Thursday, 9 April 2015

Stock Your Refrigerator for Weight Loss

Making healthy decisions has never been harder. Half the ingredients on food labels sound like your high-school chemistry homework. So-called healthy foods hide their secrets in tiny print on the backs of the packages. Refined foods strip essential vitamins and minerals from perfectly good whole foods, only to replace them with extra sodium, sugar, and calories. I hear your hardship, and I’m here to help. Follow this better-foods buyer’s guide to rid your kitchen of stuff that’s been clogging your fridge and arteries for years. Make the changes a few at a time, and you’ll start eating better, losing weight, and living a healthier life.

The Door

Stock: Eggs
Not: Egg whites
Try: Eggland’s Best Grade AA Eggs, Extra Large
Per egg: 70 calories, 6 grams (g) protein, 4 g fat
Whole eggs are a great source of protein, and they contain more essential vitamins and minerals per calorie than virtually any other food. Plus, they are one of the best sources of choline, a substance that your body requires to break down fat for energy. Eggland’s version has similar amounts of calories, fat, and protein as other brands, but with three times as many heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Stock: Butter
Not: Margarine
Try: Keller’s Whipped Butter, Salted
Per tablespoon (Tbsp): 70 calories, 7 g fat
Research shows that the fat in a pat of butter helps you better absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. This brand cuts calories without sacrificing flavor.

Stock: Organic ketchup
Not: Regular ketchup
Try: Heinz Organic
Per Tbsp: 20 calories, 5 g carbs
Organic ketchups may have double the amount of prostate cancer–fighting lycopene that regular ketchups do. Plus, I think some brands’ organic options—like Heinz’s—taste better than the originals.

Stock: Reduced-fat mayo
Not: Regular mayo
Try: Kraft with Olive Oil Reduced Fat
Per Tbsp: 45 calories, 2 g carbs, 4 g fat
Fat is not an enemy, but its calories add up quickly in mayonnaise. This mayo from Kraft has about half the calories of traditional versions, plus heart-healthy olive oil.

Stock: Regular mustard
Not: Dijon mustard
Try: Annie’s Naturals Organic Honey Mustard
Per teaspoon (tsp): 10 calories, 2 g carbs
Mustards tend to have few calories in the fi rst place, but Dijon tends to have more sodium.

Stock: Light beer
Not: Regular beer
Try: Coors Light
Per 12 ounces (oz): 104 calories, 5 g carbs
Standard brews can be heavy—some varieties have more than 200 calories per bottle. But by simply switching to the light version, you can often cut the calories by one-third. 

The Deli Drawer

Stock: Applegate Farms Organic
Not: Bologna turkey
Try: Roasted Turkey Breast
Per 2 oz: 50 calories, 10 g protein, 1 g carbs
One slice of turkey has 6 grams of belly-filling protein—that’s about double the amount in bologna. What’s more, turkey contains only 22 calories per slice, compared to bologna’s 57 calories. That’s no baloney!

Stock: Ham
Not: Salami
Try: Hormel Black Forest Ham
Per 2 oz: 60 calories, 9 g protein, 1 g carbs, 2 g fat
Salami packs 21⁄2 times more calories than ham, almost 50 percent more sodium, and four times more fat.

Stock: Mozzarella
Not: American
Try: Kraft Natural 2% Milk Mozzarella
Per oz: 70 calories, 8 g protein, 1 g carbs, 4 g fat
Reduced-fat mozzarella contains more protein than American, meaning your stomach will be satiated for much longer—one of the keys to losing weight.
Stock: Swiss
Not: Provolone
Try: Sargento Deli Style Sliced Reduced Fat Swiss
Per slice: 60 calories, 7 g protein, 1 g carbs, 4 g fat
One slice of provolone usually contains the same number of calories as a slice of Swiss, but it’s not worth the extra 180 milligrams of sodium. Plus, Swiss contains an extra gram of protein compared with provolone.

