Moving into your new home? Or, perhaps you wan to spring clean your current pantry with healthier options. A well-stocked pantry with healthy options is the best way to ensure you won’t reach for the bad stuff!
Below is a list of 10 foods you want to keep handy in your pantry that will keep you healthy. Always look for the “no-salt” or “low-salt” option. Snacking on foods with little to no salt is an easy way to cut back on your sodium intake for the day.
- Unsalted or Lightly Salted Nuts: With three times the protein and fiber as potato chips but none of the sodium, nuts are a great snack. The contain the good fat and keep you fuller longer!
- Low-Salt Canned Beans: Beans are a great source of protein, phytochemicals, and fiber. All the major bean types are available in a “less salt” or “reduced sodium” option. Just open a can, rinse, drain, and pour the beans into your stew, salad, casserole, or chili.
- Low-Salt Canned Tuna or Salmon: Packed with heart-smart omega-3s, salmon or tuna in a can can make a quick sandwich or casserole super convenient. With 26 grams of quality protein per 5-ounce can it’s a healty, quick meal.
- Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal. If you only have a few minutes in the morning instant oatmeal is the start of a quick and balanced breakfast. Make it with low or nonfat milk instead of water to add protein and calcium. The lower sugar instant oatmeal brands have around 25% less sugar than the regular types, but you still get 3 grams fiber and 4 grams protein per packet.
- Whole-Grain Breakfast Cereals. The best cereal choices have a whole grain as the first ingredient and contain at least 5 grams of fiber per serving and not more than 8 grams of sugar per serving, such as Grape-Nuts, Kashi Go Lean, or Shredded Wheat.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Canola Oil. Heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and phytochemicals make olive oil a great addition to your meals and cooking. Use olive oil as a dip for bread, an ingredient in salad dressings, and as a cooking fat for chicken and fish.
- Whole-Grain or Whole Wheat Pasta. With more nutrients, each 2-ounce serving contributes about 6 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, and phytochemicals coming from the whole grains.
- Whole-Grain Quinoa. Quinoa has twice the fiber, protein, and iron as the same amount of brown rice. They each have about 170 calories per 1/4 cup dry. Cooked quinoa can be added to entrees, soups and stews, and salads calling for cooked whole grains.
- Green Tea Bags. With each sip of u nsweetened green tea, you get two potent flavonoids — anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin — as well as a healthy dose of catechin. All are powerful phytochemicals with suspected antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action in the body.
- Dark Chocolate With 60% Cacao or Unsweetened Cocoa. A great alterntive to sweets. Recent studies suggest that dark chocolate and cocoa may ease emotional stress, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, decrease blood pressure, and increase ins ulin sensitivity. But enjoy a small portion.
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