Close this search box.
Subtotal: $0.00
No products in the cart.

The 50 Best Healthy Packaged Foods 

The 50 Best Healthy Packaged Foods from Expo West 2024

Dr. B and I just spent the last few days at Natural Products Expo West and waded through the aisles of 3600 vendors (along with 67,000 attendees!) seeking out the 50 Best Healthy Packaged Foods to share with you. Let’s face it, in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, convenience often trumps quality when it comes to our diet and that is where the 50 healthy packaged foods comes in. While it is always better to eat real, whole food and to cook at home, there are times when we need to rely on packaged foods. For those times, these are some of your best options.

The 50 best healthy packaged foods we’ve chosen are a testament to the fact that you can indeed have the best of both worlds – convenience and nutrition. From nutrient-dense snacks to healthy fats and whole food options, these products are carefully curated to support your quest for a healthier lifestyle. Whether you’re on-the-go or simply looking for convenient, yet wholesome choices, these foods are designed to nourish your body without compromising on taste or quality. 

I want to empower and teach you to steer clear of ultra processed foods (UPF) which are nutrient poor, hyper palatable and addictive and instead choose minimally processed foods that are convenient and also support your metabolic health.  Dr. Robert Lustig has said that “if a food does not protect your liver and your brain and feed your gut, it is not food, it is poison”. By focusing on nutrient density, whole foods, and healthy fats, we can make healthier choices without compromising on convenience.

1. Understanding Packaged Food Labels

In the quest for healthier eating, understanding the labels on packaged foods is crucial. The ingredient list and nutrition facts panel offer a treasure trove of information about what you’re actually consuming. Look for products with short ingredient lists, emphasizing whole, unprocessed ingredients. Avoid items with added sugars, very high sodium levels, and artificial additives. Opting for organic, non-GMO, and BPA-free packaging can also contribute to a healthier diet and environment. By becoming a savvy label reader, you empower yourself to make informed choices that align with your health goals.

2. Nutrient Density

When we talk about nutrient density, we’re focusing on foods that pack a lot of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants into each bite.

Nutrient-dense foods are the cornerstone of a balanced diet, supporting everything from bone health, blood sugar balance, and metabolic health to immune function.

For those of us aiming to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially midlife women who are often juggling multiple responsibilities, choosing foods with high nutrient density can make all the difference. 

Incorporating these powerhouse foods into your diet doesn’t have to be a chore. Look for nutrient-dense options in the grocery store to ensure you’re getting the most vitamins and minerals per calorie. Many healthy packaged options are available, making it easier than ever to enjoy nutrient-rich snacks and meals on the go. Nutrient dense foods include things like nuts, seeds, salmon, sardines, eggs, and dark chocolate.

3. The Importance of Fiber and Protein in Packaged Foods

Fiber and protein are two critical nutrients that play a significant role in our overall health, particularly in digestion and satiety. When selecting packaged foods, aim for options that are high in fiber and protein. These nutrients not only support a healthy digestive system but also help in maintaining a feeling of fullness, which can aid in weight management. Foods like legumes, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources. Incorporating these nutrient-dense options into your diet can make a substantial difference in your health and well-being.

4. Decoding the Buzzwords: ‘Natural’, ‘Organic’, and ‘Non-GMO’

The food industry is rife with buzzwords that can often be misleading. ‘Natural’ does not necessarily mean healthy, as this term is not strictly regulated. ‘Organic’ refers to foods produced without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, and ‘Non-GMO’ means the food does not contain genetically modified organisms. While these labels can guide healthier choices, it’s essential to look beyond the buzzwords and understand the actual nutritional content and ingredient list of the packaged foods you choose.

5. Whole Foods

When we talk about whole foods, we’re talking about food in its most natural or least processed state. Incorporate whole ingredients into your diet by choosing packaged foods that list recognizable foods as their primary components. It’s about embracing vegetables, meats, fish, fruits, nuts, and seeds that haven’t been stripped of their nutritional value through processing.

This approach to eating emphasizes the importance of consuming foods that remain close to their original form. The beauty of whole foods lies in their simplicity and their power to nourish our bodies with essential nutrients. Seek out minimally processed packaged foods to maintain closer to their natural state.

By prioritizing whole foods, we ensure our diets are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These are key components that support our overall health and well-being.

Incorporating whole foods into our daily routine doesn’t have to be a daunting task. There are plenty of healthy packaged foods available that make it convenient to enjoy these nutrient powerhouses.

6. Healthy Fats

What do I mean by healthy fats? These fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats, are pivotal for heart health and overall well-being. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for brain health, so look for packaged foods that include sources like flaxseeds or fish.

