Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Think Outside the Package

Packaged foods are the devil. Yes, you heard right, the devil.  They used to be my childhood comfort, or that quick fix when you are on the go.  We all indulge in a good snack, or a "lean" pocket every now and then, but is it really that bad.  Let's investigate. 

I've noticed a lot of women these days eating those packaged low calorie meals here at my work as the start of a New Years Resolution.  Are these meals really as healthy as they make out to be? Usually not.

Let's take a look at Healthy Choice's Steaming Entree the Chicken Romano Fresca dish.

230 Calories for the entire meal ~ Not too bad
29g Carbohydrates ~ Whoa
490mg Sodium ~ Yikes

You truly would be better off grilling your own chicken breast and steaming your own broccolli. Chicken does not have carbs, it has lots of good protein.  The carbs in this dish come from the pasta.  Conveniently enough, the Healthy Choice website doesn't even list ingredients found in the meals, sneaky sneaky.  This meal is full of preservatives to keep it lasting a long time. Wouldn't you rather fill up on protein and veggies rather than unsatisfying complex carbs? Don't get me wrong, I've always loved my pastas and breads, but now that I don't fill up my diet with them I feel so much better about my body and health than the quick satisfaction of any whole wheat toast. 

Along with overloading yourself with sodium and carbs, you will still be left unsatisfied.  Seeing that you "did good" on your diet with a Healthy Choice meal you may binge later seeing that you deserve it.  ;) Why not just eat as much as you want but with good healthy ingredients? Don't starve yourself, calorie count or portion control anything-it's way more liberating. 

What about protein bars?? I'm definitely not an expert by any means on the subject but just take a look at the ingredients.  Usually 50% or more of the ingredients are names you can't even understand.  I took a look at an Herbalife peanut butter chocolate energy bar and the first ingredient was Maltitol Syrup.  I decided to look it up.  The first website that pops up is all the side effects and problems with Maltitrol.  It is basically a sugar alcohol that has a high glycemic index, and carbs.  It has also been known to cause intestinal comfort.  Why oh why would I obliviously put this in my body again? The peanut butter and chocolate really draws you in.

So....avoid packaged foods, slow down and try cooking your own meals. :)

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