At a time when people are constantly looking to make lifestyle changes and eating healthy, our fast-paced lives often tend to come in the way. Packaged food thus becomes our go-to solution.
The moment you walk into a supermarket you are served with tons of advertising promoting products to be healthier than ever! But how healthy is the packaged food market getting? We spoke to expert nutritionists and dieticians to tell us what they think and this is what we know so far.
1. Packaged food can be healthy
People may not have the time or inclination to make their own fresh foods and snacks, so convenience needs to be married with health. One can identify is the packet is healthy if they just turn over and read the ingredients. More sugar or sugar substitutes and extra sodium, for example, are a strict NO!
2. Fewer the ingredients, the healthier it is
Just like in our kitchen, simple foods are healthier for us in the long run. This is true for packaged food as well. Look for packets with fewer ingredients in them and you might just be eating a more nutritious product.
3. Avoid ingredients that don’t seem to come from the kitchen
When it comes to finding the healthier alternatives in packaged food, the ideal thing to do will be looking for ingredients that you don’t understand or seem to come from your kitchen and then completely avoiding them. This would also include the added flavours and preservatives.
4. Packaged a better choice over street food
If I were looking for food for my child while travelling, I would always pick up packaged food over street food. It is definitely more hygienic and relatively less risky. I guess that’s the approach one should follow if you fall sick often or have a weak stomach.
5. Look for high fibre, not just low sugar and sodium.
Though sugar and sodium are established problem elements in packaged foods, another thing you should be looking for is the overall fibre content in a packet. The standard fibre sources are whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Look for at least 3 grams of fibre in every serving for a healthier food option.