We have been advised to eat healthy food time over time, but the attractive packaging of the foods at the stores make it difficult to resist. Even if we try to prepare the same kind of fries, nuggets, or chocolate syrup at home, it is something we cannot do at daily basis and at some point we find ourselves back in the stores purchasing the processed foods to a quick relish. While we purchase packaged food from the stores, it is hard to tell how healthy they are unless we know what to look for. These tips will help you to pick right packaged foods at the stores with the knowledge for what is healthy and what is not.
The natural sugar content that is available in whole foods is considered healthy, but the added sugars in packaged food can result in weight gain and other health concerns. You should look for the sugar content in the food and whether it is added or naturally occurring. According to WHO the recommended limits of added sugar per serving is 100 calories for 25 gms.
Check the fat content
The reason why the packaged snacks taste better than the homemade ones it that it contains added fat for enhancing the flavours. There are some healthy fats as well in natural foods like avocados and nuts, but the packaged food contains trans fats and saturated fats. Trans fats can be linked to heart disease and should be avoided. It should be 10% or less of the daily calorie intake.
Check the salt amount
Check the packaging for low-sodium or no salt added info. The recommended daily sodium(salt) intake is 2,300 mg which is about one tablespoon of salt. Some of the packaged food have excess salt, which can constitute half of your daily intake in a single serving. Ideally, you should have 200 mg of salt per serving.
Count the ingredients
Always prefer the foods which have as fewer ingredients as possible. The food which has fewer ingredients is healthier as it is less processed. The ingredients must be mentioned at the back of the packaging for every food. Check the list, and if it contains non-while-grain flour, oil, or sweetener, you should probably avoid it.
Calculate the nutrient
If you want to look for something more fulfilling and healthier for your body, search for the foods which have fibre and protein content mentioned on the packaging. You should get 3gms of fibre and 7gms of protein in a regular serve. To calculate if the food has healthier nutrients, simply add the numbers for protein and fibre on the pack, and compare it with the total of fat and sugar. If healthy nutrients win, you can have the food feeling safe.