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Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy

Top Healthy Processed Foods and Favorite Snacks

As a dietitian, I encourage reducing processed foods if they are the majority of your diet or don’t make you feel good. Of course focusing on whole foods, fruits and veggies is important for all of us to meet our micronutrient and fiber needs. HOWEVER, I am always asked by clients, “Are there any good healthy processed foods out there?”

 The answer is YES. I would be lying if I said I didn’t eat processed foods almost everyday. Nobody has the perfect diet and that’s OK. Just because something is processed does not mean it is “bad”.

Thank goodness, right? Many responsible food companies are doing their best to provide quality processed options for people on-the-go and in need of quick, sustainable options.

If you think about it, almost all foods at the grocery store have been through some type of processing. For example, just because veggies have been flash frozen and bagged, doesn’t mean they are an unhealthy choice.

Here a few of my top favorite processed foods:

Bars- Although I prefer to make snack pairings that consist of whole foods and produce, sometimes you just need something easy to grab on your way out the door. I am frequently asked about recommendations for protein bars, so here are some of my favorite options made with high quality ingredients.

RX Bars (I use the kids’ as a snack option)

Epic Bars: Meat Bar

Lara Protein Bars

Built Bars

GoMacro

Aloha Bars

Rise Bars

Nuts & Nut Butters (watch out for added sugars)

RX Nut Butters

Justin’s Almond Butter

Adam’s Peanut Butter

Roasted Nuts

Seeds

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Edamame

Pumpkin Seeds

Beans & Grains

Rx Oatmeal

Hummus

Dried or canned beans of all kinds! 

Quinoa

Brown Rice (90 Second)

Ezekiel Bread

Granola 

Popcorn (add nutritional yeast to plain popcorn to make it cheesy and give it extra protein)

Kodiak Cakes

Protein

Tuna Packets

Canned Salmon

Canned Chicken

Jerky (I make my own but like this brand as well)

Smoked Salmon (I make my own but like this brand as well)

Hard Boiled Eggs/Frittatas 

Chicken Sausage 

Collagen

Whey

Casein

Dairy

Plain Yogurt

(Check out my Overnight Oat/Yogurt Parfait Recipe)

Plain Kefir

Individual Cheese and Cottage Cheese

Unsweetened protein nut milk

Fruits & Veggies

Fuel for Fire Smoothie Packs

Frozen Veggies & Fruits

Dehydrated & Dried Fruits & Veggies

Pickles

Guacamole

Caulipower

(See Caulipower Pizza Recipes)

Other healthy processed food staples:

Sauces & Oils

Olive, Avocado, Sesame, Peanut, and Canola Oils

Vinegar

Balsamic, Red Wine, White Wine

Sauces & Dressings (Avoid added sugar)

Seasonings (I LOVE this EVERYTHING SEASONING)

Broths

Coffee, Tea & Treats

Coffee

Matcha

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate Almonds

Trail Mix

Try making homemade trail mix with the help from my blog “How to Make Healthy Trail Mix

These options can be great healthy processed foods for camping, outdoor activities or simply “emergency snacks” for the car or your purse! Having easy staple ingredients on hand and available is often a barrier for people. Don’t overthink it! Choose what you like and be flexible with your food choices.

***All the links provided are brands I personally like and trust. There are millions of options out there

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