Avocados, nuts, and certain seeds are prime examples of foods that deliver these beneficial fats. They not only contribute to a healthier heart but also aid in maintaining optimal brain function and reducing inflammation. When cooking, I usually choose olive oil, avocado oil and occasionally use ghee, coconut oil and tallow.

Choosing packaged foods that contain these healthy fats (and avoiding those containing seed oils like canola, and vegetable oil) can be a game-changer. It allows you to enjoy the convenience without compromising on the nutritional quality.

7. The Role of Healthy Fats in Packaged Foods

Healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats, are essential for heart health and overall well-being. When choosing packaged foods, it’s crucial to look for those that contain these beneficial fats while avoiding trans fats and highly processed oils. Avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil are prime examples of foods rich in healthy fats. Opting for packaged foods that incorporate these ingredients can significantly enhance the nutritional value of your diet.

8. Protein Sources

When it comes to maintaining a balanced diet, protein sources are non-negotiable. They’re the building blocks of muscle and a key factor in keeping you feeling full longer.

Choosing the right protein-packed snacks and meals is crucial. Not all proteins are created equal, with some options far surpassing others in terms of nutritional value and health benefits. If a “protein bar” doesn’t contain at least 10 grams of protein, it is just a candy bar. While there are many bars labeled as having more than 10 grams of protein and purport to be “keto” friendly, they are loaded with emulsifiers, gums, chemicals and other ingredients that do not support metabolic health and are essentially UPF (ultra processed food). I have a difficult relationship with “bars” as I do not think most of them support your metabolic health. The only exception to my no protein bar rule is when I am super active (hiking or skiing) otherwise, I have not found a “bar” that supports stable blood sugar when eaten just as a snack, apart from exercise. The only bars that meet my clean ingredient standards are: Rise Bar and Just Nosh Collagen Bars.

High-quality protein can be found in both animal and plant-based packaged foods. Examples include:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fish and meat jerky
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese

These options offer convenience without sacrificing the quality of your protein intake. To ensure you’re making the best choices, always check the label for added sugars and unnecessary fillers.

9. Low in Added Sugars and Refined Carbs

Foods low in added sugars (under 2 grams per serving) and refined carbs are essential for maintaining a balanced diet, especially for midlife women focusing on healthy eating. These options help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce cravings, contributing to overall well-being.

Choosing healthy packaged foods that are low in these components can be a game-changer. It allows for better weight management and supports metabolic health, steering clear of the empty calories and health risks associated with high sugar and refined carb consumption.

  • Look for “no added sugar”, or 2 grams or less of added sugar, or sweetened with monk fruit, allulose or pure stevia.
  • If you do eat grain, choose whole grain, never refined or enriched grain
  • Check out this complete list for ingredients to avoid for optimal health

10. Convenience and Portability

In today’s fast-paced world, the convenience and portability of food items have become non-negotiable for many, especially for midlife women striving to maintain a healthy diet amidst a busy schedule. The beauty of healthy packaged foods lies in their ability to fit seamlessly into this lifestyle.

They offer a practical solution, allowing for nutritious eating without the need for extensive preparation or cooking time. Products like individually wrapped nuts, pre-cut fruits and vegetables, and single snacks embody this principle.

They are easy to carry, fitting effortlessly into a handbag or lunchbox, ensuring that a healthy option is always within reach. This aspect of healthy packaged foods is crucial, as it supports consistent healthy eating habits by providing quick, nutritious options that cater to a busy lifestyle.

My top 50 healthy packaged foods that are carefully selected products that are both convenient and nourishing. From nutrient-dense snacks to wholesome whole food options, these treasures aim to support your quest for a healthier lifestyle. Whether you’re on-the-go or seeking easy yet nutritious choices, these foods promise to elevate your shopping experience and redefine your approach to convenience foods. Get ready to prioritize your health without sacrificing time or flavor as we unveil these game-changing options!

The following are our choices for the best minimally processed foods that we found at Expo West 2024:

Dairy Free “Milks”

Malk Organics dairy-free milks, simple ingredients

Elmhurst 1925 clean, 2 ingredients nut milks: nuts and water, that’s it! Just the way you would make at home.


Drink Corpse Reviver Super tasty fizzy water with botanicals and electrolytes

Betty Buzz premium sparkling soda with clean ingredients

Equator Coffee regenerative + organic coffee, I don’t drink coffee but Dr. B does and he visited the Equator Coffee booth several times over our 3 days at the show!

