Tomato-based pasta sauce – Jarred pasta sauce is often filled with sugar, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and sodium. Some brands have 900 mg (over a third of your recommended daily amount) of sodium and 11 grams of sugar in one serving. You don’t have to miss the vitamins A and C in good quality tomato sauce. Just make it yourself at home using garden fresh tomatoes and spices such as onion, basil and garlic. Check out this recipe for an idea of how easy it can be to make healthy tomato sauce at home. If you want to make a lot of sauce at one time and can it, here’s a basic recipe that couldn’t be simpler.
Prepared Chicken, Tuna or Shrimp Salad – Don’t be deceived by the word salad. These commercially prepared dishes are loaded with mayonnaise and oils that can make the calorie content jump way too high to be considered worthy of being called salad. Use flavored mustard such as Dijon or honey mustard, herbs and spices and maybe even some yogurt for added moisture when you make a much healthier version of these dishes at home. Try one of these nine better-for-you chicken salad recipes.
Bran Muffins – Bran muffins are packed with healthy ingredients such as fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins and minerals. That’s the good news. The bad news is that commercially available bran muffins are often big enough to count as an entire meal, even before you add jam, jelly or butter on top. And some have up to 600 mg of sodium. Even if you find a lower sodium version in your local café or coffee shop, do you have the discipline to eat half and save half for later? If you don’t, you can still enjoy a morning bran muffin. Just bake them at home using a mini-muffin tin. Here’s a recipe that tames the worst parts of the store-bought bran muffin and makes them actually a healthy treat.
Once you start rethinking the prepared foods you’re buying, you can increase your intake of healthy nutrients, and often save money too, by preparing food them at home. Some other foods that can be made at home more easily, healthfully and affordably include smoothies, baked potatoes (without all the toppings in restaurant offerings) and soups.
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Author: Rebeca Espinoza