Processed foods have a bad reputation, but how many of us grow our own wheat, mill the flour, and bake bread? Processed foods shouldn’t scare us; we could all do with less ultra-processed foods that are loaded with saturated fat, added sugar, and excess sodium, but many processed foods can be part of a healthy diet for swimmers. Parents of athletes want convenience and quality; flavor and nutrition, and minimally processed foods. So, here are a few that are approved by this dietitian to provide needed calories and nutrients with the triple benefits of convenience, quality, and good taste.
Bonus: Milk naturally contains calcium and one serving delivers about a one-third of the calcium needed for the day; vitamin D is added to milk to help with calcium absorption.
Bonus: Beans provide the B-vitamin and folic acid, needed for healthy red blood cell production.
Bonus: Tuna has omega-3 fats or “fish oils” to fight inflammation.
Bonus: Ready rice is minimally processed with no artificial colors or flavors and provides needed quality carbohydrates to replenish muscle stores after a long, hard workout.
Bonus: Roasted chickpeas are great on salads or in soups instead of croutons.
Bonus: This natural food company has some unique additions to their meals; like probiotics in a breakfast burrito or flaxseed breakfast sandwiches.
Chris Rosenbloom, PhD, is a registered dietitian nutritionist who has provided nutrition information to coaches and athletes for over 30 years. She welcomes questions from swimmers, parents, and coaches at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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