As a New Yorker living in a crowded neighborhood, I could not help but notice the long lines in the supermarkets the other day. Of course, as a nutritionist, I could not help but notice the food choices my neighbors were stocking up on.
In times like this, with all restaurants closed, what you buy is what you will eat! For the good news, if you keep healthy foods on hand, you'll eat those foods. And for the bad news, if you stock up on chips and ice cream, that is what you will most likely end up eating. Unless, of course, you exert lots of willpower.
Keeping a little bit of comfort food around the house is okay of course, but try to choose mostly healthy food choices.
Here are my five top foods to keep on hand.
1. Water. I would suggest keeping bottled water on hand while also filling up some jugs with tap water. Drink generously.
2. Fresh fruits and vegetables. As I've previously written, fresh fruits and veggies impart so many nutrients, contain fiber, are low in calories, and are filling. Choose a variety and keep your favorites on hand. Carrots, broccoli, berries, apples, pears are a few best bets. And for the good news: You don't have to worry if you eat too much.
3. Nuts and nut butters. Peanut butter, cashew butter and almond butter are all great options, as are the actual nuts. Nuts and nut butters contain healthy fats and protein. Walnuts, in particular, are high in the heart-healthy fat -- omega-3 fatty acids. Stick with unsalted nuts when possible. Be sure to watch your portions, as nuts and nut butters are high in fat. Aim for one to two tablespoons of nut butter or a quarter-cup nuts at a sitting.
4. Whole-grains breads. Whole-grain breads and crackers are better options than white bread, muffins, and oversized bagels. Whole grains are packed with vitamins and minerals, and contain fiber, which will keep you full. Popcorn is also a great snack -- and yes, it is a whole grain. Make some air-popped popcorn and store it in ziplock baggies. For some good news, three cups of popcorn equals one grain serving, so you can have a decent-size portion.
5. Canned vegetarian soups and beans. Try for the low-sodium varieties. Canned chickpeas are terrific and can be thrown into a salad, and canned low-sodium lentil and split pea soups are good choices. As I previously wrote, beans and legumes are high in protein and fiber and low in fat.
Wishing you a safe -- and healthy -- few days!
This blog post was originally posted on Portion Teller.
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