» Keeping these foods in your fridge will mean that a fresh, healthy snack is never far away. While these foods are perishable, they tend to last longer than some foods that need to be refrigerated. These items need to be eaten within a certain amount of time from their purchase date, so it’s best to only buy as much as you’re going to use in the next week or two. Some foods, like meats or fruits, can be frozen so they don’t go to waste.
1. Ground Turkey and Chicken
You are probably familiar with ground beef as a protein option, but are you aware that choosing ground beef over ground chicken or ground turkey may be adding unnecessary saturated fats and calories to your diet? Ground chicken and ground turkey can be used in any recipe that calls for ground beef to reduce your red meat and fat intake while maintaining the integrity of the dish.
Eggs are one of the cheapest forms of animal protein available, and they also happen to be one of the healthiest. Studies have shown that there is no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs. The color difference comes from the bread of chicken laying the eggs rather than their nutritional value. Keep eggs on hand for healthy breakfast omelets and delicious dinner time stir frys.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy healthy snack look no further than pure hummus. You can either make it yourself or buy the pre-packaged version to enjoy a variety of healthy flavors.Eat it by itself, on a wrap, as a dip for your vegetables, or as a substitute for your favorite sandwich spread. Enjoy the protein kick this smooth and savory treat provides.
4. Fresh Fruit
Staying away from sugary desserts can be hard. Keeping your refrigerator regularly stocked with fresh fruit can offer a delicious reward that’s also healthy. Choose tart or sweet fruits based on your own personal preferences.Also try to stick to fruits that are in season as their flavor will be more robust and they will be less expensive than the out of season options. Reach for a snack of fresh fruit the next time your sweet tooth starts craving sugar.
Most cheeses are high in fat, which can keep people from enjoying all of the healthy benefits they offer. For instance, many cheeses are not only a great source of calcium but also a fairly decent source of protein. Also, healthy fat from cheese helps to keep you feeling fuller longer so that you don’t aimlessly snack on foods that are less healthy. Choosing cheeses that are low in carbs can make a great snack, in moderation.
» Now I'm going to add in a BONUS item because condiments are important and help to amp up the flavor of otherwise bland foods. Sometimes no matter how good your intentions are, meals just turn out less flavorful than you planned. Solve this by adding a healthy condiment like mustard, hummus, or salsa. Try to avoid condiments like mayo, ketchup, bbq sauce and store-bought salad dressings as they tend to have too much-saturated fat, salt, and sugar.
» So now lets go over 5 staple foods for your pantry. These health foods are not perishable and can be kept in your pantry for an extended period of time. Since health foods can be a bit more expensive than junk food, stock up on these items when they are on sale or buy in bulk to save money.
1. Olive Oil
Studies show that olive oil has some of the best health benefits among oils. It is a nutritional keystone used in many of the world’s longest-living cultures and the most important ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. It can reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It also helps fight depression and improve your metabolism. Additionally, olive oil is one of the easiest health foods to cook with, making it a must-have staple in every healthy household.
Fiber is an often overlooked aspect of a healthy diet. It is necessary to keep your digestive tract running smoothly and your blood sugar levels even. When it comes to fiber-filled health foods it doesn’t get much better than oatmeal. Not only does it have enough fiber to keep you full and regular but it also contains calcium, potassium and healthy complex carbohydrates. Make sure to buy plain oatmeal and flavor it yourself with fresh fruits or nuts, so that you can avoid the added calories and sugar found in flavored varieties.
Moving away from animal protein and exploring plant protein can be one of the easiest ways to cut down your budget. Beans are one of the least expensive sources of protein available and can be used in a variety of recipes as a meat substitute, making them a great health foods choice. Beans can provide more than just protein to your diet though, they also provide fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are also a great source of complex carbohydrates.
Honey will stay in your pantry for years without going bad, but if you use it as a general sweetener you may not keep it for years. When buying honey, opt for the natural or raw varieties to skip added sugars and sweeteners. Raw honey has plenty of sweetness. When you can, substitute honey in recipes that call for sugar and achieve a healthier finished product. You can even sweeten your coffee or tea with honey to maximize its use.
Raw and unsalted almonds can make a great snack that curbs hunger. These nuts are packed with healthy fats and will give you energy without causing your body to crave more sugar. A handful of almonds can be a healthy snack when you are feeling lazy and don’t want to prep something. They also have a long shelf life and can be affordable when bought in bulk.
BONUS: Dark Chocolate
Enjoy chocolate without feeling guilty! Just don’t overdo it. Dark chocolate contains many antioxidants that provide your body with free-radical fighting power. It can also reduce blood pressure and lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If that's not enough to convince you to head out to the nearest store and pick yourself up a bar of deliciously dark chocolate, it can even help improve your brain function. Need we say more? I didn’t think so.
» You will need something reliable and durable, like our ISOBAG, so that you can be sure that your meals stay fresh throughout the day. A small purchase like this will motivate you to keep at it when you first get started. You also don’t want to get too adventurous right off the bat. Begin by prepping meals you know you enjoy and are simple to make. This will ensure that you don't get off track while your habits are changing.