the yolks. Unlike the real stuff, egg beaters contain artificial ingredients such as "color" and maltodextrin, a sweetener also used in candy. Plus, the yolks hold about 40 percent of an egg's protein as well as lutein, which keeps eyes healthy. They're also one of the main sources of choline, a nutrient that boosts memory, keeps fat from building up in your liver, and makes up your cell membranes.
Healthier swap: For a filling, high-fiber breakfast, have a protein-rich egg made with a teaspoon of heart-healthy olive oil on a whole-wheat English muffin.
(7) Bottled barbecue sauces and salad dressings
Healthier swap: Use a dry rub instead of sugar-heavy sauce to add flavor when grilling or broiling meat. You can make your own by mixing together 1 tbsp black pepper; 2 tsp chili powder; and 1/2 tsp each salt, cayenne and granulated garlic.
(8) Sugar-free bars
Sorbitol, an artificial sweetener found in many sugar-free products, is difficult for your body to break down and can cause bloating and indigestion. Plus, sugar substitute-packed foods make your body expect calories, and when it doesn't get them, you end up hungrier later on.
Healthier swap: Choose bars naturally low in sugar and with less than five ingredients like KIND bars.
(9) Multigrain tortilla chips
Healthier swap: You'll get much more value for your nutritional buck if you spread salsa or guacamole on lower-calorie, higher-fiber crispbreads such as Finn Crisps. Another good bet are flatbreads such as Doctor Kracker's.
So what's in your frig and/or cupboard??????
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