Stock: Smarter hot dogs
Not: Regular hot dogs
Try:Applegate Farms Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dogs
Per frank: 70 calories, 6 g protein, 4.5 g fat
Your typical hot dogs contain about 150 calories each. Applegate Farms’ version cuts that number in half. Apply mustard and onions liberally. 

The Shelves

Stock: 2% milk
Not: Whole or fat-free milk
Try: Organic Valley Reduced Fat 2%
Per cup: 130 calories, 8 g protein, 13 g carbs, 5 g fat
A little fat in your milk may help you absorb vitamins. The switch from whole moo juice to 2%, however, will save you 20 calories per cup.

Stock: Low-sodium vegetable juice
Not: Regular vegetable juice
Try: V8 Low Sodium
Per 8 oz: 50 calories, 10 g carbs
Vegetable juice is a great idea if you struggle to meet the USDA’s daily produce recommendation. The low-sodium V8 version has about one-fourth the sodium of the original vegetable juice, and it tastes better.

Stock: Orange juice
Not: Orange soda
Try:Tropicana Pure Premium Calcium + Vitamin D
Per 8 oz: 110 calories, 26 g carbs
Think of it as a lesson in making calories count: Orange juice contains as many calories as a can of soda, but it also packs in essential vitamins and minerals. Even better, dilute your juices with one-half water to add more hydration and fewer calories.

Stock: Cottage cheese with some fat
Not: Fat-free cottage cheese
Friendship 4% California Style
Per ½ cup: 120 calories, 15 g protein, 3 g carbs, 5 g fat
Fat-free cottage cheeses contain close to 8 grams of carbs, but regular varieties tend to have less. So if you’re eating it as a stand-alone snack, don’t fear the extra grams of fat, which will help stabilize blood sugar. Friendship’s cottage cheese has half the carbs of the competition’s and a few extra grams of protein.

Stock: Greek yogurt
Not: Fruity yogurt plain
Try:Stonyfi eld Farm Oikos Organic Plain Greek Yogurt
Per 5.3-oz container: 80 calories, 15 g protein
Fruit varieties have more added sugars than plain yogurt does. I’ve seen some that contain as much as 36 grams! Greek yogurt brands like Oikos contain less sugar and more protein. If you miss the sweetness, stir in some fresh berries to replace that syrupy goop.

Stock: High-antioxidant tea
Not: Sweet tea
Try: Honest Tea Organic Honey Green Tea
Per 8 fluid (fl) oz: 35 calories
It’s time to junk the sugar water. Green tea is known to pack a high nutritional punch, but in general, you want to look for a type with high levels of catechins—powerful antioxidants that could prevent disease. Honest Tea’s offering has more catechins than its competitors’.
Stock: Sparkling water
Not: Soda
Try: Poland Spring Sparkling Water with Lemon Essence
Per 8 fl oz: 0 calories
Sparkling water has all the bubbles of soda, without a single calorie. Flavored varieties are slightly sweetened. Make this change today and start shedding pounds. 

The Crisper Drawer

There’s really no such thing as unhealthy produce, so here are a few items to add to your refrigerator. Comparing what we actually eat to what Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends, we consume less than half of the fruit we should and only 60 percent of the vegetables. Expand your tastes to include these, and improve your diet.


Although I personally don’t like the taste of beets (so you won’t find them in my crisper) this root vegetable is one of the best sources of folate and betaine—two nutrients that can decrease your risk of heart disease.

These legumes have 16 grams of belly-fi lling fiber in every cup. What’s more, compared to the same amount of cooked spinach, cooked lentils contain 27 percent more folate, which keeps your cells healthy.

Eating just four celery sticks a day can reduce blood pressure—sometimes by about 6 points on the systolic reading and 3 points on the diastolic.


These berries, especially the wild ones, have more disease-fighting antioxidants than most other fruits.

This fruit is packed with potassium, manganese, and antioxidants, which makes it a potent immunity booster. The fiber from figs may also help lower insulin and blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes. Note that we aren’t talking fig cookies here!

Red grapes contain a potent antioxidant called resveratrol, which is believed to help fight cancer and heart disease—and even aging.


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