A Food in an instant just add water and voila! While it may conjure images of what bodybuilders and astronauts eat, nowadays, you
• Can find eggs, milk, peanut butter, fruits and veggies, and even yogurt and honey, lining supermarket shelves in powdered forms.
Fortunately, during the drying process, you don’t really lose essential nutrients. Diet wise, powdered versions can be a good alternative for weight loss, since they tend to be lower in calories and fat. Another big pro: Powdered foods may be easier to digest, especially for those who can’t handle certain foods like kale or milk.
But one of the biggest benefits is the convenience. How many times have you had to throw out food that you didn’t have time to eat or prepare? With powdered foods, no refrigeration is necessary, and if stored properly, they can last five years or even longer, without degrading in nutrition. Additionally, powdered foods are versatile: You can use them to thicken smoothies, or in baking, soups, stews, sauces and dips to increase the overall nutritional value. And if you have a picky eater in the family, powders are a great way to sneak certain foods into your meals without inciting a toddler tantrum.
There are a few drawbacks, however, namely taste and texture, which are far different from the fresh equivalent. Truthfully, nothing can replace the actual crunch of a leafy green salad or the juicy bite of antioxidant-rich fruits like berries or pomegranates; the peanut butter tends to be gritty and often, there are added flavorings to make it more palatable. These foods also require an extra step of preparation—there’s no cracking an egg straight into the pan or pouring a glass of milk right from the carton. Cost could be another factor, as they are usually sold in bulk. Check the ingredients label carefully to make sure there are as few additives, fillers and binders as possible. And remember, anytime a food is processed or manufactured, there is always a risk of cross-contamination.
Overall, I can’t recommend them as an everyday meal replacement in the long term. Adding water won’t magically return powdered food to its original form. However, used in conjunction with a diet rich in fresh produce, lean proteins, low-fat dairy and whole grains, they can be a good supplemental tool to ensure you get the recommended daily servings for a healthier you.
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