Stock a Healthy Refrigerator
What to put in the fridge to guarantee nutritious eating.
Dairy and StaplesHummus
Keep tubs on hand, plus bags of baby carrots. The combo is a low-fat, high-protein snack alternative to hunks of cheese or a fistful of cookies.
Replace mellow, soft cheeses with sharp, harder ones. A small amount packs lots of flavor, saving you both dollars and fat grams. Look for aged Cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Keep eggs in their carton on a lower shelf to guard against the loss of carbon dioxide and moisture. The shells may look impermeable, but they are covered with tiny holes that can absorb odors and flavors.
Butter and margarine
Use real butter where it counts, but sparingly. Keep sticks in a covered dish. (Freeze sticks you're not using.) When it comes to margarine, soft kinds in tubs and those labeled "trans-fat free" are the only healthy butter substitutes.
Buy it in resealable cartons. Use it to cook rice, mash potatoes, or saute vegetables for rich flavor without butter or oil. (Add broth to a warm skillet with the vegetables; cover and cook until tender.) Look for low-sodium or organic broth.
As with milk, go for low-fat instead of nonfat to enjoy more flavor. You can bake with it or drain it through a coffee filter for yogurt "cheese."
One percent milk has enough fat for baking but isn't unhealthy to drink. Buy milk in opaque containers to protect it from light, which can reduce the vitamin content.
Select juice that is calcium fortified. There's barely any difference in taste, and drinking one glass will give you a third of your recommended daily allowance of calcium.