Joplin, MO- Pre-packaged foods help speed the meal to your table. But what you gain in time you may lose in quality. Freeman Dietitian Heather Boline said, "Many times they are stripped of their nutrients. Because when you take a food that is fresh and you process it you, are taking away a lot of the antioxidants and phytochemicals that are naturally present in that food ... take away some of the healthy benefits of the food that is fresh. And they add the preservatives back into the food that make it not as healthy."
Boline says too much salt can be a concern. "Dietary guidelines recommend that we get less than 2300 mg of sodium a day and most of the processed or frozen dinners are high in sodium, try to keep a meal under about 500 mg of sodium."
Transfats are also often a factor. "They act raise our bad cholesterol and lower our good cholesterol." Boline adds that if you want to use boxed pastas, look for varieties with whole grains - and supplement meals with fresh fruit and vegetables.