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Processed Goodness (no, not an oxymoron)

These canned, pre-packaged and frozen foods aren’t as bad as you think!

 

Sardines canned in Spring Water

There’s a lot of calcium in their soft bones – these are barely noticeable and can be eaten. Sardines are also a good source of vitamin D – which the body needs to absorb calcium efficiently. In fact, one sardine can provide about 20 per cent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D. Choose sardines packed in spring water to reduce the loss of unsaturated fat.

 

Rolled Oats

These have been husked and rolled into flat flakes, and are an excellent source of fibre and unsaturated fats. They’re perfect for reducing the amount of time spent in the kitchen – they take just 10 minutes to cook, whereas unprocessed oats can take much longer.

According to Lim Jin Min, a nutrition educator at Eat Right Consultancy, rolled oats do not have much less dietary fibre and mineral content than unprocessed ones, so you get almost the same amount of nutrients while saving a lot of time. Avoid instant oats, which have added sugar.

 

Tuna Canned in Spring Water

This is one of the richest sources of heart-healthy unsaturated fats (including omega-3 fatty acids that lower levels of LDL or bad cholesterol) among fish in general. What to avoid? Tuna canned in oil. Unsaturated fats are soluble in the oil, which is typically poured away before consumption, thus decreasing the tuna’s nutritional value. Skip tuna canned in brine too, as it has a higher concentration of salt.

 

Frozen Berries

Some fruits are preserved using a process called flash freezing, which locks them in a relatively nutrient-rich state. According to Jin Min, this process prevents the formation of ice crystals and reduces the rate of the fruits’ nutrient loss over a longer period of time. In addition, frozen berries such as raspberries and blueberries are protected from the high temperatures of a shipping environment, which reportedly decrease their heat-sensitive nutrients like vitamins B and C.

 

EXPERT SOURCE: Lim Jin Min, nutrition educator at Eat Right Consultancy

Her World, April 2015

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