12 Healthy Processed Foods You Should Be Eating, According to Dietitians



5. Bean pastas

Wholegrain Pasta with broccoli and walnuts cream

OK, so bean pasta might not be considered a whole food to some, but next to sliced whole-grain bread, it’s one of the most nutritious packaged foods you can get. Bean pastas are higher in protein and fiber than traditional white noodles and even whole-grain varieties. Plus, they’re gluten-free.

Moon’s go-to is Banza’s chickpea pasta, but there are other brands out there, like Explore Cuisine, Barilla, and Ancient Harvest, that feature beans and whole grains. “Banza chickpea pasta has a good texture and mouthfeel, making it a no-sacrifice swap for refined-grain pasta. Nutritionally, it has about twice the plant protein (25 grams) and more than four times the fiber (13 grams) of standard pasta,” says Moon.


6. Veggie burgers

Healthy baked sweet potato burger with whole grain bun, guacamole, vegan mayonnaise and vegetables on a wooden board. Vegetarian food concept, light background.

Today’s veggie burgers are a far cry from the stale, chewy patties of the ’90s. Thanks to brands like Dr. Praeger’s plant-based burgers, you can have a delicious meatless meal on the table in minutes (all you need is a microwave).

“These flavorful, soy-free, gluten-free, plant-based veggie burgers are made with pea protein and boast an impressive 28 grams of protein per patty,” says Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD. Look for them in the frozen aisle and add to a salad or bun to whip up a high-protein dinner in a snap.