Earlier this week I was at the gym reading the latest edition of Women’s Health and spotted their annual 125 Best Packaged Foods For Women article. While I try to avoid packaged foods, I was interested in checking out the list and seeing if there were any new, interesting products I would be interested in trying.

I find myself torn between liking the piece and feeling a bit disappointed. Some of the products recommended make me shake my head and some make me jump for joy. Here is a break down of the good and the bad (in my opinion):

The Good
– Haagen-Dazs Fat-Free Cranberry Blueberry Sorbet: Frozen treats and entrees are one thing I don’t mind buying packaged on occasion to have on hand when we are in a pinch. I am interested in trying this sorbet as an alternative to Skinny Cows (which also made the list, BTW).
– Fabulous Flats Whole-Grain Tandoori Naan: This flat bread looks amazing and would be very versatile.
– Melissa’s Peeled Baby Beets: Beets are one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant, but I rarely buy fresh beets because they are so labor intensive to cook at home. One reason I choose packaged foods over fresh is if it is something I would not or could not do for myself at home. Looking forward to beet and goat cheese salads at home with these!
– Helen’s Kitchen Simple Health Thai Red Curry: Was happy to see Helen’s Kitchen on the list as well as many other frozen entree choices with less sodium than usual (600 mg was the most out of the three frozen entrees).

The Bad
– I really wish WH would have stressed at the beginning of the article that while whole, unprocessed foods are your best choice, when you need to choose packaged foods these are our recommendations. There was no mention of anything of the sort.
– Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain Brown Ready Rice: While I understand the appeal of rice that is ready in 90 seconds, the added cost out weighs the convenience for me. Brown rice is one of the best healthy, budget friendly staples you can buy. With proper meal planning, you can plan for the extra time regular brown rice takes to cook.
– Mott’s Ready-to-Eat Sliced Apples: This just doesn’t make sense to me. It takes me 20 seconds to slice an apple, and zero seconds to just bite into a whole apple. The money wasted on these, plus the fact that pre-sliced apples just don’t taste as good, make this a bad for me.

Overall, I do think this list is helpful and a good reference, but I just hope people understand that you should only choose a few items from this list to supplement your whole, unprocessed items that make up the bulk of your food choices. I know I am glad to have found the beets and the naan bread, especially.


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