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Best packaged foods for taste, nutrition

March 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Did you know the less we do to food the better it is for you? There are some companies that are minimally processing their packages, creating food that is delicious and nutritious. Here's a few that don't disappoint:For breakfast, Bear Naked's Fit granola has less fat and sugar than others on the market, along with 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. It's nice to stir into another nutrition favorite, Stonyfield Farm Organic Yogurt, which is an antibiotic- and hormone-free dairy food.

Whether you're looking for breakfast toast or bread for a sandwich, Food for Life's 7 Sprouted Breads is a winner. It's made with seven different sprouted grains and no flour, which offers a higher fiber and protein content than most on the market.

Kashi's Black Bean Mango dish provides 7 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. It's good as a mini meal or side dish.

For your little ones, Annie's Whole Wheat Shells and White Cheddar mac-and-cheese is lower in salt with five fiber grams, no artificial anything. It's a good comfort food for your kids.

Don't forget pantry products that make it easier to assemble a meal that provides less of what we don't need like sugar, salt and chemicals.

Uncle Ben's Whole Grain Fast and Natural Instant Brown Rice and Barilla Plus pasta are two products that offer more protein and fiber than refined versions. It's these types of complex carbohydrates health experts prefer because they help to keep the body full and satisfied longer, while adding more nutrients to the mix.

For snacks and treats, give Lara Bar a try. Ingredients for their bar? Plain and simple: Fruit and nuts. A perfect pick-me-up between meals.

If you're in the chip mood, try Beanitos. These chips are corn- and potato-free, made with either black or pinto beans with flax seed. It's a gluten-free alternative that has 5 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per serving.

All the products we found are sold at major grocery chains and Whole Foods markets.