Inicio Nutrición Cómo elegir comida procesada saludabe

Cómo elegir comida procesada saludabe

Comida procesada, cómo saber si es sana

Por Sol Sigal

Nutrióloga y triatleta @solsigal

No toda la comida procesada es mala, así como no toda la no-procesada es buena. Generalmente tiene que ver con la cantidad y la frecuencia de consumo (de ambas).

Si bien se le ha echado la culpa de la epidemia de obesidad a esta manía que tenemos de buscar lo rico, rápido o sencillo para comer, no todo son hamburguesas, papitas o sopas de vasito. Es cierto que existen millones de productos en el mercado pero es responsabilidad nuestra elegir correctamente.

La comida procesada, industrializada o empacada a la que hay que tenerle respeto es aquella que se prepara con bajos estándares de calidad, a la que se le adiciona sodio, azúcar, colorantes o conservadores en exceso, sustancias desconocidas e impronunciables o que su calidad nutricional es baja.

Hay, por supuesto, muchos niveles de “procesamiento”. De hecho, al cocinar nosotros en casa estamos generando comida procesada y no es mala, muy pocos alimentos se comen sin haberse sometido a algún proceso. El tema es lo que sucede a los alimentos cuando se preparan para ser empacados y exhibidos en un aparador por días o semanas. Lo que se quita o pone para aumentar la vida de anaquel es lo realmente preocupante.

comida procesada1

Además hay niveles de procesado de los alimentos. Pensemos en las verduras congeladas o ensaladas listas para comer. Esas suelen ser buena opción para quienes no tienen tiempo ni ganas de ponerse a lavar y desinfectar. No pierden calidad nutricional y aportan casi los mismos nutrientes, pueden darle variedad a la dieta y completar el aporte de fibra, vitaminas, minerales y agua.

De ahí las opciones comienzan a ser menos saludables, pero no necesariamente malas. Atún o sardinas, frutas o verduras enlatadas o en sobre pueden ser opción siempre y cuando se busquen las que contienen poco sodio, estén en agua y no en azúcar (almíbar), aceite o sal (salmuera).

Las tostadas horneadas, algunos panes integrales, harina para preparar hot cakes o pasteles, granola, amaranto y avena, aderezos y vinagretas, jugos o lácteos (leche, yogurt, jocoque y quesos) pueden ser nutrimentalmente rescatables, sólo hay que leer la etiqueta para poder elegir.

A partir de ahí, la mayoría de la comida empacada deja mucho que desear en cuanto al balance nutricional. Suelen tener grasa, sodio (sal), azúcar o químicos. En esta categoría caen las carnes frías y embutidos, comidas pre-cocinadas, enlatadas y productos congelados.

¿Cuál es la clave?

Elegir aquellos que en su composición sean lo más parecidos posible a las versiones “originales” sin procesar, que no tengan sal ni azúcar adicionada y sean bajos en grasa. Estos pueden venir con diferentes nombres y combinaciones por eso hay que leer la lista de ingredientes y analizar. Tienes que saber que vienen en orden de más cantidad a menos, lo primero que ves es lo que más tiene.

comida procesada2

Acuérdate que para grasa, sal o azúcar hay cientos de nombres, no necesariamente lo vas a ver así en la etiqueta. Checa los carbohidratos y grasas o lípidos totales, así como el sodio.

De hidratos de carbono lo recomendable es que tenga entre 15 y 20g por porción, de grasa menos de 5g y de sodio debajo de 150mg. Esto te permitirá no pasarte de los totales necesarios durante el día.

Eso sí, no hay que dejarse engañar por etiquetas manipuladoras. Si bien es cierto que muchos alimentos se adicionan con vitaminas y minerales, eso no es sinónimo de saludable ya que siguen conteniendo todo lo demás. A veces, suponiendo que realmente lo hayan puesto, esas vitaminas y minerales están en forma no biodisponible para el cuerpo, en cantidades bajas o no son realmente indispensables. Sin duda es mejor comer una dieta correcta que una no correcta que los adicione.

Mi última recomendación es: en comida de calidad no ahorres. Es mejor pagar un poco más ahora (dentro de tus posibilidades, obviamente) que tener que usar ese dinero después para pagar médicos o medicinas.

Sol Sigal

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