BEANS on toast, fish fingers and other ultra-processed foods can be part of a healthy, balanced diet, experts say.
The foods — made mostly from starches, sugars, and hydrogenated fats, plus artificial colors and flavours — have been linked to cancer risk and heart disease.
But the British Nutrition Foundation says the likes of wholemeal bread, wholegrain breakfast cereals, fish fingers, tomato-based pasta sauces and fruit yoghurts are fine as convenient meals.
Spokeswoman Bridget Benelam said: “For many of us, when we get home after a busy day, foods like baked beans, wholemeal toast, fish fingers or ready-made pasta sauces are an affordable way to quickly get a balanced meal on the table.
“These may be classified as ultra-processed but can still be part of a healthy diet.
“It’s great if you can cook from scratch when you have time, but I know for me, as a working parent, it’s often not an option
“We need to make healthy eating easier and more affordable, not more difficult and expensive.
“Choosing healthier processed foods is one way that can help people fit healthy eating into their lives”.