Posted: Mar 21, 2013
Packaged foods and ready-to-eat meal items, such as the rotisserie chicken at grocery stores, are often high in sodium. Too much sodium is harmful to your health. You can cut back on your sodium intake by making your own meals. Fresh, simple foods start off meals in the right direction.
Five Fresh Foods for Your Fridge
When buying packaged foods, choose nutrient-rich ones that have more vitamins, minerals and fibre, and less sodium, fat and sugar.
- Milk, yogurt and cheese. With up to 16 essential nutrients, milk products make a super snack or a smart addition to cooking and baking. Choose lower-fat milk products.
- Fresh vegetables and fruit. They’re filled with fibre, vitamins and minerals for good health. Keep colourful cut veggies and fruit ready for grab-and-go snacks.
- Eggs. A very versatile source of protein! Cook up a quick frittata, burrito or omelette for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- Hummus or bean dips, such as black bean or white bean. Legumes are loaded with protein and fibre, and they make tasty dips for veggies.
- Natural nut butters. For a superb nutty taste, choose natural nut butters, such as peanut or almond, with no added sugar or salt.
Bonus items! A big, juicy squeeze of lemon or lime, or a small splash of lower-sodium varieties of condiments such as salsa, pesto or soy sauce, can make healthy meals pop with flavour.
Find lots of nutrient-rich choices in the cooler aisle.
- Milk. Skim, 1% or 2% milk makes a refreshing drink, and it’s filled with bone-boosting nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and protein. If you don’t drink milk, choose a fortified soy beverage. Chocolate milk has all of the same great nutrients as white milk. Chocolate milk has more sugar, though, so sip it occasionally as a treat.
- Yogurt. Look for lower-fat yogurt with less sugar. Try Greek-style yogurt for a protein-packed dessert, or yogurt drinks for a quick snack on the go.
- Cheese. Choose blocks or shredded cheese for a little more protein, more calcium and less sodium than processed cheese.
- Eggs. Filled with health-promoting nutrients such as lutein, an antioxidant important for eye health, eggs can help you make a tasty meal in minutes. Brown eggs and white eggs have the exact same nutrients.
- Egg whites. Cartons of pasteurized egg whites are great for making quick omelettes or adding a little protein to your fruit smoothies.
Make healthy eating easy. Organize your fridge so healthy foods are the first ones you see.
When you open your fridge door, the first foods you should see are healthy ones. Studies show that people are more likely to choose healthy foods, such as vegetables and fruit, if they’re easily available. Try these simple tips to organize a healthy fridge:
- Keep fresh snacks, such as hard-boiled eggs, cut veggies and fruit, bean dips and yogurt in plain sight.
- If you have snacks that are higher in fat and/or sugar, such as cakes and pudding, put them into containers you can’t see through – that way, you won’t be tempted. Do this with foods in your pantry too!
- Keep milk, sparkling water and pitchers of plain water front and centre. Add lemon, lime or orange slices or mint leaves to water for a refreshing drink.
- Keep your fridge free of clutter so you can see the healthy foods you have.