Have you heard of the “jelly bean rule?” It’s basically an FDA guideline that’s meant to prevent food companies from adding vitamins to junk food, just so that they can call it healthy.
For most folks, a jelly bean fortified with vitamin C is pretty clearly still junk food, but what about the other fortified snack foods we see on store shelves? I’m thinking here of sugary granola bars touted as breakfast food, fortified juice drinks like VitaminWater, and energy bars. These processed foods are certainly convenient, but they are not healthy. Calling them food almost feels like a stretch in some cases.
Not only are these processed convenience foods loaded with sugar, unhealthy fats, and GMO ingredients, but the excessive packaging is as bad for the planet as that snack is for your body. One granola bar wrapper might not seem like a lot, but imagine all of the granola bar wrappers from all of the people that eat one for breakfast every morning. That adds up to mountains of discarded single use plastic in our landfills and in our oceans.
The trouble is that you’re busy, right? Sometimes grabbing a granola bar on the way out the door is all you have time to do! So, how can you kick the processed food habit when you’re short on time?
If you want to ditch the processed convenience food but don’t want to give up convenience, don’t fret! There are lots of foods that are both convenient and healthy. Check out a list of truly healthy convenience foods on the next page.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by smoorenburg