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| Health and Fitness

04/11/14

Package deal: Buying healthy packaged foods can be daunting endeavor

If you randomly polled 100 people and asked them about their diet, chances are more than 90% of them would tell you that they really want to eat healthier, but just have trouble making good buying decisions when it comes to food.
So why is it so hard to eat healthy?
You can chalk that answer for the most part up to being incredibly busy and not having the time to buy fresh, prepare food and cook it correctly, with health and wellness in mind. Today is more of a fast food, on the go and drive thru mentality that permeates through not only your buying decisions but also to your significant other or even the kids within the household.
And, of course, plenty of people have a propensity to buy packaged foods that can be either frozen, sealed and filled with preservatives, artificial coloring and flavor and enough fat content to make you wonder exactly how it qualifies as food.
Packaged foods quite frankly have gained popularity thanks to being able to be ripped from the package and whipped into a dinner within only a few minutes. Certain packaged foods doesn't even need that much work.

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Once again, time tends to tip the scales in favor of buying packaged foods and less in the favor of your weight and waistline.
Dana Points is the editor in chief of Parents Magazine, and concurs that families don't have much time but that should only be more incentive to shop healthier.
"Families are so busy that it's more important than ever to ensure that our kids eat quality, healthy foods at home and on the go," Points says.
Points also astutely reminds the masses that not all packaged food should be tossed aside as being unhealthy. Parents Magazine recently did a study and found that particular packaged foods fought against the stereotype that they're all unsavory and ill advised for adults and kids.
"We were impressed by the variety of packaged food options at the supermarket that tasted great and had a good nutritional profile," Points says.
A few highlights that found their way on the Parents Magazine list of best packaged foods include Tyson Fun Nuggets, which would be a fine choice for parents who are in a hurry but don't want to sacrifice kids' health in the process.
According to Parents Magazine, frozen desserts don't get left out in the cold, either. One of the better ones is Keebler, a renowned food company, and its Simply Made Butter Cookies.
As for the snacks, which tend to really give the general population plenty of trouble from a health and fitness standpoint, Dannon Oikos and its Yogurt Dips don't disappoint, along with Wholly Salsa and their avocado, black bean and corn dip, and Cascadian Farm's Crunchy Oats & Honey Granola Bars.
What these brands are proving is healthy snacking and eating in general truly can encompass even the sector of the people who struggle with eating, time management and stress. The hustle and bustle of life doesn't necessarily have to equate to exercising your option to eat or shop unhealthy, which includes packaged foods.
That type of buying habits is even harder to swallow, particularly when you consider just how many healthier alternatives actually are available on the market.

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