How can USANA Food products be healthy if they are processed foods?
Depending on the definition used, nearly every food available for purchase is “processed” to one degree or another. (Even the vast majority of fruits and vegetables are harvested and sorted by machinery.) Taken literally, avoidance of all processed foods could not be considered reasonable, necessary, or even healthy for most individuals. Most nutrition experts advise reducing intake of non-nutritious processed foods, as well as trying to eat foods as close to fresh as possible.
Although they may seem similarly “processed,” there is a huge difference in nutrient content and health benefits between USANA‘s Nutrimeal shakes and something like a Twinkie®, soda, or cheap frozen dinner. Aside from some calories and carbohydrates for energy, a non-nutritive processed snack or soda provides little in the way of key nutrients. A Nutrimeal shake, on the other hand, provides 7-8 grams of fiber, 15 grams of complete protein, a moderate level of low-glycemic carbohydrates, healthy fats, and a decent vitamins/minerals mix. (For example, the Chocolate Whey Nutrimeal contains 500 mg of calcium and 780 mg of potassium per serving.) It is certainly true that – in general – the less processed and more “whole” a food is, the greater the likelihood of better nutritional value. When it comes to manufactured foods, however, there needs to be a distinction between healthy processed foods and nutrient-poor processed foods.
USANA‘s shakes and bars are intended to give people an alternative to less-healthy choices. If someone is already eating a healthy, varied diet of nutritious foods, he or she should continue to do so.