Foursigmatic Mushroom teas + coffee USDA organic, no added sugar and super tasty!

Cure Electrolytes electrolytes made with real food ingredients

Laird Superfood greens powder that tastes good, made with real whole food ingredients


Pescavore Seafood sustainable, wild caught, Ahi Tuna jerky- healthy protein snack to go, better than a protein bar anyday!

Surfsnax Salmon jerky that is tender, not fishy and a great source of protein and Omega 3. Made from sustainably farmed Atlantic Salmon certified by BAP. I know I always say wild caught is best, but sustainably farmed salmon can have a place in a healthy diet on occasion too.

Setton Farms Organic pistachios, grown in California

Boulder Canyon Olive oil and avocado oil potato chips – these are not going to be blood sugar friendly eaten alone but I have included them for their simple ingredients and the fact that they are cooked in healthy oils

Jackson’s Chips Sweet potato avocado oil chips- these are not going to be blood sugar friendly eaten alone but I have included them for their simple ingredients and the fact that they are cooked in healthy oil

Solely Fruit single ingredient fruit jerky – these are not going to be blood sugar friendly eaten alone but I have included them for their simple ingredients. These would be a better choice for kids than a fruit roll up!

OUEGG Egg chips – made from whole eggs and dehydrated into “chips” the truffle flavor was super tasty! A convenient way to get more protein without any unwanted filler ingredients!

Bread and Crackers

Base Culture I sampled this brand’s new keto bread that is shelf stable and it is tasty and tender. Their super seed bread is my favorite!

Flackers Seed crackers the way you would make them at home, simple ingredients, no added junk.


Big Picture Foods Ferments that you will find in both the refrigerator section and as a shelf stable product in jars. The company’s commitment to regenerative agriculture really sets them apart. I encourage you to look for their products and support this company!

North Coast Organic raw, organic apple cider vinegar. This was already my go-to brand, and it was fun to see them at the show!

Mother In Law’s Kimchi- hand crafted and long fermented. Super tasty kimchi adds flavor and gut health benefits to any meal.

Koko Kai Probiotic rich coconut yogurt. I tasted the simple coconut and the passionfruit and both are simply delicious.

Wildbrine Ferments Organic sauerkraut, kimchi, and fermented vegetables. Founded in Sonoma County with roots in the Ceres Community Project kitchen.

Hawthorne Foods Organic regeneratively raised vegetables made into tasty ferments. In glass jars and featuring a wide variety of flavors. Perfect to add probiotics to any meal.

Condiments and Sauces

Michael’s of Brooklyn Simple, yummy pasta sauces. Made with ingredients you would use in your own kitchen.

Dress It Up Dressing Salad dressings made with real food ingredients like olive oil, never any seed oils. I always say homemade is best but these clean and delicious dressings are a terrific option when you don’t have time to make your own!

Everiday Foods To-die-for condiments and crackers! Made with olive oil, high quality spices, seeds and other organic ingredients.

Chosen Foods Organic avocado oil mayonnaise. Really the best store bought mayo I have tasted.

Bionature Organic tomato sauce and tomato paste. Simple and flavorful.

Yo Mamas Foods no sugar BBQ sauce! It can be hard to find a tasty BBQ sauce that isn’t loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, seed oils and emulsifiers. This one is a good one, no nasty ingredients and sweetened with monk fruit.


Green Girl Bakeshop Dairy-free ice cream and grain free ice cream sandwiches. Made with ingredients you can feel good about and recognize. Lightly sweetened with maple syrup. These will not be blood sugar friendly alone but at the end of a meal, they should produce a level glucose response.

Ketopint Dairy ice cream using keto sweeteners. I don’t tolerate cow dairy so I did not try these, but Dr. B tried them and loved these ice creams and ice cream bars!

Chee Hoo Treats Banana sweetened non-dairy ice cream. These were so sweet and yummy! Probably not blood sugar friendly alone, but perfect at the end of a healthy meal.

Green Girl Bakeshop dairy free, refined sugar free ice cream
Green Girl Bakeshop dairy free, refined sugar free ice cream

Meals and Pastas

I Eat My Greens “Homemade” style vegetable soups- just like you would make at home!

Miracle Noodle Konjac noodles and chickpea flatbread. You already know how much I love high fiber, blood sugar friendly konjac noodles but now Miracle has partnered with an Italian company to bring us frozen chickpea flatbreads that can be topped as pizzas or eaten piled with veggies, or all by themselves .

