To make over your total health and fitness, it helps to make over your kitchen. Gold’s Gym Wellness Director Connie Cheng recommends putting these items on your healthy grocery list to give your fridge and pantry a whole new look.
Whole wheat bread.
“Substitute white flour grains for whole grains to increase your fiber intake, which will make you feel full longer,” Cheng says. “Whole grains are also a source of B vitamins for energy and contain some Omega-3 fatty acids for anti-inflammation.”
“This has the same taste profile as sour cream,” she says. “Swap it into any recipe you make that uses sour cream, or if you want to add protein, use Greek yogurt instead.”
“You want to make healthy foods taste good, and mustard is low in calories. Use it as a condiment instead of mayonnaise.”
“This is another mayo substitute for your healthy grocery list,” Cheng says. “If you’re craving the fat content, avocado is a healthier source. It’s still calorically dense, however, so limit your daily serving to one-fourth of an avocado.”
Add these to a salad or use them as a side dish for a quick, easy way to add protein and fiber to your meal, which will help keep you full. “If you’re watching your salt intake, rinse the beans before serving,” she says. “It will remove 30 percent of the sodium.” Try black beans for a bit of sweetness in Latin and Caribbean recipes, kidney beans for a firm texture that will hold up well in soups and chili, or navy beans, which will absorb the flavor of the dish.
Frozen fruits and veggies.
“If foods are frozen as soon as they’re harvested, they may have more nutrients in them than fresh produce that has traveled from far away to end up in your local store.” You can easily add the fruit to oatmeal, yogurt and smoothies; for veggies, check the ingredients to make sure only the vegetable is listed and no sauces are added.
Where to stock your healthy grocery list items
You want your healthy foods to be easily accessible and quick to prepare so you’re more likely to eat them. Frozen produce and canned goods, for example, are ready to cook and can be stocked in your freezer and pantry at all times.
But if you prefer fresh produce, consider buying precut items.
“If you consistently throw away fresh veggies because you can’t get through them quick enough before they spoil,” Cheng says, “either go home and chop them up first thing to make them ready to use, or buy them already cleaned and cut, and place the containers where everyone can see them.”
Consider buying meals from the prepared foods section in the grocery store, too. Cheng says as long as you choose healthy ones that have few processed ingredients (read the labels), all you need to do is keep a few in your fridge and stick them in the oven when you want to eat — no additional preparation required.
“Don’t think you have to make everything from scratch,” she says. “If stocking healthy prepared foods will help you make good nutritional choices, there’s nothing wrong with that.”
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