The Best Foods to Stock Your Fridge

The Best Foods to Stock Your Fridge

Stocking nutritious, convenient staples in your refrigerator can save the day—and may help your health.

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Apples, Pears, Oranges and Other Fruits: Apples, pears, oranges and other fruits are naturally sweet, easy to eat and good sources of fiber and antioxidants. Choose whole fruits smaller than your closed fist or eat half of a large piece for a diabetes-friendly portion. (You can also add cut-up fruit or citrus segments to salads or yogurt.)

Fat-Free Greek Yogurt or Fat-Free Plain Yogurt: Fat-free Greek yogurt and fat-free plain yogurt are high in protein, rich tasting and creamy. Stir fresh or frozen fruit or a drizzle of honey into plain yogurt for a satisfying dessert.

Sugar-Free Fruit Spreads and Natural-Style Nut Butters: Sugar-free fruit spreads add flavor and color to breads, sandwiches or even desserts (consider using them as topping for sugar-free pudding, angel food cake or a small scoop of ice cream). Natural-style nut butters are good sources of protein and healthful fats. A thin spread of nut butter is all you need to make a quick and portable sandwich or a satisfying snack along with whole-grain crackers or apple slices.

Whole-Wheat Tortillas and Flatbreads: Whole-wheat tortillas and flatbreads are versatile and healthful options for burritos, wraps and thin-crust pizzas. Keep different flavors and sizes on hand for a variety of menu options and a creative way to add fiber.

High-Fiber Breads: High-fiber breads provide B vitamins, protein and fiber. Look for brands with at least 4 grams of fiber per serving. High-fiber breads last longer when stored in the refrigerator.

Eggs: Eggs deliver high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals. Whip up an omelet (with eggs, egg whites or egg substitutes) with veggies and a little cheese in about 10 minutes. Hard-cooked eggs are great for a grab-and-go breakfast or lunch.

Shredded Cheese and String Cheese: Shredded cheese and string cheese are tasty foods that can add dimension and flavor to meals. Do pay attention to portion sizes, as too much cheese can contribute a lot of fat and sodium to your diet.

Packaged Salad Mixes: Packaged salad mixes make it easy to include more greens in your diet. Add slivered almonds, grilled chicken strips and a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar for a satisfying main dish with minimal cooking and cleanup. Try a variety of dark green lettuces and salad mixes so you don't get bored with your options.

Low-Fat or Fat-Free Milk (1% or Skim): Low-fat or fat-free milk (1 percent or skim) is a top source of protein and calcium, and a vitamin D-rich addition to any meal or snack. You can substitute non-dairy alternatives, such as unsweetened almond milk or soymilk, just check labels to be sure they’re fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

Shredded Cabbage: Cabbage is inexpensive and packed with vitamin C, fiber and other nutrients. Pre-shredded, it’s super-convenient. Use it to make salads and stir-fries, or stir some into soup to bump up portion size without adding many calories.

By EatingWell.com. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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