Eat Chef’s Kiss Lupin pasta – tasty, high protein, high fiber pasta made from lupini beans that is blood sugar friendly! “Low carb, protein rich, and gut friendly. It’s packed with nutrients, fits a wide range of diets, and is made from the game-changing lupin bean.” We use and love this nutrient dense, high fiber pasta.

Daily Dose prepared meals. So many of you have been asking about prepared meals for times when you are just too busy to cook. These are the next best thing to home-cooking.

  • Meticulously sourced ingredients from local, regenerative, bio-dynamic farms
  • Cooked with the highest quality organic oils including EVOO, avocado and coconut oil
  • Delivered in plant-based, composable containers
  • Free from gluten, refined sugar, hormones and other harmful or inflammatory ingredients

Healthy Fats

Octonuts nut butter, nut snacks and cold pressed nut oils.

La Tourangelle high quality avocado, sesame, and nut oils packaged in beautiful cans.

Sun Butter allergen free, nut free butters made from sunflower seeds

Whole Foods

Alexandre Family Farm regeneratively raised, organic A2 dairy products

Bonafide Provisions bone broths made with certified organic, clean ingredients and taste like homemade bone broth! If you don’t have time for homemade, this is a good option!

Force of Nature Meats “regeneratively raised meats that nourish our bodies, our soil, and our future”. We tasted their meatballs that include liver and heart at the show and they were delicious!

Pasture Bird regeneratively raised, pastured chickens that live off the land eating bugs, grass and fertilizing the soil as they move across the pasture. I was so impressed by this company and their practices that I am planning to get a monthly box from Pasture Bird.

Safe Catch Foods sustainably caught canned fish that is tested for mercury. This is already one of my go-to brands but it was nice to see them at the show. Some Costco stores carry this brand.

Applegate Organics organic, antibiotic free, clean ingredient meat products. We have been using and loving their pepperoni for my lasagna recipe and for my pizza for years.

Ingredients for Cooking and Baking

Navitas Organics ingredients that I rely on over and over: cacao powder, cacao nibs, and chia seeds. We sampled their yummy, new line of snack foods incorporating superfood ingredients.

Starwest Botanicals regeneratively grown, organic spices and teas. I have been using this line of bulk spices and teas for years and I was super excited to find out at the show that they now make consumer-sized spices and teas!

Bob’s Red Mill alternative flours like almond flour, cassava flour, arrowroot, coconut flour, and flaxseed meal that I use almost daily for cooking and baking.

Beyond Good single origin chocolate, vanilla and baking chocolate chips from Madagascar and Uganda. Dr. B and I met the founder of this company, formerly of the Peace Corps and passionate about bringing top quality products from farmers to the world without any middlemen so that farmers, not big food companies, profit. We loved their 92% dark chocolate- fruity and flavorful. We came home with samples of their pure vanilla and pure vanilla powder and both are so good!

HU Kitchen fair trade, organic dark chocolate bars and no sugar added chocolate chips that are sweetened with dates. Super simple ingredients and great tasting chocolate.

Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts for No Oats and a new line of fiber supplements that are all organic.

Salt Verk mineral-rich, sustainable sea salt from Iceland. Their salt flavors are clean and bright and healthy due to their high mineral content. We were first introduced to Salt Verk at the Fancy Food Show in New York and were so happy to see them at Expo this year.


On our journey to healthier eating, embracing things like these 50 healthy packaged foods and excluding ultra processed food (UPF), is a vital first step. These selections offer nutrient density, whole foods, healthy fats, quality proteins, and are low in added sugars and refined carbs, making them ideal for our busy lives. Remember, choosing the right food doesn’t mean sacrificing taste or convenience. We can prioritize our health by selecting smarter, nutrient-packed options. If you ever have questions, feel free to DM me on instagram or email me at It is my absolute passion to help and teach people to fuel their bodies for optimal health, blood sugar balance, metabolic health and feeling our best.



Most of these links are NOT affiliate links- I have linked to companies to make them easier for you to find. The affiliate links in this blog are: CURE, PastureBird, Miracle Noodle and Eat Chef’s Kiss. These are all products that I use and like for myself and my family.

Written by:
Picture of Beth Bollinger

Beth Bollinger

I am an Integrative Health Practitioner, mama of 4 and passionate about healthy cooking. I am here to help you achieve health and well-being by sharing what I have learned about alternative ingredients and making healthy food taste amazing.

Picture of Beth Bollinger

Beth Bollinger

I am an Integrative Health Practitioner, mama of 4 and passionate about healthy cooking. I am here to help you achieve health and well-being by sharing what I have learned about alternative ingredients and making healthy food taste amazing.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top