By now you’ve heard that you should ditch the prepackaged foods and stick to the outer aisles at the grocery store. But what about those times where fresh, whole foods just aren’t feasible? You don’t have to completely throw out the boxes in your pantry as long as you know what to look for.
RELATED: The Truth About Energy Bars
“When you are purchasing prepackaged foods, you definitely want to look at the nutrition facts,” explains Georgie Fear, RD, CSSD, the founder of One By One Nutrition and author of Lean Habits For Lifelong Weight Loss. “Look for fiber, protein, less added sugar and zero trans fats.”
When consuming prepackaged foods, Fear herself aims for 80-90 percent whole foods or keeping it to one protein bar or shake per day. You don’t have to completely nix prepackaged foods.
RELATED: Training And Racing With Whole Foods
Here are a few of the prepackaged foods Fear approves—add these to your grocery list for your next shopping trip.
The Best Prepackaged Oatmeal: Store-Brand Instant Oats
"I like the single serving convenience, and they are fortified with iron (which the bigger canisters of oats aren't)," explains Fear. "I add flavor with fruit, milk, cinnamon or pumpkin."
The Best Prepackaged Cereal: Special K Protein
"It is tasty, crunchy and has a decent amount of protein to help boost satiety," explains Fear.
The Best Prepackaged Bars: Quest Bars
"I like Quest Bars for the high protein and low sugar content and they are delicious," Fear shares. "Anything with chocolate—and the cookie dough flavor all the way."
The Best Prepackaged Sports Drink: Gatorade
"Time tested mix of electrolytes and carbohydrate," notes Fear.