Importance of well balance diet:

All food contains all of the nutrients we need to be healthy, it is necessary to eat various foods in sufficient amounts. A good diet will include many different foods, and sufficient in quantity and quality to meet an individual’s need for food energy and other micro nutrients.

By eating CONVENIENCE you will have the following benefits.

CONVENIENCE AND PROCESSED FOODS

Typical serving size:

Varies; consult packaging for servings

HOW THEY HARM

Heart disease High blood pressure Weight gain Diabetes HOW THEY HEAL Convenient healthy foods Almost everyone consumes some convenience foods, which are foods that require little or no preparation—from ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and canned, dried, or frozen fruits and vegetables to prepackaged heat-and-serve meals
Nutritionally, some of these products are much less healthy than home-cooked versions
For example, instant soups are loaded with artificial flavorings, emulsifiers, fillers, and preservatives
Also, most convenience foods usually contain more sugar, salt, and fat than homemade

QUICK TIP:

Avoid double dipping Double-dipping chips can be more serious than a Seinfeld gag
One study found an average of 1,000 bacteria were transferred by one person dipping in the same bowl three to six times
To avoid double dipping, serve small, one-dip chips and pick thick dips that are less likely to run back into the bowl
Some, however, such as frozen vegetables and fruit canned in natural juices, are minimally processed and can be healthy choices that help busy cooks put meals together quickly

Health Benefits

Makes healthy foods convenient
Processing often strips vitamins and minerals from foods, but there are exceptions
Vegetables and many fruits harvested and quick-frozen at their peak often have more vitamins than those picked before maturity, shipped long distances, and then placed on shelves
Most enriched cereals and breads provide more nutrients than those made just with the original grains
In addition, since processing helps foods last longer, it makes preparing healthy meals quicker and easier

Health Risks

Heart disease risk
Many convenience foods, such as muffins and crackers, contain trans fats
Research shows that trans fats are twice as dangerous for your heart as saturated fat and cause an estimated 30,000 to 100,000 premature heart disease deaths each year
Limit or avoid foods containing vegetable shortening or other hydrogenated fats
Also, many convenience foods contain refined grains, such as white bread, rolls, sugary low-fiber cereal, and quick-microwave white rice
Choosing refined grains over whole grains can boost your heart attack risk by up to 30%
Opt for products that are labeled “whole grain
” Blood pressure
Three-quarters of the sodium in our diets isn’t from the saltshaker
It’s hidden in processed foods, such as canned vegetables and soups
Excess salt increases blood volume and restricts arteries, which increases blood pressure
Scan the nutrition panel carefully, and keep the daily sodium intake to 1,500 mg, about the amount in ¾ tsp of salt
Weight gain and diabetes
Research suggests that the high-fructose corn syrup in many processed foods encourages overeating and may upset the human metabolism, raising the risk for diabetes
It is found in many frozen foods, breads, spaghetti sauce, and ketchup
Read the ingredient lists carefully and avoid anything with the words “corn sweetener,” “corn syrup,” or “corn syrup solids” as well as “high-fructose corn syrup
” Many processed foods also contain fat, which contributes to weight gain

QUICK TIP:

Add a fresh side salad When preparing a meal consisting of processed food, like frozen lasagna, add a fresh green side salad to provide a wide assortment of valuable nutrients

Allergies

  • Stir frozen baby peas into a grain pilaf a few minutes before serving
  • Try plain tomato puree seasoned with garlic and oregano as a sugar-free pasta or pizza sauce
  • Stir some cooked cannellini beans into tuna salad in vinaigrette

    Buying Tip

    s
  • Marketing claims such as “lite” and “reduced sodium” can be tricky to decipher, so it’s best to read the nutritional panels on the packaging to find out the exact amounts of sugar, salt, and fat per serving
  • Check ingredient lists carefully for harmful components such as high-fructose corn syrup and any hydrogenated fats, and avoid products containing these ingredients

    Storing Tips

  • Store according to package directions
  • Check “Use by” dates to consume before expiration date