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What to eat: 9 ultra-processed food items that are actually good for your body – Moneycontrol

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Diet tips: Not all ultra-processed foods are bad for your health. You could add these foods as part of your balanced diet. However, it’s important to prioritise whole, minimally processed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats for overall health and well-being.

April 30, 2024 / 09:46 AM IST

Ultra-processed foods are food products that have undergone extensive processing and contain multiple ingredients, including additives, preservatives, flavorings, and other artificial substances. These foods typically undergo industrial processing methods and often contain little to no whole, unprocessed ingredients. While it's true that ultra-processed foods often get a bad reputation for their high levels of additives, preservatives, and other unhealthy ingredients, there are some products that can still offer health benefits when consumed in moderation. Priyal Rana, Mumbai based nutritionist and founder of Lets Talk Nourishment, has 10 suggestions of ultra processed foods that can be consumed guiltfree (Image: Canva)

Ultra-processed foods are food products that have undergone extensive processing and contain multiple ingredients, including additives, preservatives, flavorings, and other artificial substances. These foods typically undergo industrial processing methods and often contain little to no whole, unprocessed ingredients. While it’s true that ultra-processed foods often get a bad reputation for their high levels of additives, preservatives, and other unhealthy ingredients, there are some products that can still offer health benefits when consumed in moderation. Mumbai-based nutritionist and founder of Lets Talk Nourishment, Priyal Rana suggests 10 ultra processed foods items that can be consumed guilt-free (Image: Canva)

Greek Yogurt: A standout among dairy products, plain Greek yogurt boasts high protein content—approximately double that of regular yogurt. Protein is indispensable for muscle repair, growth, and overall bodily functions. Moreover, Greek yogurt is rich in calcium, vital for bone health, and probiotics, promoting gut health by nurturing beneficial bacteria in the digestive system (Image: Canva)

Greek yoghurt: A standout among dairy products, plain Greek yoghurt boasts high protein content—approximately double that of regular yogurt. Protein is indispensable for muscle repair, growth, and overall bodily functions. Moreover, Greek yoghurt is rich in calcium, vital for bone health, and probiotics, promoting gut health by nurturing beneficial bacteria in the digestive system (Image: Canva)

Canned Beans: Despite being ultra-processed, canned beans are a nutritional powerhouse, brimming with protein, fiber, and a plethora of vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, and potassium. They offer convenience and versatility in cooking, seamlessly integrating into soups, salads, and main dishes. Opting for varieties with no added salt allows for better control over sodium intake (Image: Canva)

Canned beans: Despite being ultra-processed, canned beans are a nutritional powerhouse, brimming with protein, fibre, and a plethora of vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, and potassium. They offer convenience and versatility in cooking, seamlessly integrating into soups, salads, and main dishes. Opting for varieties with no added salt allows for better control over sodium intake (Image: Canva)

Whole Grain Bread: Contrary to refined grain products, whole grain breads are replete with fiber, vitamins (particularly B vitamins), and minerals such as iron and magnesium. Seeking bread with minimal additives and whole grains listed as the primary ingredient ensures optimal nutritional value (Image: Canva)

Whole grain bread: Contrary to refined grain products, whole grain breads are replete with fiber, vitamins (particularly B vitamins), and minerals such as iron and magnesium. Seeking bread with minimal additives and whole grains listed as the primary ingredient ensures optimal nutritional value (Image: Canva)

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Nut Butter: Pure nut butters, devoid of added sugars or oils, offer many benefits—healthy fats, protein, fiber, and an array of vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They serve as a gratifying and nutritious addition to meals and snacks, promoting heart health (Image: Canva)

Nut butter: Pure nut butters, devoid of added sugars or oils, offer many benefits—healthy fats, protein, fiber, and an array of vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They serve as a gratifying and nutritious addition to meals and snacks, promoting heart health (Image: Canva)

Canned Fish: From salmon to tuna and sardines, canned fish teems with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, pivotal for cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and inflammation mitigation. Opting for varieties packed in water or olive oil sidesteps unnecessary additives and unhealthy fats (Image: Canva)

Canned fish: From salmon to tuna and sardines, canned fish teems with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, pivotal for cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and inflammation mitigation. Opting for varieties packed in water or olive oil sidesteps unnecessary additives and unhealthy fats (Image: Canva)

Oatmeal Packets: A quintessential whole grain, oatmeal is full of fiber and serves as an excellent energy source. While certain flavoured oatmeal packets may harbour added sugars, healthier alternatives with minimal added sugars or artificial ingredients abound. Oatmeal's adaptability allows for customization with fruits, nuts, and seeds, amplifying nutrient content and flavour (Image: Canva)

Oatmeal packets: A quintessential whole grain, oatmeal is full of fiber and serves as an excellent energy source. While certain flavoured oatmeal packets may harbour added sugars, healthier alternatives with minimal added sugars or artificial ingredients abound. Oatmeal’s adaptability allows for customisation with fruits, nuts, and seeds, amplifying nutrient content and flavour (Image: Canva)

Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate, boasting a cocoa content of 70 percent or higher, emerges as a treasure trove of antioxidants known as flavonoids. These compounds underpin various health benefits, including enhanced heart health, cognitive function, and mood. Consuming dark chocolate in moderation appeases sweet cravings while potentially conferring health advantages (Image: Canva)

Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate, boasting a cocoa content of 70 percent or higher, emerges as a treasure trove of antioxidants known as flavonoids. These compounds underpin various health benefits, including enhanced heart health, cognitive function, and mood. Consuming dark chocolate in moderation appeases sweet cravings while potentially conferring health advantages (Image: Canva)

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Protein Bars: While certain protein bars are heavily processed and laden with added sugars and artificial additives, discerning consumers can unearth healthier options boasting minimal ingredients and low added sugars. Bars crafted from whole food ingredients like nuts, seeds, and natural sweeteners, while maintaining a balanced ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, uphold nutritional integrity (Image: Canva)

Protein bars: While certain protein bars are heavily processed and laden with added sugars and artificial additives, discerning consumers can unearth healthier options boasting minimal ingredients and low added sugars. Bars crafted from whole food ingredients like nuts, seeds, and natural sweeteners, while maintaining a balanced ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, uphold nutritional integrity (Image: Canva)

Whole Grain Pasta: Crafted from whole wheat or other whole grains, whole grain pasta eclipses its refined counterparts in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Opting for whole grain pasta facilitates blood sugar regulation, bolsters digestive health, and contributes to sustained weight management (Image: Canva)

Wholegrain pasta: Crafted from whole wheat or other whole grains, whole grain pasta eclipses its refined counterparts in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Opting for whole grain pasta facilitates blood sugar regulation, bolsters digestive health, and contributes to sustained weight management (Image: Canva)

Nivedita is a Delhi-based journalist who writes on health, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment. Views expressed are personal.

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