Registered Dietician Monica D'Agostino shares hacks on how to make packaged foods healthier.
D'Agostino told Insider that small changes to packaged foods can make a big difference to nutrition.
One of D'Agostino favorite healthier packaged meal hacks is her instant ramen recipe.
Monica D'Agostino is a registered dietician based in New York who is committed to making healthy eating more accessible. On TikTok, she has amassed over 700,000 followers who love her hacks for making packaged products more nutrient-dense.
In her experience, "a lot of what people struggle with is accessibility to different kinds of foods," D'Agostino told Insider. People "also just get overwhelmed with healthy eating and cooking in general," she said.
One of D'Agostino's favorite recipes for healthier packaged food is her instant ramen recipe. Instant ramen is delicious, easy to prepare, and cheap. But instant ramen is also generally considered a low-nutrition junk food because it lacks nutrients and is high in sodium.
But even small changes can make a big difference in nutrition, D'Agostino told Insider. Here's her recipe for making instant ramen healthier and more filling — but still tasty and comforting.
D'Agostino's healthier ramen recipe
For D'Agostino's healthier ramen, she adds ingredients high in protein and fiber to a regular instant ramen package, ultimately creating a more filling, nutrient dense meal. Here's what you need:
1 ramen package of your choice
½ cup fresh edamame
Soft-boiled egg, if desired
Red pepper flakes
D'Agostino told Insider to cook the ramen according to package instructions, and then to add in the edamame, bok choy, green onions and cilantro while the broth is still hot. If desired, you can then add in a soft-boiled egg, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes.
Instant ramen has carbs, but lacks protein and veggies to make the meal complete, D'Agostino said in a TikTok video of the same recipe.
Although most Americans get enough protein in their diet, very few get enough fiber. The daily recommended dose of fiber for Americans is 25 to 30 grams, but most Americans only get half of that, Insider previously reported. Adding edamame is a great way to boost daily fiber intake.
An egg is also a great source of protein — one egg contains about 6 grams of protein, according to WebMd.
Bok choy and green onions are veggies that taste great with ramen, and also add vitamins. Bok choy and green onions are both high in vitamin K, which supports bone health, as well as antioxidants like vitamins C, according to Healthline.
Finally, in her video, D'Agostino says that she usually only uses half of the instant ramen flavoring packet. She finds it makes the ramen still flavorful, but reduces the amount of sodium in the meal.
Read the original article on Insider