Grocery Shopping: How to Stock a Healthy Fridge (cont.)

And what about cheese? I've got to admit, fat-free cheese doesn't do it for me personally. I prefer reduced fat-cheeses. Here are some examples.

  • Part-skim mozzarella: 1 ounce has 80 calories, 5 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 220 mg sodium, and 20% Daily Value of calcium.
  • Kraft 2% Milk Sharp Cheddar: 1 ounce has 80 calories, 6 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, and 40% Daily Value of calcium.
  • Kraft 2% Milk Colby and Monterey Jack: 1 ounce has 80 calories, 5 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, and 40% Daily Value of calcium.
  • Sargento Reduced Fat Mexican Blend: 1 ounce has 80 calories, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 25% Daily Value of calcium.

The Produce Bin

Just two words about fresh produce: Get some!

The Freezer Compartment

There are better choices to be had in the freezer section of your refrigerator, too. One of the best things you can do is to always have a few bags of your favorite frozen vegetables on hand. There'll be no excuse for not serving veggies with dinner, even if you're short on time or haven't been to the grocery store for a few days.

And let's face it; it's a good idea to have some convenience items in your freezer for times when you need to make something on the fly. Smarter choices are available, including:

  • Gardenburger. This vegetable/whole grain based burger comes in several different flavors and is low in fat but high in fiber and nutrition. It tastes great, as long as you aren't expecting a beef burger. The original flavor has 110 calories, 3 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, and 560 mg sodium per burger.
  • Boca Meatless Burgers come in several flavors. This soy protein-based burger look-alike is pretty good, especially if you serve it with condiments and garnishes like BBQ sauce or avocado slices, Ortega fire-roasted canned peppers, etc. The original flavor contains 80 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, and 320 mg sodium per burger.
  • Frozen grilled fish fillets come in two flavors, Lemon Pepper and Garlic Butter. One fillet of either has 100 calories, 3 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, and 350-380 mg sodium.

There are some foods we just like to have around even though we know they aren't great for us. Many of these favorite comfort foods come in lighter versions that still taste great. Here are some examples:

  • Some types of frozen hash browns and shredded potato patties come with zero fat. But read the label, because it's easy to mistake the ones with added fat for the ones with no fat. Buy the zero fat versions, then fry them up with a little canola oil or canola cooking spray. One patty (87 grams) of hash brown shredded potato patties with no added fat has 2 g fiber, 70 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, and 40 mg sodium.
  • You can buy frozen French fries with less fat added, then bake them until crispy. Ore Ida makes several types with less than 4 grams of fat per 3 ounce serving, including Ore Ida Steak Fries (3 ounces have 2 g fiber, 120 calories, 3 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 340 mg sodium).
  • Low-fat or light ice creams and frozen treats abound, thank goodness! Try low-fat vanilla ice cream (store brand), with 100 calories, 2.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, and 10% of the Daily Value for calcium in 1/2 cup. Have a Klondike Slim-a-Beat Vanilla or Chocolate sandwich, each (64 gram) bar with 130 calories, 1.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, and 10% Daily Value for calcium. An Eskimo Pie No Sugar Added Bar, meanwhile, has 120 calories, 8 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium and 8% Daily Value for calcium.
  • Brown & Serve Lite Original sausage: 3 links (60 grams) have 120 calories, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, and 410 mg sodium; 3 links of Brown & Serve Turkey (60 grams) sausage have 120 calories, 8 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 35 mg cholesterol, and 370 mg sodium.
  • 2 Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles (70 grams) have 3 g fiber, 170 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 3 g monounsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, and 420 mg sodium.
  • Cool Whip Lite: 2 tablespoons has 20 calories, 1 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, and 0 mg cholesterol and sodium.
  • Frozen pizza products are yummy, but can be high in fat, saturated fat, and trans fat. Instead, try Lean Pockets (one Pepperoni Pizza pocket has 4 g fiber, 280 calories, 7 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 720 mg sodium, and 30% Daily Value for calcium) or Bagel Bites (4 pieces of the 3 Cheese variety has 2 g fiber, 200 calories, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 540 mg sodium and 10% Daily Value for calcium).

Originally published May 14, 2004
Medically updated April 14, 2005


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